The larger we have become, and the more donations we process each week, the more we have recognized the importance of being utterly transparent with our finances for the sake of our ministry partners and our collective supporters.
For the last month, we have been working diligently on creating a space on our website that offers a clear picture of our financial operations. We want this level of transparency to communicate our dedication to our mission:
"Our primary focus is to teach Christian-based organizations how to engage their supporters and assisting them in their fundraising efforts. Our partners are Christian organizations who are called to serve God’s people. This includes missionaries, churches, nonprofit outreaches, and other similar organizations." To learn more about our commitment to transparency, and to find our financial reports, please click below!
It is the summer of expansion here at Perception Funding!
Last month we introduced our new Financial Operations Coordinator (find it here!).
This month we are very happy to introduce Bob Vickers, our new Education Director. Bob founded and has directed Artful Askers for the last 20+ years, teaching Doers how to approach Donors in thoughtful and effective ways.
After completing a Bachelors Degree in Religion/Business from Oklahoma Baptist University, he completed a Masters Degree in Sociology at the University of Oklahoma, all the coursework on a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and is currently completing a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford Graduate School. He currently resides in Gardner, KS with his wife, Connie. They live near their children and grandchildren, and couldn't be happier about that!
Adding Bob to our staff is a great encouragement for Jonathan and the rest of us; through this teaming up, we can clearly see the Lord's hand at work, bringing like-minded people with similar gifts together to grow the Kingdom. Rejoice with us!
While we spend our week in grateful celebration for our freedom, we also make space to grieve for the people around the world who yearn for the same privilege. We have ministry partners in many countries whose work is subversive, who are teaching their friends and neighbors about the spiritual freedom that comes from life in Christ, all while living in communities who live in very real fear of government violence, financial insecurity, lack of accessible medical care, or a combination of all of these, among many other infringements on human rights.
As you enjoy your celebrations this week we ask specifically for prayer for our ministry partners around the world working with refugees, living in countries who have made the preaching of the Gospel illegal, and working in communities entrenched in civil unrest.
Including the ministries in Africa, Asia, South and Central America, and Middle Eastern countries.
We are overjoyed to welcome Stephanie Faulkner to our staff! She is joining Perception Funding as our Financial Operations Coordinator. Stephanie has worked as administrative coordinator to one of our ministry partners, GOT Ministries, for the last year, so she has been able to jump right in to daily operations with a working understanding of many of our financial rhythms. She has a BA in Psychology and Criminology from Kansas State, a M.Div & an M.A. Spiritual Formation from Asbury Theological Seminary. We are thrilled to have fresh eyes on our team, and we are looking forward to all the ways she will improve our systems!
Faith Missions is a ministry focused on sustainable, dignity giving work in Uganda and Rwanda. By teaming up with local Ugandan leaders, the ministry is able to financially support the people of Uganda through three separate initiatives.
Project Porridge - Partnering with Geoffrey & Mary Rwubusisi in Kamwenge, Uganda. Built on a model of self-reliance and self-respect, Project Porridge was created BY Ugandan women FOR Ugandan women. This program provides protein rich meals for children who otherwise are at great risk for malnutrition and the many dangers it creates for their development. Faith Academy - Partnering with Charles & Juliet Semwaga in Kigali, Rwanda. A school with the mission of educating and equipping elementary aged children to become highly skilled godly leaders who will transform their communities. The school is staffed with local teachers who are in tune with the needs of their students and communities. Cyizere Girl's Program Scholarship Fund - Partnering with Peter Nemeye in Cyangugu, Rwanda. Providing scholarships to students attending several vocational-technical schools in Rwanda. These students are equipped with the education and practical skills to work in a number of needed careers in their communities. Due to the mass genocide in Rwanda, the region was left bereft of skilled laborers. Providing access to education through scholarships for these young women will change the trajectory of their country, will change the legacy of their families, and will build upon an already strong, resilient community.
It is our great joy to work alongside a ministry who honors and respects the communities in which they work. Please scroll down to learn how to best pray for their work in Africa.
To learn more about Faith Missions, visit their website by clicking the button below.
