Serving as Senders: Financial

NOTE: With summer being our busiest time in charge of interns, summer visitors and teams, we got a little mixed up with the weeks. Week 4 is Financial, Week 3 was Logistics.

Week 4: Financial

This week is the topic that most people think of first in missionary sending: money. Yes, missionaries need money, and many of us live solely on support. In Lebanon it would be extremely challenging to be tentmakers (to have a job that funds the mission work) because of the hours we keep at the center. We are always praying for God to send us the people who He has given the money for our account. It is extremely humbling for me to be receiving a paycheck that I work very hard for, but also to ask people to fund that paycheck. I am so appreciative to every single person who does give to our account, and of course the first application for this week’s chapter is to request you to pray about joining our financial team by giving each month. We have people who give yearly, quarterly, monthly, and others who give a different amount each month based on the other people they are supporting. We are thrilled just to see the list of names each month. Annie prays over each name as she copies them into our own tracking form. Thank you all who are already on this team.

CLICK HERE if you would like to donate, and write Louis Liss in the designation memo.

However, giving money is not the only way to help with our finances. A huge gift to us and to others you are sending who are seeking financial support is to share their story with others. You know people we don’t know who might love the Middle East, refugees, children, people. You can share about what we are doing and fundraise for us. As Annie shared, Easter baskets were auctioned off for us this past Easter. Similar fundraisers have raised awareness of what we are doing, kept us connected to our Arizona community, and put money in our account.

Raising our budget is rarely for our own benefit. By raising our account numbers we are more able to increase ministry, purchasing resources, and aiding with schooling beyond our own household. There is so much here, but I also want to keep this short, so as you are praying about your own part on our financial team, please feel free to ask about anything that comes to mind.

This week Annie posted a story that came from summarizing our financial report for the first 6 months of 2016, CLICK HERE to read that story.

In living lives fully on support of others, we are humbled and honored to serve alongside those who give each month. The questions that Neil Pirolo asks in the book about Senders being wise about where their money is going, we take extremely seriously.

  1. Is the money you give going for what they say it is? Annie is in charge of posting our financial report each month, which we use to make ourselves accountable to all of you who read the blog and receive our newsletter. This first six months we have not done this, and have had several people ask about it. Thank you. Thank you for keeping us accountable, for checking in on us. This is all a part of being on our financial team, not just giving money, but helping us manage our finances as well. If you ever have questions or ways in which we can be even more transparent about how the money is being spent we are happy to work to answer those questions.
  2. Is the project or missionary service really hitting a decisive point of battle for souls? This is a resounding yes in our case. This is an important time in Lebanon for the refugees. This is the worst refugee crisis since WWII. We are seeing people accept Jesus into their lives almost every single day. We are discipling hundreds of people who are new believers. There is a huge shift in the way church is being done in Lebanon, and we are right in the thick of it.
  3. If your cross-cultural worker is going out through a US-based organization, what is the US administrative/filed use ratio of the mission’s funds? 10% of everything donated to our Horizons account is kept for US-based administration. This and many other questions that Neil Pirolo asks we are happy to answer, and proud to be a part of an organization that does take less than 20%.

This short reflection is just a peek into the financials of our lives, and if you are interested to know more, please ask. We would love to have you on our team.

Jesus frequently uses questions to help us understand His teachings. Each week we have three questions for personal reflection. Use these to help guide and challenge your own personal application for the section.

1. Is God challenging me in my own finances to live more simply or humbly?

 

2. Are there others in your life who are in the process of adapting to a new lifestyle?

 

3. Are there areas in finance that you are skilled or knowledgeable in which could help others in your community, church, or missionaries?

 

Financial Update Halfway Through 2016

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Kyrie helping with the logistics of laundry.

 To Give, Click Here, and make sure to write “Louis Liss” in the memo of your checks or credit card designation box.

January 2016 – June 2016 Summary

55% Funded for 2016

Average Monthly Income: $4,247.79

Current Pledges: $3,017.33 / $4,941.50 per month
61% of our Monthly Goal

Year To Date: $32,776.54 / $59,297.96
55% of our Annual Goal

2 New Donors

This isn’t a glamorous post, but there are a few people out there who have been asking for it. I finally had time to sit down and pull all the financials together for our year to date, so I am posting those. The above summary has several neat stories, so I will share one with you.

DSC_0884 (2)Our rent is paid every six months in one lump sum. Through the transition of the person who was in charge of paychecks, a different person who pays our rent for us, and miscommunication that is common to every marriage, the money was paid in rent and then again to us in salary. This left our account with next to nothing in it. All of the details are stressful, but one detail many of you are already aware of is that we don’t find out our account standings until 1 ½ to 2 months later, so it was two months after this occurred that I discovered the discrepancy. But any frustration was unnecessary since God had already taken care of it through several special donations that happened at exactly the right time to keep our account with a “buffer” amount which we keep in the Horizons account for emergencies. It was an incredible way that God showed me how much he truly does care for us more than the lilies of the field.

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Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. The logistics which Louis shared about last week can truly be a breaking point for many a missionary without help, and you all are such a help to us in so many ways. This year has had the potential to break us in many logistical ways, but through the faith and prayers and fundraisers that come with more prayers and fun stories and cards and gifts and love, we have been able to move into a state of thriving. It is hard to explain the immense love we receive from little things, but to know that someone made an Easter basket for the church auction in honor of us was so overwhelmingly loving that the money was just bonus. Or another person who gives their pledge each month, and then at the end of many months adds on a few more dollars that they have left in their budget. These reminders of your love and presence are a great boon to us when we are feeling lonely and homesick. We love you all so much. Thank you.

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