Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Part of Mission Work I Hate

James and Ellie Carr
Fundaniños Guatemala- home to 40-60 orphaned, abused, and neglected children.
I want to start this off by saying that there is one part of mission work that I hate.  I can't stand it.  Those who follow our family may recognize that we avoid the topic as much as we can.  I'm not sure if it's because of how I was raised, but conversations about it just make me uneasy.  Maybe it's my stubborn nature and my innate desire to be self-sufficient and not rely on the help of others.  For many people this type of uneasiness is found in the discussion of politics or even in the duty to share their faith.  For me, it's in the conversation of asking for your help.

I love sharing my faith where we live and serve in Guatemala.  I love questions about it.  They fuel me.  James and I are completely convinced that we have the best job that the mission field has to offer as Subdirectors here at Fundaniños Guatemala.  It is soul-scrubbing, sanctifying, sometimes heartbreaking, but fulfilling to serve the kids and caregivers living at Fundaniños.  We live among them.  We think we are teaching them, but learn so much in the process (see my last Thanksgiving post).  The orphans here have become part of our family.  Just yesterday morning, I walked into our cabin from the directors meeting to find one of the girls here snuggled with Riley on the couch watching cartoons, and another washing our dishes without any prompting.  They are like daughters to us.  It is a privilege to work with them day in and day out.

"I want to give thanks for the people who donate so that
we have everything and don't lack anything."
- "S" 11-year-old girl at Fundaniños
That being said, those of you back at home who support us, have no less of an impact on the kids here.  Without you sending us, we would be unable to work with these orphans in Guatemala.  Without you, we would be unable to love on them day after day.  Without you, we would be unable to give the directors of Fundaniños time to visit their family in the States this Christmas- something they haven't been able to do in years.  Without you, we would be unable to share our lives, our faith, and our training with the direct caregivers in the homes at Fundaniños and encourage them to continue working as the backbone of Fundaniños.  Through your support, you help so much more than just our family; you allow us to reach out to the kids, caregivers, and directors surrounding us in Guatemala.

Thank you.  I know it sounds cliché, but we could not do it without you.  Let that sink in.  Without you, we would not be here.

James serving Thanksgiving dinner
with Director, Barb Freed
This Giving Tuesday, I want to be really honest with you.  Our family needs about $2,000 per month to live off of and effectively do ministry here in Guatemala.  Yes, the cost of living is cheaper in some aspects here in Guatemala, but in other areas it is much more expensive.  As citizens of the U.S. we are still bound by many U.S. regulations as well.  We must have health insurance.  We must pay taxes on your donations (the catch is that Riley doesn't count as a dependent down here- go figure that!)  Although we don't drive much, gas is more expensive here.  I would be happy to share a copy of our monthly budget with those who are curious, but for the sake of those who aren't "numbers people," just know that $2,000 is the magic number this year for our family of three (soon-to-be four).

Can I get even more honest for a minute?  We only hit our mark of $2,000 about 50% of the time.  We are not salaried by any organization that we work for, but rather have been sent by friends, families, and believers in the States.  We moved to Guatemala with the faith that God would provide and the wisdom and planning from other missionaries, sending agencies, and churches.  We need your help in 2017.  We want to continue ministry here for years to come, but we cannot do it without you.  Would you pray about or consider partnering with us monthly in 2017 to work in Fundaniños children's home here in Guatemala?  The amount you decide to give is between you and God, but no amount is insignificant to us.  Would you consider this Giving Tuesday as a day to pledge to make a difference in the lives of the orphans and other children here by allowing us to continue serving them?  We cannot tell you how grateful we would be.

So there it is.  The tough conversation of 2016 for me.  I apologize to those who are as uncomfortable as I am talking about giving money.  I thank those who are considering supporting our family, or who have already given so that we can be here.  I understand those who are not in a position to give right now or who are supporting another missionary or organization- praise God that there are so many great ways to give!  Thank you for taking the time to read and for your consideration.  We love you all.  To God be the glory always, and may we continue working to serve Him and make His great name known.

~ The Carr Family
Ellie, Riley, and James Carr, October 2016
If you would like to make a one-time donation towards the work that we do in Guatemala, or are considering a monthly partnership with our ministry, click here.

James 1: 22, 27
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

James and Ellie Carr / Author & Editor

James and Ellie Carr have been missionaries in Gautemala since 2014 and write to share their feelings and how they have experienced God's goodness and mercy on the mission field.


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