Pray for Faith Missions as they consider how to develop their ministry here in the States. Their focus truly is on dignity giving work in Uganda and Rwanda. They desire a team of supporters here that understands their mission and is passionate about supporting our brothers and sisters in Africa.
Here is how you can best pray for their initiatives there:
Praise God for the new teacher who has come to Faith Academy. Praise God for another teacher who is pursuing official teaching certificate while continuing to serve part-time at Faith Academy.
Pray for open doors for us to purchase land to expand the school to primary grades.
Pray for or Juliet, founder of Faith Academy, to be able to return to her position as Headmistress of the school. Juliet has a Master’s in Education and currently works at at a company that trains teachers in schools across Rwanda. Juliet is torn between living out her calling at Faith Academy and supporting the family.
Praise God for His provision of food for these children and a nice, clean, safe environment to attend school and receive porridge.
Pray for the health of the children receiving porridge. Every new school term we get new babies who come to us malnourished.
Pray for the possibility of children continuing to receive porridge during school holidays because their health deteriorates when they are out of school on holidays.
Pray for sponsorship for poor children who have no hope of going to school.
Pray for a school nurse to be a possibility at The Victory School.
Cyizere Girl’s Scholarship:
Pray for God to expand this ministry as we support more girls.
Pray for sustainable support for our ministry and to continue strengthening our friendships with our supporters.
Each spring we have the great joy of bringing new ministry partners on board! From October to February we are busy wrapping up the busiest fundraising season of the year, then we must focus on completing all the responsibilities that come with running a non-profit. So when we are finally able to shift our focus to the many requests for partnership from outside ministries, it is an exciting time of growth and expansion! Below we have taken the time to introduce you to the ministry partners we have welcomed to our lineup.
ABIGAIL HOUSE - Providing counseling to long term missionaries who live and work in Europe. With a centrally located counseling center, they are able to reach missionaries all over Europe with encouragement, therapy, and even intensive psycho-therapeutic care when needed.
ACTS 13:47 - Church planters ministering to immigrants in Northern Italy. After spending 20 years as missionaries in China, they began seeing a need in Lucca, Italy. They have followed the Lord's leading, and are teaching in and investing in this community that is comprised of Chinese, Romanian, and African refugees, as well as the Italian residents living in the area.
CSAI - Started by a missionary with a love of sports and Jesus, and similar to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, this organization provides discipleship alongside sport and athletic activities to young athletes of Zambia, Africa.
CAMBIAR - Church planters who are passionate about serving those in desperate situations. Working in the small fishing village of Pacoche, Ecuador, they support two churches, doing behind-the-scenes work that keeps them reaching and discipling the local residents.
SWEETER THAN HONEY - Church planters in a restricted country who have created a honey and bee keeping business that provides jobs for local pastor, orphans, and under-privileged men and women. Through their business they are able to train their employees in practical skills while also sharing the love of Jesus.
We have many prayer request and praises to address this month. Will you join with us in asking for specific provisions for our partners, and offering up praise to our Holy Father who delights in faithfully caring for his children?
Prayer & Praise Edition
- Praise -
Last week Jonathan spent a few days in Illinois, visiting a generous donor who has been very supporting of our ministry. Their time together was encouraging with Jonathan, and the wisdom shared by the supporter was invaluable, both from a business and spiritual standpoint.
GOT Ministries is making great headway in Guatemala with their Occupational Therapy efforts. Their current intern is creating connections with other therapy services in the area to further their reach, and enabling more and more families to live a life of ABILITY that they never dreamed they'd have. Learn more about their ministry by clicking below!
Our ministry partners in the country of Georgia have been discouraged by Russia changing their borders, which has prevented them from doing ministry in some of the northern villages where they had previously been focusing a great deal of their time. They've also been scrambling to change their banking since the border changes have also affected this area of their life.
One of our long term partners has visited the states recently to spend time with his brother who will be admitted to the hospital this month where he will remain until he has been given a new heart. This situation is painful for the family, and of course, requires the loss of another life to sustain the man waiting for the heart. We ask for prayers of peace and provision for them.
