Wednesday 22 June 2016

A Fundraising Snapshot and a Reality Check

Hi Friends,

We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on a few things and share a snapshot of where we're at with our support raising. The last few months have been long and hard and full of chaos (which you can read all about in this post), but we're finally getting ourselves organized and experiencing a bit of peace in our lives again.

We enjoyed a nice Father's Day as a family and we've been laying low these last few weeks - it's been nice!

We got a nice heavy package in the mail from Romania the other day! It was full of the PDF brochures that Jerry and I helped create (we edited the text and PDF's designer put the brochures together). We will be attending the Torchbearers North American Tour on July 15 and 16, 2016 and we'll be speaking at one of the sessions, sharing about PDF and the ministry in Romania. We'll be handing out PDF brochures to prospective students, answering questions, and hanging out with Torchbearers alumni. Entry to the conference is by donation so if you're interested in attending to learn more about the Torchbearers ministry worldwide, just CLICK HERE for more information. We'd love to see you there! When we have more information about which session we'll be speaking at, we'll let you know.

Throughout this journey we've always had support-raising in the back of our minds, kind of where we'd like it to stay, to be honest. Asking for money is something neither of us enjoy doing or are particularly good at, and when we said yes to this opportunity we truly believed that if God wanted us to do this that He would be the one to provide for our needs, both financial and otherwise. We've never had to ask for money before as we've always had good jobs that provided for all our financial needs, and we've always done ministry in a volunteer capacity over and above our day jobs, so money was never a factor.

I was encouraged by a conversation the other day with a very Godly woman I know - she remarked that what we're doing is very biblical...selling everything and saying yes to what God wants us to do. We talked for a few minutes about how obedience like this is so hard because it goes against much of what the world would have us believe is wise, and that it's one thing to SAY you trust God, but it's a completely different story to actually step out in faith and ACT on that trust. Selling everything we own BEFORE we actually have all our monthly support lined up has certainly felt like an act of trust for us.  As we look back on the last 12 years of our life together and the things God has brought us through it is obvious that He has led us here, and at the right time. And because we are sure of this, we have no other choice but to trust Him, even though we have every logical reason not to according to the world's standards.

After receiving our most recent statements from The Great Commission Foundation we felt both so excited and a little deflated at the same time. Of course, it's amazing that God has provided so much for us through your generosity and obedience to Him in giving to our ministry. But in our humanness we feel the fear creeping in when we see just how far we have to go, and in such a short time. We believe that God will provide for us since he's called us to this, but at this point it's hard to see how that will happen.

Here's a snapshot of where we're at right now (as of June 20th):

We fly to Romania in under 2 months and we're at the halfway mark to our monthly support goal. We have some reserve in our ministry account, thanks to funds raised at our fundraiser and thanks to some awesome one-time donations, which we are SO grateful for! However there are many expenses we have to cover with this reserve once we arrive in Romania and we have to pay for the cost of shipping some necessities to Romania ahead of us (our winter outerwear, English books, etc.). Based on our most recent statement, we can't afford to dip into our reserve account for any monthly expenses and so reaching our monthly support goal is pretty important.

Essentially, we need approximately $1500 per month more in order to just cover our living costs in Romania (if you'd like to have a look at a more detailed budget, please CLICK HERE. Some of the amounts are an estimate, but it will at least give you an idea of the breakdown of our expenses).

The remaining amount we need to raise is $1500/month. That's 75 people committing to $20/month, 30 people committing to $50/month, 15 people committing to $100/month, or 10 people committing to $150/month. We know, it sounds crazy to us too, but we're trusting that God will provide both the people and the funds to support us so our immediate needs are met in Romania as we do His work there.

You might have some questions about our financial needs or how all this support-raising stuff works. We're asked a lot of questions about fundraising, so here's our attempt to answer some of the questions we get most often:

Q: If I want to support The Bakers on a monthly basis but not start actually giving until they leave in August, is that possible?
A: Yes! If you plan to support us monthly but start your monthly support in August, you can actually register as a donor now without giving a cent until the date you choose! CLICK HERE to set up a monthly automatic donation. If you register now that helps us immensely because then we know we can count on your donation come August.

Q: What if I can't commit to monthly donations? Can I still make a one-time donation?
A: Yes! One-time donations get deposited into an account with The Great Commission Foundation and we can use them toward our monthly expenses if monthly donations are low, and they're also used for covering ministry expenses, travel expenses, etc. CLICK HERE to make a one-time donation.

Q: Can I get a tax receipt for my donation?
A: Yes! All donors who donate over $50 per year will receive a tax receipt issued by The Great Commission Foundation.

Q: What if I can't donate right now but I plan to later?
A: That's great! You can contact TGCF and arrange for a post-dated donation (send them a post-dated cheque).

Q: Can I just sign up to receive your newsletters and partner as a prayer supporter instead of supporting you financially?
A: YES!! We would love to have people committed to praying for us every day! If you'd like to join our list of prayer supporters, please EMAIL US with your email address and we'll add you to our list! You can also sign up for our email list by CLICKING HERE.

If you have any other questions we haven't addressed, please just email us and we'd be happy to answer any questions you have.

Practical Needs:

- We're looking for a rolling, carry-on size laptop bag to help us transport our computers and other electronics to Romania safely. If you happen to have one you're planning to get rid of, or know where we can get one at a reduced price, please let us know!

- We're going to need some help to clean our house before we leave it (washing walls, wiping out cupboards, cleaning windows, etc.). If you love to clean and would be willing to lend an hour or two and some elbow grease it would be so helpful and would save us having to pay a cleaning company.

Prayer Requests:

- Please pray for our kids. Specifically for how they're coping emotionally with all the change in their lives and for peaceful, restful sleep for them at night (and for us!).

- Please pray for our physical health over these next few months. We're feeling worn out and a little run down, and it's important that we're able to hit the ground running when we arrive in Romania as there is much to do in the first 2 weeks we're there. 

- Please pray for our financial needs. We are well on our way to raising support but there is still much more we need to raise in the next 2 months.

- Please pray for buyers for our 2 vehicles. We really need to sell both our van and Jerry's truck before we go so we can buy a vehicle as soon as possible after our arrival in Romania.

Click here to make a donation online!


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