08 January 2010

It Also Takes the Church

Hey, Friends!

I've gone back and forth over how to say this. I've prayed about it for weeks and asked God to give me wisdom over if this post should happen. Right now I have peace about it. If today's entry rubs you wrong, please come back again on Monday. I promise it'll be back to normal.

Just as no writer exists in a vaccuum (we also identify as parents, spouses, children, siblings, friends, cousins, co workers, etc.), I have a second idenity as a missionary. It's been such a pleasure and an honor to share my journey with y'all--to tell stories, speak about the opportunities and obstacles in front of me, and let y'all see this incredible life God has given me. I can't begin to describe how much it means to me when you tell me you're praying for me and that you support me in this. Your encouragement means so much.

I truly believe that this ministry isn't mine. It's God's, ultimately, and it belongs to all of us. Because while I'm so thankful that I get to go and do all of this, I can't do it without people praying for me and supporting me. The emails I receive overseas really keep me going. Here in the States, too. We're partners in this ministry. My fruit belongs to y'all too, because without you I wouldn't be out there. It's pretty cool to think about how everything I do is connected to so many people. Without the Church behind me, I wouldn't be able to do this. God never meant for missionaries to go rogue. We need to be sent out, to be covered in prayer, and to have others share in our ministry.

I've told y'all in the past about this awesome opportunity to join Adventures in Missions. We're an interdenominational organization who goal is to make disciples wherever we go. I'm with the Ambassador (or the high school) program as an Administrative Assistant, which is everything from scheduling travel and purchasing tickets to writing for the program, managing the students' blogs (I know!), training the students, and actually going. We hope to send up to 300 high school students to up to fifteen countries next summer. Can you imagine the impact on the nations? I am so excited!

So my role is going to change my life a lot. I'll be based out of the States. I need to move to the area, which is why I've been apartment hunting and trying to make all of those decisions. I'll still go overseas, but it won't be for six months or years at a time. I'm really looking forward to being "settled" versus going somewhere every few weeks, to having a place of my own, and being able to impact the field from all sides. My missionfield just expanded exponentially, because those 300 students will be my fruit--and y'all's as well.

Here's the thing: the week before Christmas I sat down with the HR department and went over my support. You see, I'm not getting a paycheck. I'm still supported as if I were living overseas. We decided to push back my move in date because I don't have enough yet to sign a lease or meet the utility bill payments. Since I won't have a roommate, I need to make sure I have enough for it all and I really need help. My support goal is for $1400 a month. This budget includes rent, utilities, gas for my car, food to eat... you know, the basics. It does not include overseas travel, so any financial gifts to come in over that amount will go towards flights, lodging, transportation, and food when I'm overseas.

Right now I need $600 more a month to meet the initial support goal.

I know, it sounds like a lot. And there's a myth in support raising that if someone can't give a large amount, it's not worth it. That's simply not true. All gifts are big for me because I understand exactly what the sacrifice means, whether it is giving up a Starbucks coffee a week or a couple of fast food meals a month. A $10 or $25 a month gift means as much to me as a gift for several hundred. One time gifts are so appreciated, but I also need people to commit to monthly support. I need to be able to present a list to HR saying that "this many people have committed and this is the amount projected each month". This is to make sure I don't sign a lease, move in, not have the support, and then get evicted within a few months.

This is such a personal decision (which is why I hesitated to write about this), and I know the economy has severely crippled many of us. As a writer, I understand the lack of financial compensation for a lot of what we do. I just ask for you to prayerfully consider supporting me, whether it's a monthly gift or a one time donation. And that no matter what you decide, that you will cover me in prayer. I know that God is going to provide for me. Right now I'm just waiting to see how He does it.

Here's all the information for financial support:

Contributions can be given via credit card at http://www.adventures.org/give. If you choose to donate via the secure website, just click on the “AIM Staff” link and type my name (Kristen Torres-Toro) when asked.

Or snail mail to: Adventures In Missions, Inc., P.O. Box 534470, Atlanta, Ga. 30353-4470. If you choose to donate via snail mail, my name just needs to be on the memo line. All checks need to be made out to Adventures in Missions.


The most important part is to specify that it’s for Kristen Torres-Toro.

If you'd like to read my missions blog, just click on the link. There's a place there you can sign up to receive automatic email updates everytime I post there.

Obviously, this is a personal decision. If you'd like to reply privately instead of in the comments below, you can email me at kristentorrestoro[at]gmail[dot]com or my AIM email: kristentorres-toro[at]adventures[dot]org.

Also, if you'd like to receive my support updates (via email) or a snail mail newsletter, just let me know with your information (an email or an address) and I can make that happen.

