April has been an unusual month. I think most of you reading this letter would agree with that statement! For our family, many of the same things have continued, but the effort to accomplish them has grown exponentially. We have continued to raise financial support, continued ministering to those around us (in the digital world), and continued our training for our new ministry in The Gambia.
Starting with a financial update, a couple more monthly supporters have joined our team this month bringing us to a little over 81% of our budget. The remaining monthly ministry need is now down to about $1,300 a month. Our outfit and passage one-time support has continued to grow to a total of $38,000. Our total outfit and passage budget is $67,000, so God will supply an additional $29,000 in one-time gifts prior to our departure.
April was supposed to be a very busy month of travel to various mission conferences at churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York. Unfortunately, those events were canceled and so presenting our ministry at churches has become difficult. It seems that our scheduled meetings with churches in May will likely also be canceled. God is steering us in a different direction to find the remaining 19% of our supporters, so our focus has changed to mostly individuals and families for the near future.
Ministry has also changed a bit. All our meetings have turned online, and Zoom has become a good friend. Patrick is going through a book called The Case for Christ with a small group via email. Even though we all would like to see our lives, go back to normal and be able to gather in person, God is still fulfilling His purposes!
Our Wednesday morning Bible study group on FB Messenger
Training was also significantly changed this past month. We were supposed to be attending Field Prep Seminar (FPS) for two weeks at the ABWE headquarters. Due to the virus, the training was held online via Microsoft Teams. It was an unusual experience, but it turned out better then we had expected. This seminar was our final training before heading to The Gambia. ABWE requires five clearances before leaving for the field and training is one of the biggest. Completing the FPS will allow us to obtain that clearance at the required time. The primary thing left is the last 19% of our monthly support and the final outfit and passage.
This is where we need your help! We need individuals and families willing to join our team as monthly partners so we may begin our ministry in The Gambia this year. Those of you who are already partners, will you consider inviting a friend or family member to join this team? With already 46 individual and family supporters, it would not take long to find the remaining team members with your help. Who do you know that might want to reach Muslims with the gospel?
Pray that God will raise up the remaining 19% of support so we may depart for The Gambia this year.
Pray that God would use this coronavirus for His glorious purposes and that we would cooperate with His plan.
Patrick, Michele, Alyssa, Danielle, Luke