I want to start this entry with trying to explain my financial situation to you in more detail. I placed an entry on facebook a couple of weeks ago about needing some support money for my work as a missionary in Chimala. The post brought with it lots of questions. When I first began as a missionary, I was quite confused as well. Terms and differences between support & workfund; over-seer & supporter.
Supporters are you! Any individual or group who partners with me to continue the work in Chimala. The largest number of my supporters are individuals with a few churches helping as well. My home church, Memorial Road church of Christ, is my largest supporter in terms of dollars. However, all my other churches and individuals added together make up almost the same amount.
The over-seer is the individual or group who is ultimately responsible for the missions' success. New York Avenue church of Christ in Arlington, TX is the church which over-sees the whole work at Chimala Mission. A lot of people believe that NYA church pays my support. They do not, but they do support me with a monthly donation. I also report to them and they approve the things I am doing.
Work fund money is what I use to perform most of the activities I do at the mission. For instance, pay salaries to those who work with me, purchase medications for clinics, provide Bibles for those who want to study the work of God, fuel to perform my duties, internet/phone expenses, etc. I am currently using $2,100/month ($25,200/year). This is where MRCC supports me the most. The rest comes from other churches and individuals. I do not pay taxes on the work fund money.
Support money is how I live, like my paycheck. I do pay taxes on my support. So with this money I purchase clothing, shoes, pay for doctor/dentist/eye exams, pay my taxes and misc. Occasionally I am able to put a little aside for when I come home. Many times, my work fund runs low or there are more needs than what I have budgeted for, so I spend my support for those items. I am currently putting 9 children through school and most of those funds come through my support. Another thing I do is purchase supplies for the hospital while in the US, pay for my plane tickets and travel expenses while trying to raises support in the states. Again, these items could be paid for through my work fund, but often I use support. I am using $3,500/month for this fund.
I have said all of this so you understand better. Basically, I just need help financially to continue this work. I use $5,600/month. This may sound like a lot of money to you, however, together, we help so many who are in need. It is through this work we help to fulfill Matthew 25:31-46. I do not like asking for help. I pray that you can see the benefits of this work through my updates. I also pray for God to open doors and hearts for Chimala Mission.
If you have any questions or concerns about what I have just said, please do not hesitate to e-mail me with them.
But the true answer to the above question: "How do I survive financially as a missionary" is through our Lord! He makes everything come together to accomplish the things He wants us to do. Praise the Lord! and thank Him for you and me and our ability to use our gifts to help His people.
The hospital continues to be blessed by supporters who wish to assist us in improving our services to the community here in Chimala. We are the only hospital located directly on the highway in this area. Due to our location, we treat many traumas from accidents. Last year we had a total of 462 vehicle accident patients. We also had over 350 fractures/dislocated joints. Currently, we have a room called "minor theatre" which is our equivalent of your emergency room. This room only holds 2 exam beds with minimal space to work around one of them. The other bed is up against the wall with only access on one side. It is amazing to see how the staff here works together with such a small area to care for so many. Sometimes we have more than 40 accident victims at one time.
We wrote about our need for a trauma center/ER. God opened the hearts of some of our Christian family. We received support for a new trauma center. We have now completed the building of this center/room. This room is located right at the entrance to the hospital instead of on the other side of the building. This will be much more convenient and allow for a quicker response time for the injured. This room is large enough to hold 4 exam beds (or two exam beds and 2 stretchers) with plenty of space for access to each patient. We will also have an area for a desk/chair where the doctor/nurse can do documentation. Below is a picture of our new room.
We are now beginning to stock this new room with supplies and plan for opening it the 1st of March!!! We cannot begin to thank you, our supporters, enough for partnering with us to provide better services to our community. We praise our God every day for His blessings given to our facility. In the picture above you only see 2 beds. This is because we plan to use 2 ER stretchers for the other 2 beds. Those stretchers will be shipped to us from America in the next month or two. In the meantime, we will use two of our current stretchers.
Our current minor theatre will now be used for dressing changes, OB/GYN cases, minor procedures, cast removal, etc. Last year we had over 600 c-sections which needed dressing changes and 317 OB/miscarriage complications. All of these procedures are also handled in the minor theatre.
As you can see by these numbers, we are a very busy place. Here is a picture of our small minor theatre.
Can you believe this is the room we have been using for all our ER patients!! Only slightly bigger than a normal doctor's office in America!
Last time I told you about a new mama/baby clinic. This month I would like to give you some more numbers for this month. We are very busy! Kapunga clinic: 326 babies/14 pregnant women; Mapongala clinic: 212 babies/16 pregnant women; Matebete clinic: 156 babies/0 pregnant women. So....in three days we weighed and gave vaccines to 694 under 5 children!!
Last month, I shared with you pictures about our potato and maize crops on the mountain along with the tree farm. We some not so good news is we lost all of the potato crop. So sad....they say it was due to too much rain and fog. We had over 15 inches of rain in January.
We are also continuing to look for partners to help us with the project. As I mentioned before, we are in need of a tractor and some other farming implements in order to grow this project and help our mission with projects to help us become self-sustaining in the long run.
NEW LADIES BIBLE CLASS
I have been so busy with the hospital since I came here that I have hesitated to start teaching a Bible class. However, last year when I visited one of our area churches I felt like God was pulling at my heart. (I often think about how God/the Holy Spirit guides us down one path or another.) So I returned to visit this church a second time and had the same feeling. So at the first of February I started teaching a Ladies Bible class which includes teens and up. I have noticed that most of the sermons here are on the New Testament and very few have Bible studies. We are starting at the beginning. The ladies seem very interested and are making many good comments and asking good questions. Please keep these Ladies and myself in your prayers.
Thanks for taking time to read our update. We appreciate your prayers and support. More to come in March! Know that this work is helping many who are in need and much work is happening which I do not write about. May God continue to bless us all.