It is no secret that there are many challenges that come with going into the mission field. Perhaps on the largest struggles definitely has to be fundraising. I mean, I have never really met someone who loves to travel from place to place to ask people for money. If I’m honest, the idea of fundraising has haunted me since I started to entertain the idea of mission work 12 years ago.
And yet, this is where you find my family, in a time that Rev. Lynn Thomas (who will supervise us as missionaries) calls purgatory. It is the in-between time, the limbo that is a challenge for all missionary families. We spend each weekend traveling to a new place, and a new congregation to share about our calling and the work we will be doing in Medellin, Colombia. This is actually one of the only parts of this process that I enjoy. My family is blessed to be able to travel and see some of our old friends from school, spend time with their families, and see them do their thing in their churches.
The downside, we are constantly on the road with a 2 year old and a 3 month old baby. A drive that takes 5 hours turns easily into 7. Routines that are essential for small children are broken and you listen to a toddler that is potty-training cry because she is forced to potty in her pull-up because there are no good exits around. Listen, I know that when it is all said and done this is a small price to pay, but this is the reality of a traveling missionary family.
It is hard to know God has work for you started in a new place and to know you just can’t be there yet. And what is the largest reason? Money!
As missionaries for the Cumberland Presbyterian Church we are charged with two fundraising task before we can go. Just like all of our missionaries, we must raise our start-up money and increase donations to the Stott-Wallace Missionary Offering Fund.
Our start up money is everything that we need to get on the road and to start life while we are there. This includes our airplane tickets, Visa’s, lawyer fees for our Visa’s, furniture, a car, housing… everything we can’t take in our two checked bags per person we are allowed on our flight to Colombia.
The Stott-Wallace Missionary Offering Fund is how people support us and all the missionaries long term. This is where all of our salaries come from. Before we go we have to have our start-up money and the Stott-Wallace Missionary Offering Fund has to show that there are commitments and funds to pay my salary for the time that I am gone. This is why commitments to regular support is just as important as one time donations. I always encourage that churches, presbyteries, small groups, Sunday school classes, families, and individuals to consider how they can financially support our missionaries long term through the Stott-Wallace Offering Fund. Pray about it and put it on your budgets!
So how is our fundraising going? It is actually going pretty well. We are happy to announce that we are about half way to our goal. We still have a lot of work to do, but it has been amazing to see God work in our lives during this tough time. We are constantly blown away by the generosity of our new and old friends, the churches, and Beaver Creek CPC who has allowed me to work a skeleton schedule while we prepare to leave for Colombia. The support is amazing and we appreciate every second of it. It is not every day that you can presently see God working in your life, but for some reason we have been blessed to see God constantly working in our lives. We don’t have to wait a few years to look back to see Gods work, we see it now!
But here is the bottom line. In our hearts we feel that our place is in another time zone, another country, another city… in Medellin, Colombia. Can you help us get there?
Right now we have 386 family members and friends who “like” our Facebook page (@wilkersoncpmissions). If everyone who liked our page would donated $100 we would meet the rest of our goal. Can you do that? Can you donate $100?
My prayer is that you can do that. That you are able to donate $100 to our start-up fund and that you will then also consider how you could further support us financially while we are on the mission field. Here is the cool thing. Our denomination just created a page that makes it easy to give online to us specifically and our other missionaries. Click on this link: https://cpcmc.org/mmt/sw/ and follow the instruction on how to donate.
I promise you that it will be greatly appreciated by my family and all the other missionary families. We thank you for joining us in our mission and helping us get to the places we feel called to do the work of God. Please contact me if you need further instructions, want to talk about what we are doing, or if you feel led to do a large donation and need to know how.
With much love from the Wilkerson family!