When I was with a large ministry for the first two years, I had a base of supporters. Groups of people came to serve on Medical Brigades almost every week so I had contact with a constant stream of people that saw and participated in what I did.
After I left that ministry and went out to follow what God put on my heart and not be restricted to only doing certain things (only concrete floors, nothing else), the support dropped off. What people don't seem to realize is that most ministries charge missionaries to be a part of their ministry. When my children were here, the ministry I was with charged me over $600. a month to "be a part of their turn key ministry". All that included was allowing me to participate in their ministry, and for my two children to attend their school. For a year or so they did let me use a ministry vehicle for which any personal use was billed at fourty cents per mile. Housing, food, every other expense was the responsibility of the missionary. They required a planned out budget, which included everything you'd expect to have if you lived and worked in the U.S.. For me their budget came out to about $2,700. per month. They constantly put pressure on me to raise that level of support.
The first week I was there, I had one of their missionaries tell me it would cost about $6,000. per month for me to be here. He and his wife lived in an exclusive area, had a nice four wheel drive truck, a new car, a full time maid, a full time gardner/guard, etc...
After that I had other missionaries here with families admit to me they had five or more thousand dollars a month in support. The most I ever had anyone admit to was $7,000. a month. And the ministry she was with required her to be at that level. I really got turned off to the business of ministry. The more I saw how they operated, the less I liked even being associated with it. They do amazing things. They help so many people. But, with the amounts of money they go through, I feel so much more could be done.
For one person to come from the U.S. and participate in a Medical Brigade from Saturday to Saturday, the ministry I was with charged airfare plus $700.. Then anything extra you wanted from a bottle of water/soda, a telephone call, to do an extra concrete floor, anything extra, they charged each person more for that. During the time I was there they built a million plus dollar new building and paid cash as they went. I mention that because before that, they were pretty much limited to bringing in groups of thirty or so North Americans per week for their Brigades. Now they have the capacity for more than double that amount.
So take an average of thirty people and multiply that by their base fee per person of $700.. That alone is $21,000.. the ministry takes in per week (and that's if only thirty people come). Add to that all the extra fees they come up with, the fees they charge their missionaries, donations they receive (They have a man that works full time raising funds. Of the few North Americans that are paid employees, he is the highest paid person in the ministry.) Those amounts of money boggle my mind when I think of all the needs that could be met with a budget like that. I live where paying to fill a barrell with clean water for a person (approx $1.50) is a huge blessing for them. They don't have the $1.50 to pay for a barrell of water.
Now I live on far less than the fee I used to pay. I have one monthly supporter and he sends me $25. per month. I have no other regular income. For everything else, I have faith that God will provide. That's how I've lived for the last two and a half years. I've learned to live completely on faith. I know that everything I have, right down to every piece of rice I eat, was supplied directly from God. God touched someones heart at a specific time for a specific need, they followed through on His direction, and here I still am.
Yesterday, the man that owns this house, was supposed to come back. A flight was delayed so he ended up all together spending two extra nights in the U.S.. He was frustrated but I encouraged him that God has a purpose for him to be there those extra days/nights. I also had to look closely at what more God had for me to do while I'm at this house. I knew he delayed Charley and kept me here extra time for a purpose, and I wanted to be sure I didn't miss it.
Charley has another house very close to this one. For this area, it is a relatively secure house. Charley told me I could probably move there when he gets back, but he hasen't given me a definite answer yet. He and I over the years have known of each other more than we have known one another. So I can understand that he might want to see how I've treated his home, and what the neighbors think of me before giving me his final decision. But, here I sit, knowing that in a few short hours I'll need to either move over to Charley's other house, or start looking for another place to stay. I've got everything I own in Honduras (except for a bed that's stored at a friends house and a motorcycle) packed into two duffle bags and a backpack. The backpack is loaded with what I'd need to make it through a few days in case I have to be looking for a place. And I could leave the duffle bags here untill I could find a place. I live completly on faith. Surrendered to God. Available to God. I know that all I need in this life is Christ. I've had people tell me "what about food and water? You need that." The truth is you don't. When you have Christ, you have all you need. With the Holy Spirit you are fully equipped to serve on earth for as long as God's Will keeps you here, and you are also fully prepared to go Home, to enter God's Kingdom at any time.
I'm not sure why I went off into all this this morning. But if you've read it you maybe understand a little more about my life.God Bless You All,