'Tis the Season
No, not that season! The Spring Break season! In March and April, we will assist 9,000 people in building homes for the poor in Mexico. At an average of 20 people per project, that comes to 450 homes in just under nine weeks, an average of 50 new homes every week! That means fifty families each week who will no longer live on a dirt floor, sleep on wet mattresses when it rains, or lose all their meager possessions to thieves. It also means 450 families who will find new intangibles in their lives--time to attend a local church, hope for a future, and because of those, a sense of the God who made them and has provided a clean, durable, safe house for them. That house and hope are made possible by the work of our mission trip participants, and equally by your support of my ministry here. Thank you, both from myself and from the recipients of these great blessings.
End of an Era
I don't know if I've ever mentioned the fact to many of you that I haven't owned a car in 10 years. I simply didn't feel the need; it has been easier to spend $50 a month on the bus and trolley than $130/month on insurance, $100/month on gas, thousands in initial purchase, $635 in state taxes, plus assorted maintenance costs. I happen to have concrete dollar amounts because I am now the proud owner of a 1998 Nissan Frontier Kingcab XE! A coworker of mine was generous enough to sell his very clean pickup to me, once I asked him every day for a week and came up with the price myself. :) I'm trying not to feel guilty about such an "extravagance".
There has been a distinct trend in my life in the past year or so to shed some of the "moonlighting" activities I've been involved with. I haven't been to a robot-combat event in some time now. I also don't expect to do anything with my Shakespeare company this year. Some of that is due to my personal need to prefer new things and activities; I tend to seek change pretty religiously. But another big factor is that I have my work cut out for me here at Amor, and I love doing it! Therefore, I don't feel the need to pursue ten different hobbies outside of work; five is enough. ;)
Working as a missionary isn't about the money. Given my skills as a computer programmer, I don't think it would be hard for me to make three or four times what I do at Amor, if I were to work for a for-profit company. However, I made only $32,000 last year for a reason beyond mere altruism. Like most of our staff, I raise much of my own support; however, your financial contributions go to Amor Ministries; I receive a salary out of that income. It would be difficult if, for example, one Mission Trip Coordinator made $25,000, while another doing the same job made $75,000, due to having raised more support. For this reason, each position has a salary ceiling; if I were to raise funds above my ceiling, the excess would go into a salary pool, and help pay staff who aren't yet at their ceiling. It allows us to keep more people on staff in a more equitable fashion.
The reason I'm telling you all this is: in February, our Board of Directors met and approved an increase to my salary ceiling. Instead of $35,000, I can now receive up to $48,620 each year! Now that I have the new truck, this is providential timing. :)
'Til Next Time
I can't thank you all enough for your continued support. Having been at Amor for ten years has allowed me to see just how powerful your prayers can be! Much has changed, but because of your prayer and involvement, the people of Mexico continue to find hope in Christ. We recently had a meeting with our pastors in Mexico, where we dedicated this Spring Break season to the Lord. It was a wonderful opportunity to speak to them about matters other than lumber and nails; they are all looking forward to the opportunities this ministry will bring in the next few weeks--opportunities to save not just bodies from the cold and rain, but also to save souls from the despair and hopelessness of life without Christ. Thanks from them for your time and care.
My work address, as always, is:
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