Where are you financially?
We have more than 50 supporters ranging from $10 to $250 a month ($86 average). We’re at almost 57% of our monthly goal, and, at this average, we still need another 38 monthly supporters.
We have a secondary goal we call our Launch Fund. All the money coming in now plus all special gifts go into our Launch Fund with the goal of raising about $80,000. We are taking a small stipend from this fund to cover expenses as we finish raising our support. The Launch Fund covered the expenses of us going to training this past summer. It will cover the costs of moving to Germany and learning the German language as well. For this goal we’re at about 25%.
Why do you have to raise your own support?
We know of only two or three mission sending agencies that do not require their missionaries to raise their own support. Both of these are run by denominations with which we have no prior relationship. All of GEM’s missionaries are required to raise all of their support. The United States has sent thousands of missionaries to the uttermost parts of the earth through this method.
There are two other aspects to us raising support that need to be mentioned. For one, raising support has forged our character and strengthened our faith. We would not be as prepared for the field we’re going to if we had not had this experience. Although it has been hard and has forced us out of our comfort zone time and again, it has been really, really good for us.
And the other, we can’t forget the impact this has had on those that are supporting us. This is a work of faith on their part as much as it is a work of faith on ours. In this same vein, Paul tells the Philippian church that they will receive the same reward in heaven that he will receive because they helped to fund his ministry (Philippians 4:17). The Lord honors and blesses the sacrifices of those that give to the work of the Kingdom.
Why do you have to raise so much?
We’re basically raising the funds to start a new business. On top of having to run a household and all its normal life expenses, we also have to raise money to cover everything else a business would cover for its employees. It covers the computers and other tech expenses that naturally occur when you’re working with new technology such as servers, test equipment, and software. It includes the expensive health insurance that a normal employer would at least supplement (our health insurance is extra expensive because the German government has mandated extra coverage as part of our visa agreement so we don’t wind up in their burdened welfare system). We also have to raise the funds to “rent” Jeff’s office space (these funds help cover the building’s utilities). We have to pay into a fund that will let us come back to the States every other year, plus that emergency flight home. And it covers Jeff’s travel around Europe as he has opportunities to use his gifts in Sweden, Ukraine, Ireland, the Middle East, and only God knows where else.
We hesitate to say the amount because it sounds like so much, but here it is: $8,568 a month. Roughly two-thirds ($4,629) of this covers our family expenses which when converted to Euros comes out to €3,533. This includes rent, health insurance, and the rest of life’s expenses. The rest goes towards the savings accounts and other ministry related expenses we already mentioned.
To sum up, once we’re fully funded and stay fully funded, we won’t have to go to people to ask for funds for some special project or ministry opportunity, and our family will be provided for at a lower-middle-class German income (also required by Jeff’s German work visa).
Why do you need to be in Germany to work with a tech team?
Can’t you do that from anywhere?
While it is true that some of what Jeff will be doing could be done from anywhere with an internet connection, there are many projects that require boots on the ground. For example, eDOT’s work helping Servants in creative access countries requires Jeff to be present as he helps to organize these conferences.
Then there’s the fact that we’ve been called as a family to be light in a dark place. The tech side of eDOT will be Jeff’s day job, but we will also seek ways be a light and to live lives that give evidence to God’s goodness and righteousness (Matthew 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12). We have ideas on how to reach the immediate area around us. Also and most importantly, we see this as a stepping stone into further ministry in Europe; preparation for something we can’t yet see.
Jeff was called to be a missionary to Europe at 15 years old and has been praying for God’s timing for 26 years. He was so sure of this call that he made Missions his emphasis at Calvary Chapel Bible College. He’s been on several short-term trips to Mexico, and he’s served in a variety of ways in his local church, always with the thought that he was being prepared for service in Europe.
Carrie was called to missions at 19 years old while she was a sophomore at BIOLA. Part of her calling happened when she got to study in Israel and Egypt for a month. While there her eyes were opened to the world’s need for Jesus. Since then she’s been on short-term trips to Latvia, Thailand, and China.
What will Carrie do?
Carrie’s role as a missionary wife will be flexible in GEM. However, she does plan on being involved in whatever ministries the Lord brings her way. Besides being a mom and a wife, she hopes to learn German well and get involved in the community. She has a graphic design/art background and would love to get involved in a pottery group to make local friends. There is also a need to help with the graphics on the eDOT team. eDOT will also need her graphic design skills as she has the time.
Carrie also has a heart for intercessory prayer. She feels very strongly about the need to pray for God’s Kingdom to expand through the work of this team!
What will Jeff do?
Jeff will work with a team based in Kandern, Germany, called eDOT (electronic Discipleship, Outreach, and Training). He will be using his professional talents, skills, and abilities in a variety of ways to help eDOT produce a variety technical tools that will help Europe-based ministries be more effective in spreading the good news of Jesus. Jeff is really excited that he will be used to multiply the efforts of the workers in the field!
