The Hidden Joys ofÂ Raising Support
Asking for money is very difficultÂ for us. We would beÂ much more comfortable earning wages from a company or returnsÂ fromÂ an investment.
In fact, before moving to Malawi in 2009, Matt explored the possibility ofÂ continuing his photography business in Africa so we didn’t need to raise support. We learned whatÂ would take for an American to run an ethical business in a land of subsistence farmers. And we learned about the complications of visas, taxes, foreign imports, and the like. It became obvious that we would spend all our timeÂ running theÂ business, and wouldn’t have muchÂ time left for the church. EveryoneÂ we spoke to in Malawi affirmedÂ that Matt’s self-supporting missionary modelÂ wasn’t really realistic here.
So instead, weÂ ask for financial support.Â We rely on donations fromÂ churches, family and friends. Our life and ministry in Malawi depends on the gifts of others.
This would be a frightening position if it weren’t for the faithfulness of God, whoâ€“usually through His peopleâ€“has always given us more than we deserve. We’re grateful for the opportunity to have our faith strengthened as we acknowledge our financial dependence and as we watch, each month, how He provides what He knows we need.
Living on supportÂ also lets us seeÂ how God blesses our supporters.Â We have goneÂ in faith, and theyÂ give in faith. Their faith is often humbling:Â our supporters include widows, students, and retirees! How can weÂ accept their gifts in good conscience? Because of this: we firmlyÂ believe God will abundantlyÂ repay their generosity.
In Philippians 4:14-20, the Apostle Paul told his supporters in Philippi that asÂ significant than their financial contribution was, the eternalÂ profit that accrued to their account was far greater. He was convinced that God’s riches in glory areÂ so vast, they could be certain He couldâ€“and wouldâ€“supply every one ofÂ their needs.Â We could say theÂ same aboutÂ our supporters. Yes, we try to carefully manage the donations peopleÂ entrust toÂ us. Yes, we try to report back about the ministry they have enabled.Â But we don’t consider anything we do as adequateÂ repayment for our financialÂ partners.Â Rather, our confidenceÂ is inÂ God,Â who perfectly and abundantly repays the sacrificial gifts of faith.
So we thank God for putting us in a position to experience the joys of raisingÂ support.
Our Support Status
Since we moved to Malawi, our family has doubled, meaning more money for diapers, school books, dentist visits, plane tickets, and more. But at the same time, we’ve learned how to live more simply, inspired by our Malawian friends who are incredibleÂ at stretching small amounts of money. So our overall support needsÂ haven’tÂ increased.
What has changed is that we are no longer “newbies.” Why is this significant? In 2009, when we were preparing to leave, talk ofÂ aÂ recession in the US made it difficult for many peopleÂ to commit to monthly giving. Then, aÂ very generous organizationÂ stepped in withÂ $2000/month, making it possible forÂ usÂ to move to Africa without much delay. This money was special: it was specifically intended to helpÂ newÂ missionaries get to the field, and we have always knownÂ that weÂ should invite other supporters to “fill the gap” so that those funds can help other “newbies.”
In the years since, several churches and individualsÂ have begun to support us monthly, and the gap is now down to $500/month. Our goal is completely replace the “newbie” donations by the end of 2015. In short:
We’ll try to keep this updated as that number changes.
How to Get Involved
Would you be willing to help us close the gap? Every little bit counts (one supporter has given us $2/month for 5 years!) You canÂ give tax-deductible donations through our sending church, via three different ways:
- Online with a creditÂ card (one-time or ongoing)
- AutomaticÂ debit from your bank account
- Mailing a check
You can learn about each below.
The easiest way toÂ give towards our ministry is with a credit card, through the Grace Community Church website. BothÂ one-time andÂ monthly donations can be made this way. To do this, use ourÂ support page:
As our sending church, Grace Community Church pays all the credit card transaction fees. That means we receive 100% of what you send.Â ButÂ if you’re looking to set up an automatic monthly donation, andÂ don’t have a strong preference for using a credit card, using the bank accountÂ option below will save Grace Church a little bit of money.
Alternatively, youÂ can set up automatic monthlyÂ withdrawals from your checking or savings account. Like the credit card option above, this is also automatic, so you don’t need to worry about missing a month. To set this up, print the application form below and mail it to the address on the form.
If you prefer to mail a check, you can do that too. Sometimes the regular act of writing and mailing a check is a good reminder to pray for us too.Â Just makeÂ the checkÂ out toÂ Grace Ministries InternationalÂ with a memoÂ that it’s for the Floreens.
Grace Community Church – GMI
13248 Roscoe Blvd.
Sun Valley, CA 91352
Please let us know if you need any further help!