A $5000 Blessing!
Last night I wrote this report, filled in the tables, but did not have the internet to schedule the post. Since our income and expense reports come about 2 months behind, I only had through September to use. Today I opened my email to find October’s report in my inbox. I decided to add the numbers from October and reformat the first table. When I opened the form, I found that we had received a one time donation of $5000 in October! This is a huge answer to prayer! For October our income was 149% of our monthly goal. Yay God!!! This is a perfect example of God giving us what we need, like the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. There have been months that our Horizons account has ended the month at $0 this year, but God provides. It is His cash flow we are working with.
Louis and I pride ourselves on being transparent with people about our ministry. We want to share our ministry with you on all levels, including financial. Especially since we are always hoping to gain new financial partners. We are always looking for God’s provision through you all so we can invest even more into the ministries we have a passion for: high schoolers, training and curriculum development, church relations, parenting, and education, to name a few.
As this year draws to a close and we look toward those opportunities we want to focus in on, big projects we need to start saving up for, and regular cost of living and inflation raises, we have to raise our budget. Today’s report is a financial report, so it isn’t as fun to read as others, but we believe it to be a very important piece to share with you all.
This first table is a quick look at our financial situation throughout the year so far.
|Monthly Average Contributions||Contributions Total||Explanation|
85% Throughout 2015
|$7,289.83 to start 2016
11% of 2016 Total
|In 2015 our Monthly Budget was $5,502.50.
In September 2015 we were at 111% for our annual goal.
1st Quarter January – March
54% of goal
|The large drop in our average monthly percent is in part because of raising our budget for 2016, but in part because we have had donors begin to drop off who have completed their initial commitment to us.|
2nd Quarter April – June
|Half way through the year we were pleased to be also half way funded for the year.|
3rd Quarter July – September
|This leaves us with $11,056.68 still needed to meet our goal for the year.|
Looking forward, the following two tables are the budget sheets for 2017.
|Expense||Monthly Amount||Change from 2016||Explanation|
|Living Expenses||We have added Health Insurance (which under the ACA is no longer reimbursable for nonprofits) and the Minister’s Housing Allowance in addition to our salary.||While the money comes to us in one paycheck, we want to be clear about the expenses we plan on having, so we added these two as separate categories.|
|Salary||$3,642||This is a 13% raise.||Our Member Care told us that we should be raising our salary about 5%-10% each year. We have never raised our salary above the minimum allowed by the board until this year. All of our budget raises in the past have related solely to ministry expenses.|
|Health Insurance||$600||This is a new category. We have been paying for health insurance for Louis and David this year, but in 2017 Annie and Kyrie will also be eligible, finally.||We are getting international health insurance that will cover us in any country.|
|Minister’s Housing Allowance||$1195.70||This is a new category. Louis is ordained and commissioned, but we had not filed the paperwork to officially be able to take the tax deduction at the time we wrote our 2016 budget.||We used what we actually spent this year to create this part of the budget. Beneath this Staff Budget we have included the Annual Estimated Expenses for the Minister’s Housing Allowance for you all as well.|
|Social Security & Medicare||$415.98|
|Total Living Expenses||$5,853.68||We only receive this amount after taxes, and if there is money in our Horizons account, so our salary is approved by the people giving in support of our ministry and time here in Lebanon.|
|Reimbursable Ministry Expenses||These are the expenses for which we are able to receive a reimbursement from our Horizons account.|
|Visa Trips||$828||We combined the categories that equal up to visa trips. We have increased the budget for Kyrie who will be required to purchase a seat in 2017 and to account for an annual trip to America.||While the paperwork will hopefully one day work out for us to be able to stay in country for longer than three months at a time, currently we have to leave every three months. We do not take vacation days in Lebanon, but use 3 trips for family retreats and 1 trip for partnership development.|
|Conferences & Meetings||$50||Same as 2016||This monthly plan of $50 allows us to attend a conference each year and the Horizons Staff Summit every other year.|
|Postage & Printing||$25||Lower than 2016||Mostly we use this for receiving care packages and mailing out prayer cards during our partnership development month.|
|Ministry Meals & Gifts||$85||Lower than 2016||While this culture is one of gifts, and we do take people out to eat often, we prefer to use our salary and not try to keep reimbursement files of what business was discussed.|
|Supplies & Materials||$15||Lower than 2016||Mostly we use this to buy supplies for administrating the three guest houses here in Lebanon.|
|Total Reimbursable Ministry Expenses||$1,003||Lower than 2016|
|Administration Fee||$685.66||10% of the Total||This is the overhead fee Horizons takes out automatically when someone donates to our account.|
|Total Monthly Staff Budget||$7,542.34||This is $2,600 more per month than in 2016||We decreased our reimbursable budget significantly because the way our taxes work out now it is much easier to get paid in our paycheck for a great many of the ministry jobs we have instead of turning in reimbursement forms every few days. So much of our regular day to day life is reimbursable that we have been unable to manage the paperwork it would take. By taking the appropriate steps we are making decisions that are good for our donors.|
|Worksheet for Estimating Housing Expenses for the Minister’s Housing Allowance||Annual Estimated Expenses||Explanation|
|Housing Rental Payments||$8,400||This is our rent, but the owner could raise it any time he wants to, or charge us a renewal fee.|
|Generator||$574||Generator electricity. We currently pay for the 5amp generator, which is the lowest and cheapest available.|
|EDL||$621||Government “good” electricity. This is the only electricity we can wash clothes, heat water, or run A/C and heaters with.|
|Garbage, Common area electricity, etc.||$492||We pay for several services in one lump sum each month, which we have finally begun to grasp the full range of with the Arabic we now know. Feel free to ask for more information.|
|Internet||$750||Our internet is not unlimited, but is not the worst (although that is a matter of debate between the two of us at times).|
|Skype||$45||We refill our minutes as needed and now can use Skype to call American phones.|
|Phone||$360||We keep this cost down by using WhatsApp instead of minutes the majority of the time.|
|Structural Repairs & Maintenance||$200||We do not get to choose what gets repaired or maintained outside of our apartment, so we were blessed that these were only $200 in the year we used to pick these numbers. However, in the time since we turned in this form we have received the bill for elevator maintenance done in our building, and that alone cost $220 due before we leave for the States.|
|Gardening, Landscaping, & Pest Control||$575||This year we spent $500 creating a garden space on our balcony and pest control costs $75 each year to get our apartment sprayed. We were blessed they have stopped using the pesticides that force us to stay in a hotel for the night, and we were able to stay home during and after the spraying. This is a new thing for Lebanon to have safer pesticides.|
|Furnishings, Decorations, & Cleaning||$570||Bringing Kyrie meant that we had to buy her furniture. We plan on upgrading the kids to beds in the next few years as well. Davy sleeps on a fold out couch right now and Kyrie in a crib still.|
|10% Allowance for Unplanned Expenses||$1,304.40||So smart that the tax form includes this. Hopefully we will not have to use it.|
Please feel free to ask us any questions about our budget. Annie is our budgeting queen and is ready to clarify and help you understand our budget. Just because we write the budget does not put that money into our account. Horizons does not pay us unless our partners put the money in our account. You are our partners, our shareholders. You are the ones that make this budget possible or not.
We need more people joining with us financially all the time. We want to share this ministry with you. Please Give by CLICKING HERE. Put Louis Liss in the memo.
For those of you still reading, perhaps because you skipped past all those tables, we are fully relying on God for this budget. We know He will make it all possible. If the opportunities we are getting most excited about start to become realities there will be a great increase in work and it will be self-starter, entrepreneurial work which will require a strong support team backing our passions. Join our Prayer Team, Annie’s Blog (for moral support and accountability for her), and our Surgery Fundraiser Team (to help us cover the expenses of this surgery and the trip surrounding it).