Financial Update: May

The purpose of this post is to share the numbers, but I want to share the heart behind the numbers as well.

Before we came back to the States in December, I posted an overview of our budget changes for this coming year and our progress for 2016.

Since our return to Lebanon we have been having some paradigm shifts as we look at our future in Lebanon.

What Does a Term Look Like for the Lisses?

Initially we came with a 2 year goal in mind. We were coming with an open ended plan, but for my sanity and the sake of those we were asking to join as partners we said we were coming to Lebanon “For at least 2 years.”

Those first 2 years were nothing like we thought they would be, and full of so many joys and sorrows. For instance, the first 2 years after being sent out, I was only in Lebanon for a year and 3 months. When we came back after my unexpected year in America we decided to add a year to our first term and truly complete 2 years in Lebanon. It has been so full of changes and adjustments, that it doesn’t even really seem like it has been 3 years, while simultaneously feeling like it has been a decade!

Through prayer we have decided that Louis is going to dig in for another 3 year term here. We have new goals, and we believe 3 years is a good amount of time to get dug in on those goals and to continue our ongoing work. With this decision made, we can shift our fundraising to a bigger picture view. Rather than just focus on one month at a time, we can look at the whole 3 years and work toward the goals for our budget, while planning in some of the ventures we hope to be starting.

New Opportunities

We are getting involved with our local church. They recently bought a center of their own, and we are hoping to be able to work with them as well. In order to be able to truly commit to them it has become apparent that we will need a car.

We have finally achieved our goal of making our home a place people will visit! We are going through our coffee, cakes, cookies, and water at a rapid rate, and it is so exciting! We love having people over to have the personal conversations not meant for an office, and to allow our family the space they need instead of dragging the kids around.

Arabic has been going so well, and we are recognizing the different ways in which we learn and the different topics we have to learn the vocabulary to speak well. In the upcoming year Annie is going to enter a student role to learn some new skills and also in Arabic to break the plateau effect in order to begin speaking.

Louis got a promotion because he has been doing three jobs worth of work. This is great, and we are also seeing ways we want to expand our ministry as he grows in competence and leadership here.

The Numbers

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.

Basic Financial Goals

$8,239.05 per month

Currently Pledged: $2,742 per month (33% of Monthly Goal)

2017 So Far

January

Contributions: $2,848.97 (35% of Monthly Goal)

Salary: $3,317.80

Online Giving Fees: $19.74

Administration Fee: $284.90

Balance in Account at the end of January: $1,871.91

Total Contributions so far into 2017: $5,494.35 (6% of 2017 Goal)

1 New Partner!

February

Contributions: $2,432.26 (30% of Monthly Goal)

Salary: $1,599.89

Reimbursements: $1,595.84 (Ministry Expenses in America)

Online Giving Fees: $17.17

Administration Fee: $243.23

Balance in Account at the end of January: $848.04

Total Contributions so far into 2017: $7.926.61 (8% of 2017 Goal)

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. Write Louis Liss in the memo.

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 sign up to meet with Annie while she is in America to hear about everything we have been doing the last 3 years in Lebanon.

Dates are Posted: Get Your Appointment with Annie

On Our Way Home for the Summer!

Annie and the kids are coming back to the States for the summer to fundraise for our new budget for this next term of missionary work in Lebanon.

CLICK HERE

to set up a time to meet with Annie.

This may be too soon for most of you to be thinking about July and August plans, but for some of you out there reading this you know the dates you will be traveling already. I now have the dates I will be traveling and I want to be able to see as many of you as possible for this summer in the States, so please do not hesitate to sign up.

Ways that you can help out now:

Talk to your pastor about a day and time I could come and share about our work in Lebanon and needs.

Invite a few people who you think may be interested to have a small group sharing instead of one on one with you.

Talk to your Bible study or small group about having me come and share about our missionary adventures.

Set up an appointment with me so I can share with you personally.

Here’s how it works:

First, click the link and it will take you to a Google Calendar. The dates I will be in the States are June 27 – August 21. If you book an appointment early enough you will see a screen that says, “There are no appointment slots available until Jun 6, 2017 with a link to look for appointments further ahead. Click that blue link and it will take you to the dates I am available to meet with people to talk about Lebanon.

Second, scroll through the calendar to the dates you know you are free. Some of the days I already know which city I will be in, but some are entirely open so far.