The couple who runs a local ministry has been working in full-time ministry for 19 years. Through an especially busy and overwhelming winter, they are praying about taking a sabbatical. This feels impractical if not impossible. But as an organization that believes and practices rest, we recognize the need for them to step back and breath. Please pray that God would open the doors and invite them into a season of resting soon.
Another local ministry partner will be doing additional medical testing this month.
One of our ministry partners in the Himalayas is in the process of finding new housing for their family of 6. Again, as is the case for most large financial transactions in foreign countries, this is challenging for a number of reasons. Pray that the Lord will put them in their perfect location, and give their new neighbors open hearts toward the family and the Gospel.
Charles and Juliet, who run a school in Africa, have been facing many personal challenges. Many of their family members have been ill, and have required their undivided attention. They are tired and run ragged. Please pray for strength and endurance in this season.
"Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." Matthew 25:40
Winter serves a purpose. It is not simply a season to be endured. God was intentional in his design. He knew our earth needed rest. He knew that the shorter, quieter days would impose a sort of forced sabbatical on our society... the snow and wind encouraging us to stay indoors, the lengthened nights inviting us to sleep sooner, and the quieter mornings providing the mental space for an extra cup of coffee and moment of peace. Most of us are privileged to be able to recognize the gift of winter, if only begrudgingly.
But there is a whole community of men, women, and children in our area that are struggling with this harsh, extended winter.
Vox Dei Community, the church many of our staff here at Perception Funding call home, has taken up a collection of gently used coats, gloves, hats, and other outerwear, and then hanging them on the fence outside. There is a large homeless population in the area, and as the coats are taken one by one, we know bodies are being warmed and hope is being restored in a small but profound way.
Though it is late in the season, it is not too late to begin a similar project in your own church or neighborhood! Or simply keeping an extra pair of gloves in your glove box and hand it out to the next homeless person asking for help on your drive to work.
En Gedi Grove While we love and enjoy working with all of our ministry partners, En Gedi Grove has a special place in our hearts. Jon and Hannah Taussig have created, by God's grace, a beautiful story and example of true redmeption in their little spot of urban outreach in Kansas City, Kansas.
Their focus is on the poor and needy in their inner city neighborhood. They have spent their time investing in real relationships with their neighbors, many of whom have never experienced true friendship and love.
As the weather begins to warm up (maybe? hopefully?!), En Gedi Grove will begin preparing their outdoor paradise. They have 5+ vegetable gardens, dozens of fruit trees and vines, berry bushes, rabbits, chickens, and honeybees! And the fruit of all that work is shared with their neighbors, with the desire to deepen relationships, and provide both nutriton and practical life skills to their community. Isn't that seriously wonderful?
If you have a love of gardening and disciplesip, you should visit their website to find out more about their ministry!
And if you want to support them, a gift of donated fruit trees, small farm and gardning equipment, outdoor furniture, and other things along those lines would be such a blessing! They would also be tickled to have your hands on help this spring as they get things in order for a fruitful summer! Click the button below, and you'll be able to connect with them!
"Jesus gave us more than himself, he gave us each other."
On Sunday January 27th, Jonathan preached at his home church, Vox Dei Community. The topic of his teaching was on community - on living life openly with one another, on relying on one another, and how to do this in a way that Jesus modeled with his followers and friends. Jonathan is especially gifted in this area, as many of our readers already know. It was a joy to hear him speak. If you'd like to listen to the recorded audio of his sermon, titled Going: Together, click the button below!
All 2018 tax receipts have been sent for Perception Funding and the ministry partners for whom we manage this area of their fundraising and accounting. Many of the receipts have been delivered via email, and others were sent via USPS. If you don't have your receipt or have questions you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
CHANGE A LIFE
giveDIGNITY is hoping to send an additional 13 students to school this year, will you help?
giveDIGNITY, our long-time ministry partner, send around 70 of students to school each year through the generous support of their donors as a part of their three core initiatives. This year one of the organizations who sponsored 13 students for the last few years was unable to support them again. We are hoping to stand in the gap by getting the word out! For $400 per year, a child sponsorship covers a student's uniform, shoes, school supplies, bus passes, and tutoring. These scholarships are changing lives, for $35 bucks a month. Won't you consider teaming up with us?
