At present our support level is at about 55%, which is no problem because we serve a BIG God and He knows exactly our needs. I’ve once again started spending endless hours emailing everybody I know, asking them for $20 a month. Then I started thinking about why we are a great investment. It’s a good question to ask because why should people give us money to go and live in another country and totally depend on people for our survival?
So here’s 6 reasons why we’re a good investment:
1. We’re in it for the long run.
Travelling to East Africa every year is easy. You’re there for a couple of months, have quite a few comforts and know even if it’s tough there’s an end date for returning home. While this has been great, the effectiveness of your work is limited. The only way for a community to be developed is for people to be on the ground long term. It’s going to take us about a year to get used to how things really work, settle into our home and then another few more years before we get a good grasp on Swahili. While Rome wasn’t built in a day, we’re realistic that time is what we need to devote to our work.
I just read this quote from Paul Osteen who is a short term medical missionary currently in Zambia and it rang true for us:
The fact that wherever there was a significant, lasting work for the Kingdom, there were these kind of people faithfully serving. People who have stayed the course. People who have run with perseverance. People who have fought the good fight and have not given up. People who have put their hand to the plow and not looked back.
2. We’re honest and respectful.
I’ve always taken the aspect that we are stewards of what we’ve been given and it’s not really our own. Whether that be counting the offering at church, taking donations for water projects, working at the office from home, studying individually or using supporters money in the most effective way.
It’s this respect for others that has taken us a long way. If someone gives money for a particular project e.g. a camp for kids, then that’s what the money goes on. I’ve always taken accountability as a good thing, not something to be feared.We’re an open book about our finances and try to be the best stewards as possible.
3. We’ve got the goods to deliver.
We’re not going to Kenya because we have something to prove, to feed our egos or show people that we have something to prove. Pete’s 49 and I’m 43, if we haven’t got over ourselves by now then there’s something seriously wrong! It’s not actually about us at all, it’s about serving the leadership of Afri-Lift and bringing what we have to the table. We’ve learnt a lot and have some skills that can strengthen the work there. When the rubber hits the road, we’ve got the assets to make a difference. We are confident not because of our abilities, but because of the God we serve.
4. We know what it’s like to live with much and little.
When we came to Sydney nearly 11 years ago we did so with $3,000, no jobs, nowhere to live and knew one person. We lived for 9 days at the backpackers, Pete got a job within 4 days and we started over again. We had to go and buy a pot and some plates and cutlery to cook with. That one pot did an amazing job. Since then we’ve been to the other extreme where we’ve been able to bless people who were in need and even fly people to Australia for holidays. Personally I prefer to have much rather than little, but regardless we’ve learned to be satisfied with either.
People often quote the scripture in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” When you read it in context, it’s about living with lots and with little.
It’s about knowing who is the source of everything you have – Christ.
5. This is our calling from God.
While it shocks most people that we intend to go to Kenya for 20 years, few are shocked that we’re actually going. It’s been over 25 years in the making. There is no other option for us. Anything else would be dead set boring! It’s not like we’ve heard some voice from Heaven saying ‘You should give up everything and go live in Kenya’. It’s a knowing, a journey, an unfolding plan. Sure, there’s scriptures but they are more an extra bonus along the way. Are we called – heck yeah!
6. We’re tax deductible.
Okay, so it only matters for this if you live in Australia. What people don’t know is that to get tax deductibility status is a nightmare. Only about 1/4 of those who run charitable services actually get this status. Over the years we’ve built a good relationship with Global Development Group in Brisbane and now partner with them. What it does say is that we are credible and so is the work we do. They keep us both financially and project accountable. They visit us on the ground and make sure we’re doing what we said we would do. Every 3 years we have to submit a business plan and every 6 months a project report to see what we’re up to. These guys have really high standards and we’re proud to partner with them.
To reach our target goals, we need your continued support. It would be great if everyone who ‘liked’ our work on Facebook or read our blogs/newsletters/tweets transcended that into a few dollars. It means that we can achieve so much more. I’d love to have annual camps for kids who live in poverty, develop more youth leaders, hold more seminars and host more visiting teams.
Here’s an easy way to give:
Account Name Afri-Lift
Account Number 235873
IN NEW ZEALAND:
Account Name Pete and Sharon Crean
Account Number 03-1509-0037038-025
Please use your name as the reference so we can track your donation. If you live outside of these two countries drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I can tell you the best way to support our work.