Sometimes it is really hard for people to get clear picture of what our lives and work will be like when we head to Nigeria. One such area is money and our responsibility to raise our own funds. We wanted to take a moment now to try and provide a little more information on that area.
How do Wycliffe members get their money and why?
Wycliffe Bible Translators (the charity we work with!) require all members to raise their own support. Although this method puts more responsibility on the individuals involved (some charities raise funds centrally through campaigns and then pay their members a salary), we are firm believers that this is a good way to fund individual members. It both broadens the potential support base of the charity (providing more stability during times of financial difficulty), whilst providing a closer (more personal and therefore mutual) relationship between the supporter and the supported (which in turn helps people feel more connected with the work which is being carried out). Instead of people giving to a general appeal, they give to specific people (with faces!) and specific work.
Why can’t members just work part-time where they are?
Firstly we want to be able to devote all (or at least as much as we can!) of our working time to the main task at hand, literacy work! Secondly, almost all the countries where we go to work have VERY strict rules about who can get work (i.e. paid employment) visas, and so the visas we get do not allow us to receive a salary in the countries we are working in.
How do members know how much they need?
There is an amazing system in place that no matter where you happen to be working you can fill out a worksheet and get a monthly support quota. This amount of money is based on the location of the work (some parts of the world are more expensive to live in than others!), the number of people in the family (children cost money apparently…!) and the role that will be carried out. The idea is to have a target that is suitable for you and your needs rather than plucked out of the air.
What is this money for?
In short, this monthly support quota should make sure each member (or family unit) has enough money to live and work in their location, i.e. it should cover ALL their costs. If you try and think of all your living and work costs, that is what this amount should cover. As a few examples, however, the different types of costs this money covers are: flights to the country, house rent, utility bills, food, work costs (travel, computer equipment etc), communication costs, education costs, Wycliffe administration costs, health insurance, tax, pension contribution, you name it, it should be covered by the quota.
Why do members need to raise more money from time to time?
If the persons circumstances change (they move location, they get married, they have children) a new quota is calculated and they must increase (or decrease!) their support. Members often raise their support through friends, family, churches or other local groups committing to give an amount each month. Obviously from time to time people have to stop their support due to personal/financial circumstances and so this money needs to be raised from somewhere else too. In our case, moving to Nigeria will mean loosing Ali’s teaching salary.
I hope this helps give a slightly better picture of the hows and whys of the Wycliffe system. There is more explanation on this page on this Wycliffe Web Site. As you may already know we are currently in the position of needing to raise more money even before we head out to Nigeria.
If you want to help us out, please be praying for God’s timely provision, as I am sure you know God’s timing doesn’t always match ours!
If you wish to give, the best place to start is on the Wycliffe Web site.
Thank you the Wisbeys for writing the original post that I have stolen most of.