Random things I’m thinking about…
We are currently starting week 2 of our Home Missions Assignment. Tomorrow (July 4th) Liz and I get on a plane and head to Atlanta for four packed days. We’ll be able to connect with 5 families while we are there…two of whom we have not seen in about 15 years and one more than 20.
So while the travel and the support raising can be challenging at times, reconnecting with friends is encouraging and energizing.
Pray for Dublin
Usually, in Ireland, the talk is about how much rain they get. However, recent news stories are about drought conditions. Recently the greater Dublin area has instituted a ban on washing your car and watering your lawn. In addition, they have been dealing with much higher than normal temperatures. And while it is hot here in the States, we have an abundance of fans and air conditioning…In our place in Ireland, I’m not even sure the bathroom fan works.
Here’s an article from the Irish Times: Fears for autumn and winter water supply if the drought continues
Please pray that we get some rain in Ireland and that there is a break in the heat soon.
One of the good things about being on a trip like this is being able to sit down with people, share what we are doing in Dublin and answer questions. Newsletters & blog posts are nice but extremely limited. And we always figure if one person has these questions, so do others.
One question we hear is about our salary. For example, “Now that you are Director of Marketing for Communitas, do they increase your salary?” Like most missions organizations, our salary is completely dependent on what we raise from financial partners. We do not receive anything from Communitas that we have not raised.
Another question had to do with why we currently need to raise additional support. There are often various factors, but 4 that are big for us right now:
1) Cost of Living…over the years (and we’ve been here 6) things become more expensive. We’ve shared about the rapid increase in housing in Dublin. Recently Dublin was listed as the most expensive city in the Euro Zone for Expats.
2) Exchange rates...the value of the dollar has been about 10% lower than it was 18 months ago. Since we are paid in the US, it means we are getting much less when we transfer into Euros.
3) Ministry Expenses...As the ministry in Ireland grows, it means there are more costs. While we still keep things as minimalist as possible, those expenses come out of our support as well.
4) Attrition…People’s situations change. Job cutbacks, changing family situations etc mean some people who have partnered long-term need to stop or cut back.
I hope that is helpful. Let us know if you have any other questions.
Over the past week, we’ve been in Lake Michigan and Lake Erie, and have driven along Lake Ontario. Having not lived here for a while, you can forget how impressive the Great Lakes are. I love walking along Dublin Bay in Clontarf, but these lakes aren’t a bad substitute!
Final 2 Weeks
After our upcoming trip to Atlanta, we will be exclusively in New York…if you are in Ithaca, Rochester, Albany, NYC or Long Island, please let us know if you would like to connect.
We are planning to do a drop-in dinner someplace in Ithaca on the 11th…we’ll post more when we have the details.
Thanks to all who have been praying for our trip! Looking forward to seeing a few more of you before we head back to Ireland!