Will we have to close the doors?
Yesterday, a few folks from the church (our local church in Spain) came by La Mesa Turquesa community center to visit and see what it was all about. We shared in front of the church when we opened in April, and we frequently share about upcoming events during church announcements, share photos on Facebook, etc. We shared that we need donations and volunteers. But many people from the church still haven’t come by the center or volunteered or checked us out. So we were excited!
They were interested in all of the goings on and in what we do, who uses the center, and how it works. They know our work with the church and other initiatives in town, but the center is fairly new. Billy was sharing with them the fact that a local internet provider is donating internet to the center as a service. Mari* said, “That’s good. And the building is donated, too, so that’s great.”
“Umm, no, that’s not how it works”, Billy replied. “We pay rent on the space. We pay the rent, utilities, and taxes to keep the doors open. We pay for everything EXCEPT the internet.”
Mari and the others were surprised. Somehow, she had gotten it in her head that this was all free and that our team was just working in the free ministry space. Well, maybe that explains why we only have one local monthly donor helping with the center!
It’s not uncommon, really. We share about the work we do all the time. We share with folks here and with folks back in the States. We are always fighting to keep our finances in check and keep our expenses to a minimum. We ask for support and partners so that we can keep doing what we do. But people don’t always hear or see all of what is going on or how it happens. And they don’t really think about what it takes to keep all of the ministry initiatives going. Sure, it takes a team of cross-cultural mission workers to live here and run the center and to do the outreach, to teach and lead and share. But it takes more than that.
It takes a budget.
Just like your home and your business have to have income to function, mission workers and ministries are no different. Your church has an operating budget, too.
Our work requires a monthly budget of $10,500 to keep all the wheels running smoothly. It’s not much compared to your company budget or church budget back home. That covers the community center work that we do with refugees, immigrants, and the community. It covers the outreach events that we put on each week. It covers bible studies and neighboring initiatives and activities with youth from the school. It covers our presence in the field: housing, utilities, vehicle expenses, maintaining visas, legal fees and government fees in Spain. That budget also covers the work we do to care for workers who come to stay in the La Posada care apartment for debrief, care, and counseling. It covers our travel to train other workers, or when we respond to a crisis on another field and go in to assist. It covers a lot of things! We manage to stretch a small budget over a lot of ministry work and needs.
A friend recently told me, “I thought you got paid to do the missionary care work and to be the team leader and to lead the trainings that you do all the time.” She was surprised to hear that we do all of those things out of our budget… the budget that we have to raise each month.
During a conversation about stepping out in faith, a local friend in Spain said to us, “I thought the church (in Spain) pays you to work here and do things in the community.” He was shocked to find out that we work by faith and the donations of others and that we are not paid by the church.
We raise 100% of our monthly budget. 100%. If donations run short, we have to cut expenses. Just like in your home in the USA, when the paycheck runs out, you have to cut back. Groceries get tight and all non-essentials get shut down. If you have extra one month, you put it away in savings.
Lately, we have run short. A lot short. We’ve had several months of low account balances. Several reasons: People haven’t kept up with donations over the summer – vacations usually make a few people withhold their financial giving. Others have had to cut back or stop giving for various reasons. We had some big expenses when we opened La Mesa Turquesa community center (The Turquoise Table) – it takes cash upfront to put up deposits for rent and utilities and outfit a ministry space. We had some big expenses when we traveled to the USA to share in churches and see our donors and connect with more people who might support the work.
Bottom line, we’re running about $2000 short each month right now. That’s a big hit. Huge. There are only so many cuts you can make and still keep things going.
The gravity of the situation is this –
We want you to know the seriousness of the situation and we want to be transparent about what is going on. We are reaching out to any and all possible means of support at our disposal, both locally in Spain and in the USA. We are cutting back on expenses. We are working on a shoestring budget and trying to keep everything going. The last thing we want to do is cut our ministry and outreach initiatives!
How can you help?
If you are not a monthly donor, this would be a great time to start! Your monthly support of any amount is greatly needed. We have monthly donors who give $10/month. We have others who give $20 or $50 or $100 or even $300/month. It is all wonderful, no matter how much! Go to www.tms-global.org/give and click on the Give to a Missionary box. Type in our name (Drum) and acct #0321 and join us as a monthly partner.
If you are already a monthly partner, you are a superhero! Thank you for your faithful giving!
If you are a member of a class or group, could you share our work and ask your group to partner with us? Sunday School classes, office groups, clubs... anyone could decide to become partners with us and take us on as their special project! Go to www.tms-global.org/give and click on the Give to a Missionary box. Type in our name (Drum) and acct #0321 and join us!
If you have been a partner in the past and you dropped off or took a break, now’s your chance! Jump back in and join the team again! Go to www.tms-global.org/give and click on the Give to a Missionary box. Type in our name (Drum) and acct #0321 and join us again. Come back!
Don’t want to be a monthly partner? Would you consider covering a specific expense and helping us out?
For example, could you help cover our expenses for an upcoming required training in January? ($2300 for all three of us to attend) Or help to cover Sarah’s school books for this school year? ($200)
Maybe you would like to help by paying for a worker to stay in the La Posada care apartment and receive care and counseling for a week ($280) or by covering a month of the rent on the community center ($600)? Any amount you can give would help us cover the expenses incurred in doing the work we do. Go to www.tms-global.org/give and click on the Give to a Missionary box. Type in our name (Drum) and acct #0321 and give any amount to help with the expense of doing work and ministry overseas.
Thank you for your prayers, for your support, and for considering how you can help. We need partners who are superheroes - people who care about the work that is happening overseas and want to be a part of transforming neighborhoods and communities and people's lives around the globe.
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In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!