This is the letter every missionary dreads writing.
I was talking to my sister-in-law a few days ago, and she said something that really made me take a hard look at how I communicate. Our conversation went like this:
Me: I am really stressed about money. We have had so many unexpected expenses this month and I do not know what we are going to do.
Her: That really surprises me, you always make everything sound like it is going so well.
Me: I mean, things are going well. Really well. The ministry is growing. We are healthy and happy. We still believe we are in the right place at the right time. The girls are doing well. Everything is good. It is just, money.
Her: Well, I think people would be supportive if you let them know.
Me: *Whining* But it is just so hard to ask for money.
Her: People want to help. They cannot live there, so they want to support the work and workers they believe in.
Me: Maybe…*Changes subject*
It is true. I frequently emphasize the things that are going well. In most blogs I want you to know how much we are doing and how well it is going. This is mostly because I want you to see value in our project and to increase the excitement about what is happening in our small corner of the world. It is also true that I do not often say when we need help. This part of being a missionary living on the generosity of others is H.A.R.D. It is humbling in a good way that increases your faith in both God and the community of believers that He has called to do His work. It is also humbling in a way that makes you look at the ground, shuffle your feet, and impulsively give a list of all the worthy things you have done this week. I am extremely grateful that we have not had to raise personal support in the four years that we have been here. Our family and friends have been INCREDIBLY generous and consistent in their encouragement and financial support. We know they believe in us and in the work we are doing. In a way, that makes it harder, because here I am, asking for more.
So I am going to pad ‘the ask’ with an exciting announcement.
That’s right, we are coming back and we need your help to get there. We need to raise $6000 for our trip back. This will cover our travel cost both to and from the States, and also while we are there. America is expensive!! We are going to be doing a lot of traveling to speak with different churches and groups and all of that travel expense adds up. Would you consider helping us in this way?
We are also praying for a few more people to join on as monthly supporters. Our cost of living has gone up recently. Tanzania is not immune to inflation. We are hoping to raise $400 more in monthly support to cover our basic needs. If this is an area you feel like you could support us, we would be incredibly grateful. We might even bring you a cool gift from Tanzania when we see you in the Fall. All donations are tax deductible. All of our personal funds are processed through our sending church, The Vine, in Temple, Texas.
It is so easy to join our support team. Here are the steps for making an online payment:
Step 2: Enter in your recurring payment information selecting Missions: Administration as your “Giving Type”. It is VERY important that you select Missions: Administration in order for your donation to get to our ministry. You can select to use either a credit/debit card or set up bank account withdrawals. Your payment will be deducted as you select.
If you would rather send a check, please send your support to the following address:
The Vine Church
4902 South 31st Street
Temple, Texas 76502
On your checks ‘Memo Line’ please write: Missions Administration. Again, it is VERY important to indicate Missions Administration so that your donation goes to the correct ministry.
We cannot thank you enough for choosing to support our work through financial donations. This is a very real way for you to be involved in the efforts made in Arusha, Tanzania. You are a blessing to our family and we look forward working with you.
Finally, and this is HUGE, we are looking for churches and groups of all kinds to speak to about Walk In Love. The entire purpose of our return trip is to fund raise for Walk In Love. Please, please, please if you have any kind of group that you think might be willing to listen to us about the work we are doing and how important it is for the care of vulnerable children, let us know. We are at the fore front of a coming framework shift in the care of vulnerable children in developing countries. This is new. What we are doing is important, because it is proving that there is a way to care for at-risk kids and provide resources for families to improve their way of life. It is about dignity and empowerment. It is working and we want to tell everyone about how easy it is to change a community through these simple resources. If you want to talk to us about coming to speak, please email me at Kelly@tzorphan.com
I will leave you with a fun video of singing at the Market Center.