Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Giving Tuesday - THANK YOU!

As today is "Giving Tuesday", we wanted to take a minute to THANK YOU for your giving!

1st fundraiser on December 1st, 2012
Two years ago yesterday was our first fundraiser for our move back in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We had a craft show at Plymouth Heights CRC and raised over $2,000 to jump start our fundraising process.

Since then, many people have partnered with us through giving, whether special or monthly gifts, and we are so completely grateful for your support.

Your support goes far beyond what you may know.  Your support helps us pay rent, utilities, buy food, put gas in our car, yes...but here are a few ways your giving continues to give that you might not know about...
Eva and Hope 'helping' Elnert make tortillas.

* Your support pays the monthly wage of 2 employees. Their work for us is a huge asset to freeing up our time to engage in ministry. Elnert is our house helper and does our cleaning, wash, dishes and periodically helps with the girls. She is 24, married and has a almost 2 year old son. She did not have full time work prior to us coming. Hosea is our gardener - he cares for the proprty, helps with the dogs, opens and closes our gate, runs errands for us and is incredible with the kids - they love to play with him! He and his wife, Lucy live on our property and we are so thankful for them! Hosea has a big and generous heart, and I have heard often of times when he and his wife are giving some of their salaries to help people who are sick, buying mosquito nets for families without, or just using their hard-earned income to take a bus over 4 hours to go into a small village and preach the gospel. Providing work for him allows him to engage in ministry.

Lucy and Angie during a Swahli lesson
* Your support pays for my langugage lessons. Lucy, (Hosea's wife, who lives on the same property) sits with me and my friend Angie for 9 hours a week to help me with my Swahili. She, like her husband, has a huge heart and I consider both of them local missionaries. She has become a very dear friend and sister in Christ. Again, by supporting us, we are able to provide a bit of additional work for Lucy, which helps them make their monthly trip to the village to minister.

The Life Group we co-lead on Wednesday Evenings
through our church, God's Tribe.
In our group we have 6 countries represented: Tanzania,
Kenya, England, Zimbabwe, Canada and America.

* We tithe to our local church, God's Tribe. This church plant is just over a year old and is very much a toddler church, but is faithful in preaching the gospel each week. Your support is also supporting the work and ministry of this church.

* Your support allows other missionary families to engage in their God-given callings. Many, many, missionaries who live in remote areas are given only one option for schooling for their children: homeschooling. This is a viable and great option for some. HOPAC is strategically planted, however, in a large city which becomes the center for many missions agencies. This allows parents of these children an amazing, Christ-centered option for their kids for school.

If you're a parent, take a moment and think about what you could NOT do each day if your child's school did not exist and you had to homeschool....

LOTS, right?

Now, think what a blessing it is to have an international Christian school for these families! The missionaries who send their kids to HOPAC are doing amazing work: Young Life across 20+ countries in Africa, Doctors, Survey work (figuring out where the unreached people groups are in order to send new missionaries there with the gospel), local pastor training through theological education, ministering to the poor through kids clubs, sports clubs, and relationship building, teaching English to future teachers, teaching skills to women in order to give them sustainable work, drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, church plants, etc.

YOU are supporting these missionaries as you support us. Think of the lives that are being touched by all these missionaries here in Dar - YOU are partnering with them! What an amazing gift!

I'm sure there are ways your giving is touching even more lives and ministries - unseen ways - even to us on the field. I know it blessed us and brings joy to have so many partnering with us in the work God has called us to do here.

Now here comes the other side of this: We're still in need.

In the next few months, we are going to need to pay another 6 months rent (most of this is saved so far, need $800 yet), self-employment taxes (possibly around $8000- $9000) and we really, really, really hope to come 'home' for 8 weeks or so next summer, but that requires plane tickets (around $7000). We have not met our montly budget once since being here, despite reducing it twice. We've used every penny of our own savings. We're confident the Lord is asking us remain and continue on, but we need help in doing so.

Specifically, we are in need of an additional $1500 in monthly support and also in need of some annual or special gifts. We have some who give $5 a month, and others who give $200 a month. We have some who have given $20 a year and others who have given $1000. Would you consider supporting us with any amount this giving Tuesday or in the upcoming year?

If so, please click HERE and select "Missionaries - Africa" and then "Driesenga, Marc".

Posts and requests like these are difficult. We want to just share the stories and the great work that God is doing here in Dar, but fundraising is a part of our job as well. It's humbling, it's overwhelming, it's faith-building and it's truly a joy to watch the Lord provide for our needs.

Thank you for truly being our partners in ministry.

Asante sana, marafiki. Mungu ni Mwema.
(Thank you very much, friends. God is good.)

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