Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!
While many of you are packing and traveling, we are looking forward to a nice, low-key Thanksgiving this week. We'll be home for all of the holidays this year and are looking forward to enjoying this time together alongside our community here. We pray you stay safe in your travels, and enjoy your time enjoying family and reveling in gratitude.
We just wanted to send a quick update to go alongside the print newsletters that most of you will have in your hands this week. We are sill tracking down some addresses, so yours may be on its way shortly. Definitely shoot us a line back if you didn't get one yet and want one. They also include our new, Clementine-inclusive, prayer cards!
In our newsletter and in our last update we have shared about the financial crossroads we are at. Now that we have a clearer grasp on the situation, we want to be really direct about where we are.
Here is the bare bones, gut honest details of our finances:
In May of this year we were able to increase our shared salary from $25,000 a year up to $36,000 a year based on a number of one-time gifts that had accrued.
We needed and hoped for about $1300 in additional monthly gifts in order to sustain that salary after December. Not only have we not gotten that additional monthly support, but we have lost some support and that buffer ran out in November.
Without any increase in our monthly support, as of January we will need to decrease our shared salary to $22,000/year. Needless to say, as a family of five, we cannot meet our needs on that amount.
So we are at a crisis point in needing to increase our support. We are at a crossroads in figuring out how to meet the ongoing and increasing needs of our family in the years to come. We want to be a faith-filled family who obeys God and trusts Him to meet all of our ongoing an unexpected needs. We also desire to provide stability for our family. The balance of that is tricky.
We don't feel called to leave. We don't feel called to give up on ministry and just take on full-time paid jobs. We do have some opportunities to pick up some side paid work to get us through rough spots, but that is always at the expense of turning away requests from people in need in our community.
So many people already give so faithfully and sacrificially for us to be able to be here and do this work. We know that we are loved and cared for. Thinking about that and knowing that so many are in financial crisis of their own makes it hard to ask for help. But we do, unequivocally, need a greater foundation of supporters moving forward.
We need givers and prayers and we need advocates. The giving and praying request to each of you is simple --- if you are able and willing, please do.
As for being an advocate -- would you consider sharing about what we do with someone else you know who may be willing to build this support foundation for us?
Maybe you know someone who has a heart for the inner city or is passionate about heathy birth or who has a soft spot for addicts. Would you consider sharing our newsletter with them? Or invite your Sunday school class to collect spare change for a month. Or have a bake sale. Shoot, any idea you have is a good one as far as we are concerned!
We are desperate, so we are humble. God has done "beyond all that we could have asked or imagined" in such amazing ways for us in the past. We know that it's a lie from the pit of hell that His favor is just going to run out for us one day. We covet your prayers and your help as we wait on Him.
As we look forward to Thanksgiving this week, I'm keep finding myself singing the words to a song I love … "A thankful heart prepares the way for you, Oh God." What a great way to lead up to Advent --- dwelling in thankfulness, expecting his arrival. This is where we are hoping and resting today, and we pray that joy is yours as well!
With love and blessings,
Frank, Elizabeth, Selah, Callum & Clementine Varaso