I imagine that some of you have been quite surprised by what appears to be a new, more communicative me. It is true that for two decades of ministry I traveled the globe seldom looking back. I took too few pauses to adequately express both the miracles and the needs that I was encountering. I am sincerely sorry for that lack of sensitivity to my ever faithful family and friends. Many of you have long supported Father´s work through me while receiving far too little news from the fields in which I have served. I am all about changing that style now, for more than one reason… I want to write you more, because you deserve it. I can never thank you too frequently for allowing me the honor of being an extension of your compassionate obedience to Jesus for hurting children. Because you pray and give sacrificially, I am afforded the privilege of being in Mexico to serve the kids to which Father has called me. The very least that I can, should, and will do, is to keep you well informed of what Loving Father is doing through our Kingdom partnership for His Glory at Camp Laughing Child. Another crucial reason that I must be in touch with you is that I deeply need you. I have come to expect God to use you powerfully in offering divinely inspired encouragement. It is such a profound blessing to hear from you from time to time. Thank you for reminding me that we are in this together. We share an awesome responsibility for this good work that Father is completing through us. I could not and would not do it alone. I admit that there have been seasons in service through which I would have preferred to be a lone philanthropist. Needing other people as an essential part of obeying my call is a tough lesson to keep learning. Particularly, asking people for money, for any reason, has always been my greatest struggle. I confess this pride and a misunderstanding of God’s community design for Kingdom ministry. I am indeed called to minister as an extension of you, the Body of Christ. It truly is teamwork, whether we like it or not! It is in this spirit of humble interdependence upon Father that I want to share with you some realities that are frankly very uncomfortable for me to reveal. I tell you these truths because I am convinced that God wants me to do so. Thank you for making it easier for me by being so absolutely wonderful. Bless you for allowing me to “preach to the choir” a little this morning. I am sincerely amazed by how you give above and beyond reason. Please know that I share these difficult circumstances with you because I believe with all my heart that Father´s Love is your motivation for friendship and partnership with me for His Glory and His children’s healing laughter.
I have been increasingly direct about our significant financial needs lately. You have learned that our construction workers are full-time employees and must be paid every week. I have said that materials typically cost just a little more than what we pay for labor. The total cost for materials and labor has been averaging around $5,000 a month. This amount is nearly (and often exceeds) our entire ministry income. Special events like our “God is Grand” opening are expenses over and above our construction costs. Now, here is the personal testimony/confession that I was awakened this morning to share… In December, I sold my faithful old Montero for $2,500 just in time to put into place the last of what was needed for our awesome opening. The Laughing Child account simply could not fully support the event. While I would do the same thing over and over again in exchange for that incredible day, I am now without a car and have to rely on the kindness of amazing friends here to drive me considerable distances. They graciously do it without ever complaining, but this is obviously not a sustainable solution for much needed transportation. Please pray in a reliable vehicle for the Camp. We need something like a family van or fuel efficient SUV. Some of you may know that my salary as the Director of this ministry is $1,500 per month. However, you may not be aware that I am responsible to raise it. Obviously, at the end of each month, when I have to choose between Camp expenses and my salary, I build the Camp. This month will be the 13TH month that Laughing Child has not had the money to pay me a salary. I have sold some things and very reluctantly borrowed interest-free money from a kind Friend for personal expenses. I told myself that if there was no provision after a solid year of receiving no salary that I simply must share the truth with you. I am asking you to pray in earnest. Discouragingly, my health is becoming an issue of late. I am confident that it is due, in part, to the stresses of sustained lack and daily concern for the continuation of our Camp construction. Family, we are truly so close to realizing this Heavenly vision! Bless you for providing such incredible inspiration for inviting others to join Father and us in building His Healing Camp.
Unlike many missionaries, I do not have the opportunity to take long furloughs away from the field in order to nurture and expand our support base. Yet, from absolute necessity, I am taking the entire month of February to share our story and invite new partners. We truly need a miracle month! I hope to see many of you at one of these engagements. We are currently going through the process of providing an online giving option. Donors will soon be able to make recurring or one-time gifts from their checking, savings or credit cards. I hope that this convenience will encourage folks to join us as monthly partners. Monthly givers afford us the blessing of having a predictable income. This is essential for creating a budget. I will surely let you know when the service is up and running.
I feel utterly compelled this morning to confess my lack of faith in allowing these circumstances to discourage me and to threaten my health. Please pray for me. I do want to learn all that Father has to teach me in this “school” of need… That being said, I am so very ready to start a new school year!
I love you and thank you for hearing, caring, praying, giving and sharing!