Where will the kids go to school?
The kids will go to Black Forest Academy (BFA) in Kandern, Germany. From their website: “BFA provides a quality, international Christian education that equips its students to influence their world through biblical thought, character, and action.” We’re really excited that they’ll get to go to such an excellent school!
Twelve years ago (2001), we were on our way to being missionaries with YWAM (Youth With A Mission). It is a long story, but at that point we had been trying to have kids for two years and were told we’d need medical help. We took that as one of many signs that we were to go at that time. Three months after we had been accepted by YWAM we found out we were pregnant with Wesley! God had said, “Wait”, and in the months following he made it clear that he wanted to prepare us for something else.
Three years ago (2010) we were at a major crossroads in Jeff’s career and we were daily seeking God for direction. That’s when we found out about eDOT and made the initial inquiries. It was amazing how eDOT needed someone with the skills and experiences Jeff had gained since God said, “Wait.” God’s timing is perfect, and it quickly became clear that this was God’s direction and that our season of waiting was over! Of course, that was the beginning of a new season of waiting as we began to raise support.
Less than 3% of Europe is following Christ. Asia and the Middle East have more Jesus followers per capita than Europe. There are more than 6 times the number of Jesus followers in Africa then there are in Europe (according to www.JoshuaProject.net). Europe is the first continent where Christianity took root and the birthplace of the reformation. From Europe, missionaries were spread around the globe. The Christian legacy in Europe is admirable by any standard, but the people living there today have abandoned this history, and today they have no life-giving relationship with the Living God.
Today, the third generation since WWII is growing up in a spiritual vacuum, and they’re hungry for spiritual things. Both witchcraft and the worship of pagan gods are growing in popularity. Islam is taking root in the major cities as people immigrate to Europe for work, school, vacation, or as refugees. These various forces are turning Europe into a boiling cauldron. This rising instability is causing people to consider their eternal destinies. Europe has been largely overlooked as a mission field for decades. God sees the need and is sending us!
Why Greater Europe Mission (GEM)?
Since 1949, God has used GEM (Greater Europe Mission) to transform the lives of thousands in Europe by training Europeans to reach Europe. Its vision is “God expanding His Kingdom through all the peoples of Europe to the world.” Massive revivals have been happening in places like China where estimates are that 10% – and growing – of the Chinese people are now Christians! That’s in stark contrast to Europe’s less than 3%. GEM is seeking for the Lord to do a similar work in Europe and bring revival to the continent!
They’re doing this by discipling local believers to disciple other locals. Being realistic, if I disciple 2 people a year and they in turn disciple 2 people a year, and this pattern continues, after 10 years there would be 59,049 actively engaged and prospering Christians in the land!
|1st year||2nd year||3rd year||4th year||5th year|
|1 disciples 2 =||3 disciple 2 =||9 disciple 2 =||27 disciple 2 =||Etc.|
|6th year||7th year||8th year||9th year||10th year|
This is exponential growth! Get a team of 10 people doing this and you have more than half a million people saved and expanding the kingdom after 10 years! This is what GEM is praying for and this is one of the reasons we’re going with GEM.
It is quite simple, really. eDOT needs Jeff. Jeff’s experience ranges from 9 years documenting software, to managing a team of writers, editors, and graphic designers for three years. From formatting/editing several 500+ page documents, to managing the printing and distribution of thousands of copies of a whole library of Bible study curriculum. From creating websites that consist of hundreds of pages, to a heart that wants to make sure everything is usable and professionally attractive. These are the skills Jeff provides, and they are what eDOT needs!
However, there is more to eDOT than just a technical team that needs Jeff’s professional skills. This is a team that operates as a family. There are currently three guys on the team in Germany and two others located elsewhere. A really neat friendship has already grown between Jeff and the three guys in Germany and they’ve already made him feel like he’s part of the team. They don’t just work together, they do life together. It will be pretty exciting to see what the Lord can do with such a unified team!
Lastly, Jeff has already begun working for eDOT part-time. While there are many projects he can’t do from the states, they’ll just have to wait, but for now Jeff is doing what he can.
First and foremost, we’ll be moving to where eDOT is located in Kandern, Germany. This is also where the Black Forest Academy (BFA) is located. Because this school is so excellent, ministries have started moving their offices and headquarters near it so their staff can send their kids to BFA. About 8 years ago, GEM bought a stone-built barn in the heart of Kandern, Germany and converted it into a three story office building. Jeff’s office will be on the second floor of this building.
Where will you live in Germany?
We’ll live in or near Kandern, Germany. This is centrally located on the continent. It is near where France and Switzerland meet Germany, and it is on the southern border of Germany’s Black Forest and near the Alsace region of France (if you know where that is). It is also in the same town as an excellent missionary school called Black Forest Academy where are kids will go. Here’s the Google map.