Select one or multiple slots depending on how long you would like to visit for, or if you want to include a meal in the visit. Once you click on an appointment slot it will ask you to fill in details. Here is where you let me know who you are and which city you are in. This is a planning tool for me, so it can be changed as we get closer and adjusted for real times then. You do not need to use this area to put contact information because the appointmenst are public on this calendar, so just your name and city are enough for me to plan for.

Based on the plans I have made so far, I have given all my free time as appointment slots on this calendar. I do not truly intend on spending every slot meeting with people, but this is a good starting point for me, so please don’t hesitate thinking you will be taking away my time. I am coming to see you! You are an essential piece to what we are doing in Lebanon, and the people willing to take time to hear from me will be doing me a great service. Thank you for your prayers and caring for us!

If you didn’t click already, HERE IS THE LINK to make an appointment with me this summer!

10 Days & Counting! America, Here We Come!

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I really love this picture of Davy looking out over Lebanon and seeing the song he made up, “Our City”! What a beautiful moment.

If you want to receive our contact information when we get American phone numbers for the month we are in the States, make sure you are on our email list by CLICKING HERE!

This week we so appreciate those of you praying with us. If you are on our prayer team (which you can join by CLICKING HERE) you have been receiving detailed prayer requests straight to your email each day. Next week we are going to continue praying about these same 7 topics, and I will report a little bit on what we prayed about this current week. If you would like to receive our prayer letters in your email, please CLICK HERE!

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Our fundraising site for Kyrie has been such a success! Because we budget to travel every 3 months and this trip comes after only 2 months, and it is much more expensive to fly to America than Cyprus, our budget is struggling to manage this lurch in timing. On the site we asked for people to provide meals by either having us over to eat or by bringng a freezer meal to one of our parents’ houses. However, the link has not been working for people. Please don’t despair. You can just send us an email or comment below and we can coordinate with you. If you would like to give toward the travel costs and appointments surrounding the surgery, there is still time to donate on the GiveForward site (you can give on the site up until the day of the surgery, December 28th).

food

Of course, if God is putting it on your heart in these times of prayer to join with us financially for a one time or repeat donation to support our ministry here in Lebanon, the high schoolers and visitors we hope to increase our time with and curriculum for and the expenses of life, you can always become one of our financial partners through the Horizons Donation Page, which has many options for joining with us as well. Just put Louis Liss in the memo. This will go towards our future here in Lebanon.

The final plug I have for today is about an upcoming Writing Challenge Annie is putting on. The purpose is to kickstart the blogging habit in the New Year. If you would like to Join this FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge, CLICK HERE! If you want to follow Annie’s blogs through this challenge so you can pray and stay up to date during our month in America, or if you are hoping to finish that Christmas letter by February, or if you also want to kickstart a writing habit for a journal, prayer life, or blog, this Challenge is for you, too! Please join Annie. You will only get the Prompts if you CLICK HERE! The Challenge begins December 15th!

One Week of Praying for Your Missionaries in Lebanon

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Davy Overlooking the Mediterranean

Hello again! Liss Family here. We have two weeks left before we are back in America for a month of holidays, family, and Kyrie’s surgery. In our ministry and lives, we are at a turn in the road. Therefore, as a family we are taking the next two weeks to pray and fast for 7 areas in our lives. We would love for you to seek the Lord along with us on these topics.

Monday    TRIP TO AMERICA

Tuesday    NEW MINISTRY GOALS & JOB DESCRIPTIONS

Wednesday    TIMING

Thursday    PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Friday        SCHOOL CHOICES

Saturday    RESIDENCY

Sunday        LOSS

We will be fasting in our own ways. The kids will be fasting dessert. Annie will be fasting snacks, and on Thursday fasting Breakfast and Lunch. Louis will be fasting a meal every day, and 2 meals on Thursday. We invite you to fast with us on these days if you are led by God to do so.

If you would like more specific prayer requests sent to your inbox each day, please CLICK HERE to give us your email address, and join us in praying this week in preparation for the Liss family’s return to America.

As part of Annie’s culture shock processing, she is running a FREE 21 Day Writing Challenge. The purpose is for anyone who hopes to have a habit of writing, and will include directions for creating a family blog simultaneously with a Christmas Letter for this year. For those of you who are a part of our prayer team, or would like to be, this Writing Challenge will be a great way to pray for Annie and the family while they are back in the States as she shares about culture shock and challenges.

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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Good News! (How often do you get to say that about finances?)

We are over halfway funded for the year!

