Saturday, March 9, 2013

February '13: "Thank you for your prayers"

I came to the USA on February  14th to visit my family.  My 18 month old grandson had a very large cancer around his heart and other organs.  He was not responding to the first 5 chemotherapy sessions.  I will be returning on March 14th.

Answered prayer:  Cincinnati Children’s Hospital just completed an 11 hour major surgery and was able to remove 95% of the cancer.  The operation was a great success!  Thank you for your prayers!

Our typical February ministry and expense reports will be delayed this month.  Because I have been in the USA I do not have all the data for a regular report. 

The ministry there has been doing great while I have been here.  On February 17th I got texts saying that all in one day 7 were baptized in Sinoe County, 11 baptized in Grand Gheda County and 5 in Maryland County.

Ryan Cain, from Ohio, came to visit me for three months, in Liberia.  Because of my emergency leave I left him with our team there.  He has had bad malaria and been very sick, vomiting for the last 15 days.  He has gone on several mission trips with our teams.  He is getting an Liberian experience that he will never forget.

Below is a brief end of year summary:

Wordsower Liberia 2012
We have completed 4 years of work in Liberia.  We have worked in over 275 communities.  In these communities  we have evangelized, discipled, started churches, trained pastors, started literacy schools for adults and grade schools for children.

In 2012 we received about $80,000 which is an increase of 40% over last year.  With that $80,000 we went on 785 missions, 343 completed our Bible training program, 1000’s of Bibles were distributed, over 100,000 of pages of training material was printed and distributed, we showed the Jesus film to 1000s in their native languages, we provided humanitarian assistance and we did 339 baptisms.  None of the donated money was spent on mission board administration or for our two foreign missionaries.  All the donated money went to the Liberians and Ivorian refugees.  Our mission is to see “A healthy church in every village of Liberia in our lifetime.” (Out of the donated money we paid for the cost of bank-to-bank fund transfers).

Dividing 339 baptisms into $80,000 and we get $236 per baptism.  On March 16, 2009 an article was written that says the global cost of a baptism is $347,000 per baptism.
This is the article:
At $347,000 Per Baptism Maybe It’s Time To Rethink Church

After reading Al Lunsford’s piece, Business is Our Mission. Al referred to research that indicated a global cost of $347,000 per baptism. What?? I had to do a double take.
The International Bulletin of Missionary Research estimated $410 billion a year in giving to “Christian” causes worldwide over the recent years. This was broken down to $160 billion to churches and $250 billion to parachurch organizations every year. Let’s assume that $347,000 per baptism is simply the total giving of $410 billion divided by the number of baptisms tracked. If this simple method was used, then the cost per baptism is tremendously overstated since we would have to assume a large portion is allocated to the operations of those churches and parachurch organizations.

I am assuming the primary mission of these organizations has something to do with making followers of Christ. The question is how much is being spent on the core mission of these organizations and how effective are they? A comparable question in the business world is asking how much do we spend on marketing and how effective is our program? For many companies, the benchmark is approximately ten percent of budget. Ten percent of $410 billion is $41 billion, which would make the figure $34,700 per baptism.  It screams of waste to me. How much is being spent on non-core programs or questionable activities?
We need to re-evaluate how we spend the money of donors that is given to the church.  Nothing is wrong with many of our services but we must re-evaluate them to see if they are extending the kingdom of God.

Prayer requests:  Continue to pray for the recovery of my grandson.  Pray that Don and Mel Riley’s house will close.  Pray for Ryan Cain he is suffering over there

Thank you for your prayers, donations and encouragement,      

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance.  The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”  C. S. Lewis.

