Saturday, January 15, 2011

Haiti Q & A: How are you paid for teaching in Haiti? Part 1

Q. How are you paid for teaching in Haiti? or Does Mountain Top Ministries pay you for teaching in Gramothe?
A. I am a true missionary this year, meaning I am financially supported solely by the generosity of other people. I took a leave of absence from my job teaching reading in Indiana. While not officially unemployed this year, my paychecks stopped in the middle of August. I am volunteering my time to Mountain Top Ministries, but in order to live in Haiti (or anywhere) there are expenses that must be covered. Without an income, there's no way that I can pay for food, housing, or other expenses that come up. In order to have money for these expenses, I needed to raise support.

It can be difficult to wrap your brain around the concept of "raising support." Basically what I did was write a letter that A) explained why I decided to leave my job in Mishawaka to teach in Haiti and B) invited people to partner with me in several different ways. I asked people to pray for me regularly, financially support me, and/or send packages of school supplies if I needed them. I sent this letter to pretty much everyone I know, and then I waited for their responses. In addition to sending letters, I also contacted several churches and groups to see if they would be interested in supporting me. I was able to share with several congregations and small groups about my hope to live and teach in Haiti. I also created a prayer card, which is kind of like an over-sized business card, with information about how to financially support me on the back.

 Sometimes it can take missionaries years to raise the support they need to leave the United States. Thankfully I had many positive responses in a very short period of time. By the end of August I had enough support to leave for Haiti. When I arrived in Haiti during the first part of September, I had nearly 80% of the financial support I needed to live in Haiti for the entire school year. God has been faithful to provide for all my needs since I arrived in Haiti, and I'm happy to report that as of today my financial support is at 88%. I only need about $3,000 to complete my support.

If you are interested in supporting me as I teach and touch lives in Haiti, you can give tax deductible financial gifts to Mountain Top Ministries, a registered non-profit. Just send a check to Mountain Top Ministries at P.O. Box 7053, Terre Haute, IN 47802. Write the number "0500" in the memo line and the office staff will be sure to put the money in my account.

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