I just ask you to pray about giving. And if you can, please give. Either way... whatever you decide... thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have no idea how much it means to me. I can't even put it into words. I am just so thankful for each of you. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for praying.

By the way, the cool thing about this life change is being able to focus on writing as well. So none of this changes blogging, writing, or my pursuit of publication. It just means I'll be in the States more and won't be living with my poodle at my parents' house.

See y'all Monday!

19 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear about the lack of support. Times are definitely rough right now, but I'll be praying for you to get what you need. And you never know, you might get something from me when we have it. I hope the money pours in for you.
    Personally, I think it's SO important for churches to support missions. Praying for you!

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  2. Kristen, I would be glad to make a contribution! We are all family. You are doing a marvelous work for the Lord!

    My prayer is that He continue to enrich your life as you pour into the lives of others.

    (It may take me another paycheck to work this in my budget but I'm happy to be a part of your journey.)

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  3. Thinking of you. I hope you get what you need to go. I hope this year is everything He wants it to be for you. :)

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  4. Will pray for you and all the related things that go with your adventurous journeys:)
    Hugs and blessings!

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  5. I definitly will be praying for you! You have made a huge impact in our writing community here. I wish wish my life situation was different than it is now. You aren't asking for much to cover a month at all. But you know our sitation here--living on our savings--but I also know God can change anything at all! Please keep us updated on how it goes and if you meet your support level.

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  6. Hey girl,

    You know I'm in! If you need an exact amount, I'll email that to you.

    Love you and praying for you always,
    J

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  7. I love you, my friend. And am so thankful for you!

    Terri Tiffany, thank you so much for your kind words. I am praying that God will provide the right job for you. Thank you for your friendship! I definitely will! You're so right--He can change anything!

    Thank you, Karen! I need it!

    Thank you, Tabitha! It's good to see you again! I hope you are doing well!

    Thank you so much, Katie!

    Tamika, thank you so much, Friend! I'm speechless right now.

    Jessica, thank you so much!

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  8. Kristen, that organization sounds wonderful. It's amazing you'll be sending out 300 students, I'm really astounded. Praise God! I'll definitely keep you in prayer--financially for sure, and about all the rest of the details.

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  9. Kristen, it's wonderful to find your blog! God bless you for your ministry!!! My husband is a pastor, and we have come to know many missionaries through years of ministry, so I understand your need! I will pray for you, my dear friend. God is able, more than able, to take care of you. Your work is precious in His sight!

    I was on another blog and noticed your comment about the genealogy of Christ and how it tells the salvation story. I am fascinated by this info and would love to know more about it.

    The Lord is good to all who call on Him name. Stand still and see His salvation!

    With prayer and love,

    Andrea

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  10. Wow, you are my new hero! Excellent! I'm going to pray a miracle happen and you far exceed your monetary needs. Our God is SO awesome. You're going in my prayer journal today. It is my honor to lift you up!

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  11. Kristen: This was not offensive at all. Jesus had followers who supported Him, and you are one of His daughters. How will people know unless you make them aware?

    Many blessings on your ministry,
    Jen

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  12. God has a way of providing. I have no doubt you will meet your support goals. I will be praying for it to happen sooner rather than later.

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  13. I stumbled on your site through Dirty White Candy. I love meeting other christians that write. And what a great ministry you are involved in: the missions and your writing! I pray God blesses you in both areas!

    Laura

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  14. I'm so happy you decided to share this with us, Kristen. What a wonderful thing to be a part of! I will pray for you daily and will contribute to your goal asap. God Bless! :)

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  15. Kristin, can't wait to get home to pray about this as I look over my budget.

    Am currently reading a missions-minded book, The Heavenly Man by Christian Brother Yun.

    Love your passion, girl.

    Patti
    www.pattilacy.com/blog

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  16. Thank you so much, Cindy! We are in the process of recruiting students for this summer, so if you know any teens who want to go to Central or South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, Asia, or Australia, please let them know about this program!

    Andrea, Thank you! It's so great to meet you! Thank you for lifting me up! I sent you an email with that information.

    Thank you, T.Anne! You honor me.

    Thank you, Jeannette! I was nervous about this, but am thankful for the wonderful responses today!

    Thank you, Susan! Amen!

    Thank you, Laura! It's great to meet you!

    Thank you, Shannon! I appreciate your friendship, prayers, and support so much!

    Thank you, Patti!! I am so humbled. I've never read that book but I hear it's awesome. Thank you so much, friend!

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  17. Wow Kristen, I think what you're doing with your life is the best. I will definitely pray and also pray what I can do. You rock. Sarah

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  18. I'm so excited to see how God provides. You've got guts to ask...and He will honor your obedience. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to partner with you in this manner. Praying.

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