Friday, January 29, 2016

The finacial reality of serving cross-culturally - sharing another's post.

Wow, this has explained in detail so much of what has been hard for us to communicate clearly.  Thank you to Wordpress blogger "Peterson1205" for doing all of the work. This is a ministry to all of us working cross-culturally. This context is El Salvador but it translates well to Kenya.  It is hard to explain to someone why we need to raise so many funds to live in the slums on Nairobi.  We can relate to this budget on so many levels.  In fact, even as I write this, it has been hard to explain how we need to raise $25,000 for a vehicle for when we go back in six months.

We continue to feel that the Lord wants to use us in great ways, working overseas in Kenya.  The Lord continues to provide for our daily needs and we are extremely grateful.  We live on a very conservative budget, yet our incoming donations do at times fall short of our monthly needs.  While we have some extremely generous donors, we believe that many people do not realize the financial cost of ministering overseas and managing through the needs on a regular basis.  If you want to understand the reality for many of us serving cross-culturally please click on the link below and read.  I hope this sheds some light that might allow for the Gospel to go out further through the work we do or even as you consider supporting others.  

Link:

Why the heck would a Missionary need so much money to live in a poor country?

Some excerpts:

The myth of a cheap life overseas
“I heard that the average person in xyz country makes $300 a month so if we give you $1500 a month your family you should be able to live like kings.”

It seems ironic that the corporate world sees the necessity of paying people who move overseas to work a larger salary, while the church does the opposite.

We would invite you to have an honest conversation with the missionaries you partner with. Are they operating on an adequate budget like the one we detailed? One that allows them to focus on the ministry task at hand? Or are they in a situation where more effort goes into keeping their head above water than pushing forward in the ministry.
So a missionary in San Salvador needs to raise $111,705 to have a similar standard of living as a family of 4 living in San Diego making $65,000 a year. This does not even cover any funds to be used for ministry. 
Having a decent car is much more critical in El Salvador than in the US. Breaking down in the US is a hassle, but breaking down in El Salvador can put you in serious danger. Also the driving here is very aggressive and you are much more likely to be involved in a high speed head-on accident. For the first time in my life I care if my car has airbags. Average cost in El Salvador for a 3 year old non-salvaged Honda CRV is $22,000; the same vehicle in US can be bought for $16,500."