2018 was an amazing year! All together we raised $1,627,128 for the mission of Perception Funding and our Ministry Partners. This means that all together we have raised over $6.6 million since we began! It has been a blessing to see the Lord work in so many ministries and to see their impact in the lives of people all over the world. We have some exciting new ways in which we will be caring for our Ministry Partners in 2019 and beyond. So we'll be sharing these with you over the next couple of months. Read about one of them below!
What's New In 2019?
Ministry can be an overwhelming and exhausting job. Many of you know people in ministry wrestling with depression, loneliness, financial worries, health concerns, family pressures, and connecting to God outside of their work. Perception Funding sees the need to help minister to and care for our ministry partners. We want to not only keep them actively working in their ministry, but also to help them to be spiritually and emotionally healthy so they can care for themselves, their families, and their ministries.
In December of 2018, we started offering pastoral care as an additional free service of Perception Funding. For this role, we've hired Joe Chenoweth a long time Young Life staff member and Church Elder who has been a mentor of some of our own staff for years.
Since celebrating Perception Funding’s ten year anniversary in October, I have been reflecting on all we’ve accomplished in the last decade. In the song called “Stand In Your Love”, musician Josh Baldwin sings, “My fear doesn’t stand a chance when I stand in your love.” I love this reminder, and I believe it’s true - when we’re with God, following him, there is nothing that can stand in the way of what He has for us, and what He can do through us.
I never imagined how far we would come and all the different ways God would use this organization. Looking back, I see now that Perception Funding has thrived because our supporters have joined us in faithfully “standing in the love” of our Father. I know more than anyone that our mission works because of your support and God’s grace. Without these, we wouldn’t have made it to a year of ministry - much less ten!
Take a few minutes and listen to stories from our ministry partners.
So thank you for “standing in the love” with us and being a part of what God is doing through Perception Funding. Because of your generosity, here are just a few of our milestones in 2018:
• For every $1 given to Perception Funding, we raised $14.01 for our Ministry Partners
• 63 ministries and projects use our online giving platform - givetransform.org
• 31 ministries in 17 countries are fully funded through our sending initiative: Go.Serve
• Over $1,340,640 has been raised this year for our Ministry Partners
As we press onward, our vision remains the same - support amazing ministries who have a heart for God’s people! We will continue to help them cast their vision further by teaching them how to share it in a truly relational way with friends, family, and the communities in which they serve.
PayPal is not charging fees and giving us anaddtional 1% of what you give through December 31, 2018
We are humbled by all of your support at our party in October. Thank you for showing up, giving generously, and visiting with us. A big thanks to Martin City Brewery for welcoming us into their space, and donating a portion for everyone's tab back to us. We raised $2,963, $2,500 of which was matched by a generous donor. We are bolstered and encouraged as we move into our busiest season of the year.
MINISTRY PARTNER HIGHLIGHT:
GOT Ministries serves children with special needs in Guatemala by providing desperately needed Occupational Therapy, without which these children have no chance of living a healthy, normal life. Their work impacts not only the children but their entire families, and by extension their whole community. We are proud to partner with such an exceptional ministry, and their director Megan Lewis.
Learn more about GOT Ministries - attend their Mayan Experience expo! + Experience authentic Mayan culture + Celebrate 2018 accomplishments and learn about plans for 2019 + Enjoy a Guatemalan dinner and cultural activities + Family friendly FUN!
Free entrance! All proceeds go to empower and serve children with disabilities in Guatemala.
November 16th 6-8PM
Christ Church Anglican
5500 W. 91st Street
Overland Park, KS 66207
Prayer & Praise
Thank you for supporting us through prayer!
Praising God for the support shown at our 10 year anniversary party
Sarah, communication coordinator, has had her baby, Nora. Both mama and baby are doing great, praise God!
Entering our very busy season, please pray for clarity of mind, and focus while we tackle our very long to do list.