Due to the generosity of a donor who has agreed to match any gifts that come in this month through support.cbijapan.org/cain, we have gotten more questions about how missionary support works than ever before. Hopefully the following will help you understand what your money does, where it goes, and how you can be of greatest help to us.
1. Longterm (annual and monthly) gifts are more helpful than one time gifts. One time gifts are great, especially because they are often significant, but MTW does not want to have to call us off of the field next year because we couldn’t find someone to give a gift of equal amount to one we received this year. For instance, a $20,000 gift one year can become a $20,000 burden the next when no one is found to make up the difference. So, we are looking primarily for people who are willing to commit to giving regularly for the next four years, whether that is a gift each year or each month. Knowing we can count on you for a full term (four years) gives us the ability to do our work without worrying about where the money will come from. After our first 4-year term is over, we’ll come back for a year to ask people to recommit and find others to replace those who cannot. That’s called Home Mission Assignment (HMA).
2. Only longterm commitments count toward our percentages. Right now, we believe our support is at about 32% of our monthly need. The way we get that number is by taking our monthly budget, which is based on our monthly living and ministry expenses, and figuring out what percentage of that money has been pledged for the next four years. When people give one time gifts, the percentage of monthly support does not change because we cannot count on that money in future months to help us meet our monthly budget. MTW sets benchmarks (like whether or not we can go to Cross Cultural training in July) based on the percentage of our monthly budget that has been met, and that is why long-term commitments are so important. We still need to get to 50% before July if we are going to go to Cross Cultural training.
3. One time gifts are still important. While most of our needs are ongoing, there are a few things that will be expenses for us only one time, or once per term. For example, buying furniture for our apartment or shipping our clothes from the US are one-time expenses. Attending Cross-cultural training or spiritual development training are one-time expenses. An example of a once per term expense is getting us to our Area Retreat once every four years. Any time you give a one-time gift, you’re helping to cover things like this.
4. So what should I do this month with gift matching? Ideally, we would love for you to begin your annual or monthly commitment by giving today at support.cbijapan.org/cain, so that your first donation can be doubled. If you would like to give annually, give your annual amount this month through CBI and make a note in the comment section that you would like for this to be an annual gift. Next year, we will prompt you to give through MTW. If you plan to give monthly, give your first month today in the one-time gift box and make a note that you would like for it to be recurring monthly. Next month, we’ll remind you to give through MTW instead of CBI. If you want to give one time, give today through CBI. If you’d like to give again in the future, you should give through MTW. The reason that giving this month should be done through support.cbijapan.org/cain is because the individual who is matching gifts is a friend of CBI. Gifts should come through MTW in future months because we need to streamline giving in order to make sure accounting does not get messed up.
5. Even the widow’s mite glorifies the Lord and advances his cause. No gift is too small or insignificant. When it’s done in faith and with thanksgiving, it brings glory to God and encourages us more than you will ever know. Thanks so much for your generosity toward us and the mission of God in Japan.