Villages, towns and cities we have been working in:
Sinoe County: Bardoua, Beatuoken, Bilibokee, Charlic, Cass Town, Chebioh, Cheboken, Dagbe, Deedo, Dejila, Deyankpo, Fanfin, Funnioh, Gbliyee, Gardoway, Greeneville, Geelor, Greft, Jalay, Jaytoken, Joazon, Joe Village, Jokoken, Judu, Karquekpo, Kilo, Korjayee, Kuwait Gold mining camp, Nyennwlejen, Pellkon, Pokpaken, Putu Jadweodee, Peace Camp (a gold mining camp), Pratt, Pynes Town, Qutatozon, Saygbeken, Seetor, Saybaken, Saydee, Senquene, Sennajalh, Titus, Voobadee, Wiah.  Grand Gedeh County: Army barracks, Badou, Bah, Bargblor, Barte-jam, Bassa, Bawaydee, Beezon, Beh, Bently Mining Camp, Best, Biah Tarway, Billibo, Boe,  Boley,  Border, Boundary, Chayee, Chebeh, Compound, CVI gold mining camp, Dian, Dolozon, Dougee Refugee Camp, Duo Town, Dweh,  48 mile, Franzaz, Garbo, Garley, Gbarbo, Gbayea, Gbeyoubo, Gbloue, Gboe,  Gboe Geewon, Gboleken, Gambo, Geeha, Geeyah, Gleplay, Gorbowrogba, Graddeh, Grady, Gwenebo,  Jaibo, James’s Sayon’s, Jargbeh, Jarwleh, Jarzon, Jayteken 1, Jayteken 2, Jellu,  Johban, John David, Jonesgbaye, Julutuzon, Karlowleh, Kohn, Kojayee, Konobo, Ziah, Kpae, Kyne, Kwebo, Ma Esther, New York gold mining camp, Nico, Old Pohan, Panwolor, Pellelzon, Penokon, Peter Saydee, Pineapple village, Ploe Bodee, Polar Town, Polar Village, PTP refugee camp, Sant, Savah, Saylee, Sayubo, Sentrodu, Sewion 1, Sewion 2, Sinkon, Sloman (a gold mining camp), Solo Inside, Solo Outside, Solo Refugee Camp, Sowaken, Steven, Suahken, Taye’s Village, Tiama, Toes Refugee Camp, Toes Town, Toffoi, Togbayee, Tojillah, Toueah, Tuglor, Varglor, Vleyee, Whybo, Willie Jellu, Woloken, Wulu, Zarzar, Zaiyee, Zeon, Ziulay, Zwedru, the county prison, 4 road check stations, and the county hospital.  Montserrado County: Bannerville, Jacob town, Monrovia, New Georgia, Pipeline.  River Gee County:  Cheboken, Dweaken, Fish Town, Fish Town Prison, Geeken, Jarkaken, Jaytoken 1, Jaytoken 2, Kanweaken, Klaboken, Podroken, Putuken, Sargba, Sweaken, Tartiken.  Bomi County:  Beh, Jaway, Joes Town, Tubmansburg.  Margibi: Army barracks, Bovclay, Brown, Dolos Town, Harbel camp 7, Kpuyah, Mazoe, Naway, Sherflin Barak,Takata. Maryland County: Cain, Cavalla, Gbolobo, Dakay, Dannis, Dibleken, Factory, Fish, Gboloken, Halfgrayway, 6 locations in Harper, Holegrn, Judy’s, Kablaken, Kings, Lexicon, Little Weleppo Refugee camp, Middle town, Nekpachelu, Nemelken, New Half and Whole Graway Towns, Old Lady, Olegravic, Pedebo, 4 locations in Pleebo, Philadelphia, Poceken, Pular, Pulla, Puluken, Refugee Village, Rock, Rubber Bag Camp, Saydeken, Sawlowken, Saywonken, Siliken, Spring Hill, Warteken, Weah’s Town, Wechoken, Wholegrayway, Wuluplukredi, the county prison and check stations.  Nimba County: Beatwo, Camp 1, Dialah, Fienney, Freeman, Glalay, Gonkopa, Graie, Guotoin, Kpaytuo, Miller, Noway, Sarlay, Tappita, Towah, Unification, Venn, Wontoe, Yiteepea, Your Peg, Zarwulugbo, Zautuo.  River Cess: Darhga, Gbee.

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