62% Total of our $57,000 Annual Budget

66% Pledged of our Monthly Budget of $4750

Give a One-Time Gift or become a Monthly Donor by clicking HERE.

Write Louis Liss in the designation.

As we have been in the States fundraising again, several conversations tuned me into an aspect of our accounting that I had not realized could give us a new point of view. Each year there is a total amount we have as a goal as well as hoping to have monthly donors. Therefore, we are adding a new piece to our funding report. Along with our monthly amount we are taking how much we started the year with in the account and adding to it the amount we have gotten from January to the current month. At the end of the year we hope to have raised $57,000 each year to cover ministry expenses and salary. With this new perspective added we are already at 62% of our annual goal. We started the year with $14,816.61 left in our Horizons account, and have added $20,352 total from then until the end of April. We remain at 66% of our monthly pledges needed to fulfill our monthly goal continuously.

If you would like to see how the money is divided up in our projected budget for the year CLICK HERE.

To see how the finances are adding up this year CLICK HERE.

Kyrie Rebekah Has Arrived!

Now two weeks old, we have finally had the time to sit down and write to you about what has been going on the last few months.

The last time we sent out a newsletter Louis was in Lebanon working with the youth, the team, and some visitors from America and China.

Louis came home February 13th, just in time for Valentine’s Day, and we have been going since then.

The season of Lent kept us busy at our church here in the States, staying connected, building relationships, and teaching Davy about this season leading up to Holy Week.

TIROSH was March 19th – 21st, and since Annie was ready to pop, she decided to help out (secretly hoping to induce), so that she would be with Louis the entire time. In addition, Davy helped each day. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and teaching Davy about ministry as life, rather than ministry just being a part of our lives.

Just before Holy Week, Davy got a stomach virus which he passed along to Mommy. Because of the due date being literally the next day, when Mommy was vomiting violently on March 27th, her doctor told her to go into the hospital triage to get checked. In the hospital we were informed that Annie was having contractions every four minutes, and she was dilated. But after a few hours, Annie still really not feeling the so-called contractions, and rehydrated from the IV, we decided to go home to see our little boy.

2am March 28th, Annie woke up with pain increasing, and by 7am the contractions could not be denied any longer. At contractions 3 minutes apart we headed to the hospital, and at 1:30pm Kyrie entered the world!

When we went home, the stomach virus that had seemed to miraculously disappear had remained with Davy, so we spent Kyrie’s first few days home trying to keep Davy from sharing drinks, trying to figure out pediatricians, and trying to let Carol/Cadee/Louis’ mom rest because she had also gotten the virus. Also, it was Holy Week!

Davy’s homeschooling curriculum had a whole unit on Holy Week, we did the Resurrection Eggs as a family, and he was really excited to celebrate at church. He can tell the whole story of Jesus from Palm Sunday to Resurrection, and so it was fun to take him to church for Palm Sunday, for him to bring the Palm Leaf cross to Kyrie in the hospital, and each of the services throughout the week. Louis preached for Maunday Thursday. Davy even got to do his first cross nailing, where he nailed his sin of hitting to the cross. It was a really beautiful and special time for our family, and we were very glad to share it with Kyrie. Several times during the week Davy shared the story of Jesus with Kyrie, and he is really showing how great a big brother he is and will continue to be.

We are so excited ot be returning to Lebanon in May, God willing. We have a huge summer planned with teams, new staff, and continued language learning.

Prayer Requests:

  • Kyrie has to have a minor surgery before we can begin planning our return trip to Lebanon, so pray that we can figure out insurance and timing without stress.
  • We have several teams and individuals coming to visit Lebanon beginning in June, so pray for us to be energized to help with the planning and training pre-arrival, and be ready to hit the ground running when we return to Lebanon in May.
  • Annie is healing well, but her hips were pretty beat up during the pregnancy and delivery, so prayers for continued healing.
  • The original purpose of coming back to the States in November was to finish fundraising and we are still only 2/3 funded.

Funding Updates

Some of you have been faithfully paying attention to our financial updates, and you have emailed me about my lack of updating them for the last two months. I am finally caught up, and have gone through our tracking forms. We have had some pledges decrease and some huge increases throughout our time in Lebanon, and so I ask that you pray for those nameless few who have had crises in their lives, deaths in the family, and reasons that they could not continue to give.


    So, I am adding the updated funding information to our blog (Click Here for past updates) and it will also be in our monthly newsletter. October and November are the two months I am adding, so if you would like to pray over our finances, this can aid you in your prayers. In addition to having baby Kyrie, a main purpose of our being in the States is to finish our fundraising and we believe God can have us fully funded before we both head back.

