8. Doubling and tripling our investments

ebook: Our balanced attack -- How Nazarenes finance world evangelism (part 8)

This ebook by Howard Culbertson was originally published by what is now The Foundry for the Nazarene mission book series under ISBN number 083-411-4186. It is presented here with some updating of the content.

How much are you now giving to missions? Would you like to give two or three times that much? Good news. It's already happening! How? Well, every dollar you give to the Nazarene World Evangelism Fund is being multiplied. Let me give you an example. Some time ago, I sat in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, reading the weekly mail. I opened an envelope from Bible Literature International. Out fluttered an $8,000 check. Stunned, I grabbed the letter and began to read. The check was for us to buy 10,000 New Testaments.

Sometime earlier I had run across Bible Literature International's name and address. As mission director, I wrote to ask for help with Scripture portions to use in evangelism.

BLI president Jim Falkenberg wrote back. They had a backlog of pending requests, he said. However, he did ask me to send a proposal describing what we could use, and our plan of distribution. When I got his letter, I thought: Why not ask big?

So, I wrote him a proposal for distributing 10,000 Creole New Testaments. We could buy those New Testaments in a paperback edition for 80 cents each from World Home Bible League. Amazingly, that cost even included shipping into Haiti. I asked Bible Literature International for $8,000 to purchase those 10,000 New Testaments.

Months passed. I heard nothing. I decided our request had been for naught. Then, here came Jim Falkenberg's letter: "Enclosed is a check for you to purchase 10,000 New Testaments."

Holding that check, I sat dumbfounded. How could these people trust us? They didn't even know us! Or so I thought. Later, I discovered they worked with Nazarene missionaries in several other parts of the world. Not only that, but several employees in their Ohio head office were Nazarenes. They did know us. They knew we could be trusted.

World Evangelism Fund put us on the field. This group then channeled the distribution of 10,000 New Testaments through us. Furthermore, a year and a half later they came back and gave us the funds to purchase 15,000 more! Nazarene World Evangelism Fund money didn't buy those New Testaments. This wasn't even Nazarene money. Yet, it was multiplying the effects of Nazarene World Evangelism Fund money.

Hot lunches multiplied

When we were in Haiti, missionary Bill Dawson was in charge of our Compassionate Ministries. Every year, in the late spring, he used to sweat a bit. You see, that's when TEAR Fund let him know if they would be helping our Haiti hot lunch program for the following year. TEAR Fund, based in Great Britain, is the relief arm of the European Evangelical Alliance. Its name comes from the first letters of the words "The Evangelical Alliance Relief." For several years, they poured nearly $100,000 annually into feeding Nazarene schoolchildren in Haiti. Suppose they decided at the last minute not to continue helping us. Where would we find the money to feed those children? You can understand why Bill worried.

They did eventually phase out that aid. But for years, they came through. TEAR Fund people trusted us. The relationship was perfect for both groups. They wanted to help children. Nazarene schools in Haiti have lots of children: 25,000 of them. The TEAR Fund didn't have to spend its money putting staff people in Haiti to oversee and direct a feeding program. World Evangelism Fund pays many of the administrative costs such as maintaining missionaries on the field. By picking up some of those costs, we got an additional $100,000 annually. World Evangelism Fund funds were being multiplied.

Compassion International, a large Christian child sponsorship organization, pours in even more money to Nazarene schools in Haiti. They spend close to $300,000 annually helping with Nazarene schools, multiplying what World Evangelism Fund money is doing. They are helping in similar ways in India and other countries.

When people give to Christian organizations, one of their concerns is how much of the money winds up at the need. Nazarenes need not worry about that. For us, it's not a question of how much will get there. Rather, it's a question of how much multiplication will occur along the way!

Free buildings

In the fall of 1987, we spent an evening with an independent missionary family who were also in Haiti. During the meal, another missionary, Art Clauson dropped by. As we talked, he asked if we had any use for a Butler metal building.

Art, who serves with the Church of God, told us that a company in Canada had ordered four large prefabricated buildings from Butler, Inc. These were buildings using large steel arches covered on the roof and walls by painted sheet metal. Butler built the buildings as ordered. Then, before the ordering company took delivery, it went into bankruptcy. Butler found itself with four custom-made buildings and no customer.

Someone within the Butler organization convinced the company to donate these buildings to a nonprofit, charitable organization. Those buildings went to the Christian Reformed Church, which then began looking to give them to someone working in Haiti.

Just prior to that, we missionaries in Haiti had been tossing around some ideas for expanding our clinic/dispensary building. Only a year earlier we had doubled the floor space of that clinic. Now, with greatly increased numbers of patients, we needed even more space. We also needed classroom space for our new village health worker program, plus more office space. Unfortunately, we hadn't come up with a satisfactory expansion plan. Nor did we know how we would raise the funds for construction once we figured out what we wanted to build.

