It’s no secret that missionaries are retiring sooner than they’re being replaced. “God wants us to be willing to go,” is something many churchgoers have heard from countless missions presentations. Why? Many are not willing, though, largely due to more attractive career potentials or the trappings of debt, creature comforts, family, and all that is familiar.
What about those who do answer the call? The sad news is that among those who do go and are far from retirement age, many are having to come home from the field — for many, that means leaving the place they’ve come to consider home, many times without adequately trained believers to take their place. Why? Lack of financial support. Particularly during the recent economic downturns, many churches and individual believers have dropped missionaries that they once supported.
Missionaries trying to re-gain full support while on the field are usually met with disinterest, especially since the economy continues to keep many churches that are at least keeping their commitments from increasing their missions support.
Even before the recession, one missionary estimated that while he was on deputation, he would typically be granted a meeting with a church — without promised support — for every 100 calls he made to churches. For well-trained, willing servants of Christ who are willing to leave their homelands and many conveniences, such hurdles to gaining financial and prayer support from fellow believers seem inappropriate.
After years of itinerant life in which they hope to garner regular donation pledges, missionaries will still be living on bare-bones budgets and subject to fluctuating exchange rates, once they get to the field. Some mission fields offer more barriers than others; a new language, cultural barriers, and religious persecution are all part of many missionaries’ hurdles to share Christ. Imagine going through all of that, only to begin to see some spiritual fruits of all your labors, only to have financial support dropped, and needing to return “home.” It wouldn’t feel like home, then, would it? It would feel more like failure, resignation, and rejection.
It was through a missionary whose support was dropped, making him return from the mission field, that George and Louise Eusterman began to brainstorm ways to use their knowledge of EFTs to help create more reliable giving solutions for Christian ministries. After decades of learning through mistakes and seeing growth in their health club business, they retired from their secular careers and founded eGiving.com.
Egiving Systems has been ministering to churches and other Christian ministries for over 10 years, now, and has helped believers fund Kingdom growth in substantial ways. Through online giving and recurring electronic giving solutions, the Eustermans have seen God work to keep missionaries on the field through greater faithfulness of God’s people’s gifts. The recurring electronic giving platform has enjoyed a remarkable 5-year consistency among 95% of participants — a vast improvement over other means of receiving pledged donations.
For more information about how you can help missionaries stay on the field, visit eGiving.com