We are very excited and thankfulto the Lord for how, this week, after eleven years in different faith support ministries, He has provided through His people the full amount of regular monthly financial support for our ministry budget! Though we’ve answered these questions as they have come up, you may be wondering, “What is your budget in dollars, and how did you come up with it.”
We were shocked when we first heard of a family budget of $6500/month to do ministry in the part of the world we are heading to, but have since learned that that is normal for a family of six. In fact ours is slightly higher at $6646/month. The obvious question, and our own initial response was, “That’s so high! Why so much? We don’t need nearly that much money to live on!”
We learned that our personal salary, $2,495, is only part of that budget – about 38%. This is basically our pay check: the income we live off. But our budget includes an additional $2,150 – 32% for ministry expenses. Just like a church has expenses besides the pastor’s salary, we also have travel expenses and equipment and supplies for our work. And finally there are taxes, retirement saving and medical/life insurance for the final $2001 – 30%.
These numbers take into consideration the actual cost of life and ministry in Asia Pacific. This budget allows us to save for the cost of flights and visas from our regular monthly budget so we are not stunned by sudden large expenses. It also makes provision for retirement so that our supporters can fund new missionaries when we are no longer able to serve, without the complication of our financial dependancy.
One of the things that we like about New Tribes Mission is that 100% of gifts toward our ministry go toward our ministry without deductions for administration etc. Office workers also raise their own support and operations costs are covered by donations to the general fund.
But the real answer, I suppose, to the question of, “Why does it cost so much?” is that the 2200 people groups who are left to reach are hard to reach. Around the world there are political, religious, and in our case geographic challenges and it’s going to take a lot to reach them – but they are reachable, if we are willing to partner with the Lord in his work and do whatever it takes.
Below is our personal Approved Monthly Ministry Budget: