Shrinking Dollar Potentially Shrinks Mission Efforts!

I'm sure that we are all aware that the dollar is shrinking in value. It may not be as dramatic as pictured, but the shrinking of the US dollar is certainly affecting our efforts to preach the good news abroad, plant healthy congregations and teach and train preachers around the world. The shrinking dollar is greatly impacting mission families and mission efforts around the world. These seemingly small changes in our economy are looming large when it comes to evangelizing the world for Christ!

Having traveled extensively the past several years, including mission trips to Great Britain, France, Italy, Singapore, Indonesia, Ukraine and the Philippines in recent months, I can testify that the shrinking dollar is shrinking mission efforts around the globe. The effects are obvious. People who are receiving the same amount of support as last year are actually experiencing a cut in salary as they exchange funds into foreign currencies. In Ukraine, rather than receiving 6 hgrivna for every US dollar, we are receiving 4 hgrivna for every US dollar. When you consider that prices continue to escalate rapidly as the dollar decreases in value, you begin to see the problem that is developing. If your congregation, or you as an individual, are sending the same amount of support to a missionary, school or mission effort overseas as you have in previous years, the mission effort is actually experiencing a marked decrease in funds. Many congregational leaders I have talked to don't even realize that this is happening.

This has really impacted our work at Sunset with our International schools. SIBI has 57 schools in 37 nations of the world. We are in a state of crisis as we scramble to meet the ever increasing needs of schools who are receiving the same amount of US dollars as in years past, but are actually receiving much less in their local currency. We need to make contact with more congregations and individuals who are interested in global evangelism, church planting and ministry training, and we hope that our alumni and SIBI supporters will help us make these contacts. We also hope that each congregation will investigate the impact of the falling dollar on their mission efforts and make any necessary adjustments to their budget.

The shrinking dollar is more than a political issue, it affects the Kingdom efforts of the Lord's Church. We need to be praying about this and considering this issue when we pull the lever in the voting booth. We can't have shrinking mission efforts as a result of the shrinking dollar, we must continue to aggressively seek to evangelize the world for Christ. Let's determine to keep the Great Commission despite the status of our currency!

 

In Him,

Chris

Comments

We are working with a native missionary in Panama. Can you give us some kind of idea of how much actual buying power he has lost? We are trying to determine how much we need to increase his monthly salary.
Thank you for the reminder.
Mark

Mark - Our chief financial guru (Brad Pruitt) related the following information regarding the Panamanian Adrian (he even inserted the proper 'Yo Adriaaan" joke at this point for fans of Rocky). On May 14 of last year the exchange rate in Panama was 1 USD = 1.0374 Balboas. This year on May 14 it was 1 USD = 1.0169 Balboas. So in the past 12 months, the USD has weakened against the Panamanian Balboa 1.98%. Since Panama has an inflation rate of 7.6% currently, your missionary in Panama has seen an approx. decrease in purchasing power of 10%. Therefore to maintain the same level of support as last year, you would need to raise his support level 10%. Hope this helps. I'm glad that you are thinking about such things. - Chris

Thank you for your help. The information is extremely helpful as we try to keep the preacher in place.
Mark

Hi Mark. I will be glad to check and see the specifics for Panama.  It is different from country to country. I'm glad you and your congregation are sensitive to this. - Chris

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