    October 2014

Current Pledges: $3,094 / $5,026 per month
62% of our Monthly Goal

October Income: $3,075.00
Expenses:

Payroll: $4,009.68
Other Expenses (Online Giving): $20.90
Administration: $307.50
Total Expenses: $4,338.08

October 31 Account Balance: $12,415.65

November 2014

Current Pledges: $3,094 / $5,026 per month
62% of our Monthly Goal

November Income: $3,330.00
Expenses:

Payroll: $2,871.02
Other Expenses (Online Giving): $8.10
Administration: $333.00
Total Expenses: $3,212.12

November 30 Account Balance: $12,533.53

    In the upcoming months the checks that people have given us will also go into our account, as well as the donations from churches we visited. We will also have the expenses of Louis’ trip back to Lebanon and our fundraising tour through Arizona and Colorado. As always we want to keep you completely aware of the details of where the money is going. If you want to understand more about our $5,026 per month goal Click Here for our itemized budget.

Baby Update

In this post:

  1. Thank You
  2. Gender
  3. Due Date
  4. Name
  5. Health Insurance
  6. New Contact Information For Us
  7. Coming Soon…

First of all, thank you to everyone who has been able to take time this holiday season to see us amidst everything you are up to. Thank you to everyone who has helped us set up events to share about Lebanon and hopefully gain some new partners. We have so much hope for our family return because of these essential times of reconnecting with all of you and feeling your love. Thank you for all your prayers, donations, food, hugs, stories, and listening.

We have been rushing around like crazy to see everyone and do as much fundraising as possible before Louis leaves on December 29th to go back to Lebanon. As always, you, our faithful team have been caring for us in so many ways. One thing we have not stopped to share is the details about our upcoming baby. Mostly because we just haven’t had the time, and so we wanted to take time to share with you all we know about this upcoming baby. There are so many things that you all have been asking us, so we want to answer as much as we can, but if you have any questions please leave a comment on the blog or reply in an email and I will happily get back to you. We love you all so much, I put the outline of what will follow so you can skip down to any information you want to know.

It’s A Girl!

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Due Date

March 28th, 2015 is the official due date.

Last time our doctor wanted to induce earlier due to Davy’s size and since the healing process took a long time we want to follow any advice in that direction as we get closer, so we are keeping an open mind for the two weeks prior as well. And Louis will be back in time for Valentine’s Day, February 13th he lands in Phoenix, so he will have plenty of time to be here when we have to go to the hospital.

Name

Kyrie Rivkah Liss

Yes, there is a lot of story behind her name that we will share more of in the upcoming months, but we will start with just the definitions of the name. The Kyrie is a liturgical song, it is Greek, meaning Lord have mercy. Rivkah means Rebekah.

Health Insurance

We have health insurance beginning January 1st. We opted to start out with out of pocket so that we could start having doctor’s visits, and the ultrasound since we are already over half way along. Beginning January 1st all three of us will be covered until we are one month away from leaving. Then we will be switching to Good Neighbor Insurance, which specializes in missionary insurance. Once again, there is a lot more information some of you might be interested in, and I am happy to answer any questions. Just shoot me a message.

Liss Contact Information

Whether about any of this information above or anything else we want to stay in touch with all of you, but since getting back we haven’t had a very good way to get our contact information out there. If you do not receive our emails CLICK HERE. We don’t want to post all of our information on our plublic blog, but it will be emailing out with our newsletter.

Coming Soon…

We are working on some business cards and brochures with Horizons which we will be able to offer soon, and would really appreciate if all of you would take a few to share with friends and help get our work out there to some new people who might be interested in coming out to help, or funding our being in Lebanon. As we continue to prepare for baby, we still need to get enough for our monthly pledges in order to be 100% funded when we go back. Our budget will be changing slightly as we reevaluate what we actually need on each line item, and include newer expenses. Stay tuned, and email us if you have any way of helping us with fundraising or just want to know more about how everything works.

Preaching, Open Houses, and Meals Galore

If you haven’t had a chance to see Louis and Annie yet, and you are in Arizona, there is still time!

Today, Saturday, December 13th is our last Open House. It is at Louis’ parents’ house in Tucson, AZ. 2552 W. Ruthann Dr. from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. We also have a list in the sidebar of our blog which shares the churches we are speaking at until Louis leaves at the end of December. We want to see you!