Then, out of the blue came this offer of a building. We began sketching ideas to use it for solving our space problems. It quickly became clear that this $30,000 Butler building would give us more floor space than we had dared dream about.

World Evangelism Fund put us in Haiti. We were running a medical project and carrying out other programs. Thus, we had a valid need for this building. The new building, which surprisingly was a two-story structure, also had room for a large X-ray machine that a Nazarene layman in California purchased in a bankruptcy sale. Not only did we get the building, but we were able to supply it with some new equipment. God is multiplying Nazarene resources in unbelievable ways. He's on a "matching" basis with us!

Free literature

The year 1988 was very special for Nazarenes in Haiti. A 12-month evangelism and expansion push in Haiti launched what would be a Caribbean Region island-by-island focus. The major goal was to reach 95,000 full members in the Caribbean by 1995. Haiti's special year of emphasis was 1988. District superintendents and missionaries in Haiti set all kinds of goals under an umbrella theme of "Haiti '88." These goals included opening work in 88 new villages, running eight citywide crusades across Haiti, organizing two new districts, and ordaining 28 new elders.

As we began gearing up for Haiti '88, I knew we could use large quantities of literature in those special outreach efforts. I remembered a group called Scripture Gift Mission. While in Italy, we had excellent relations with their British office. They had supplied us with hundreds of tracts and Scripture portions in Italian.

So, I wrote their Canadian branch to see if they could help us in Haiti. They responded that 1988 was their centennial year. In 1988, they were going to celebrate 100 years of existence. So, they were looking for some special project to celebrate those 100 years of ministry.

Ultimately, we agreed on several programs to distribute 100,000 Scripture portions. That meant 1,000 portions of Scripture for every year of their existence. They trusted us. Scripture Gift Mission has worked with Nazarenes in several different countries for many years. They knew we would use the literature exactly as agreed.

World Evangelism Fund funds made possible the big Haiti '88 push. With funding assured for the basic program, we were able to attract lots of other hresources, including those 100,000 Scripture portions from Scripture Gift Mission.

Non-Nazarene Short-Term Mission Trip Teams

Nazarene Mission Teams (formerly called Work & Witness) have been a tremendous part of our balanced attack. Hundreds of Nazarenes have experienced the Lord at work on a mission field.

To Nazarenes on some mission fields, a short-term mission trip team possibilities means more than just Nazarene groups. Other groups believe in what we're doing. So, they send teams to help on Nazarene projects. A couple of years ago a Reformed church group spent a week in Haiti, building benches and pulpits for several Nazarene churches. Youth for Christ has been especially helpful to us in Haiti. A dormitory on the campus of Haiti Nazarene Bible College stands as an example of their contributions there.

World Evangelism Fund giving put a full-time Mission Trip Team missionary in Haiti. Thus, we can respond when other groups offer their help. Scott Hannay, who was a Nazarene Mission Team missionary in Haiti while we were there, helped set up a trip by LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas to Haiti.

Most of these examples come from Haiti. I've lived and ministered there. I know the details of Nazarene work there. Look elsewhere around the world where we're at work. There, too, you'll quickly discover many ways God is multiplying the Nazarene missionary dollar. Because you give, other groups and organizations are willing to invest in Nazarene missions.

In the early 1980s two missionaries in Haiti, Steve Weber and John Burge, made some proposals to the Alberta provincial government. As a result, we got a grant of $75,000 for medical, nutrition, and well-drilling projects. Earlier development projects headed by Walter Crow and the late Charles Morrow helped channel thousands of non-Nazarene dollars into Nazarene efforts.

In one recent year, Compassion International sent $1.3 million worth of medical supplies through Nazarene medical work in Haiti. Those supplies were shared with a dozen other organizations that have medical work in Haiti. We, of course, had first pick for our health center and rural dispensaries. These supplies helped stretch World Evangelism Fund dollars earmarked for medical work.

So don't hold back. It's not just the $1 you're giving. In the end, that $1 may wind up being $2 or $3. Some marvelous multiplication is going on. It's all part of our balanced attack. . . . [ continue reading

-- Howard Culbertson,
  Page:   ←Prev  | &n bsp; 1. Football and missions giving  |   2. Budget: A bad word doing good  things  |   3. We called it ge neral, but it's  very specific  |   4. Peanut butter and  jelly   |   5. The Nazarene Construction Company   |   6. I was hungry  and you gave me something  |   7. Giving more with less pain   |   9. Cleaning  out attics and garages   |   Conclusion  |    Next→ 

Giving away "stuff"

right arrow with words Next chapterThere's stuff in our garages and attics that could be put to use in global evangelism efforts. Those unused tools and musical instruments and wedding dresses can make significant contributions. . . . [ read ]

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