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Launching and Monthly Goals Explained

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“Why are the fundraising goals so high?” asked one donor. “Surely it doesn’t take that much to support a missionary.” The questions she raised are important ones. We spent the next half hour dialoging about AFM’s mission and its sacred trust to be financially accountable. As we neared the end of our conversation, she thanked me for answering her questions. She then added, “I would encourage you to share what we’ve talked about today in the magazine.”

Here is a summary of the main points of our conversation:

Principle I —It is costly to enter unreached territory and establish new, sustainable work. However, a human presence is still the best and sometimes only option. That is why the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Please remember: AFM goes to unreached people groups because there are no native believers there in the first place! AFM has a specific niche in God’s work. We are the first missionary infiltration into enemy-held lands. For many unreached groups, AFM is the only viable option for establishing a church-planting movement.

Principle II —We take care of our missionaries. Our workers already sacrifice much to answer God’s call to be cross-cultural church planters. Physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially, they take great risks. We need to provide responsibly for our missionaries. When AFM hires an employee, the cost of hiring includes not only salary but Social Security contributions, health insurance, retirement, workman’s comp., etc. We rely on the Spirit-guided generosity of donors like you to meet the necessary expense of taking care of our missionaries as they perform their unique and vital ministry.

Principle III —You are funding a movement, not just missionary. Your donations don’t just provide living expenses for missionaries; they fund church-planting movements from the bottom up. Those of you who have business backgrounds can appreciate the cost of starting up a new work!

Below is a general breakdown of the funding categories.

Launching: Funds needed to get the missionary into the field.

Project development, professional testing, orientation, salary, benefits, fundraising costs, training, travel and shipping to mission site, management costs and Adventist Frontiers.

Monthly Support: Funds necessary to sustain the mission.

Salary (based on local wage factor), benefits, project expense, management costs, Adventist Frontiers, attrition, rent for buildings, transportation to remote areas, etc.

In keeping with AFM’s high calling, we strive to be as transparent as possible. At your request, we would be happy to send you an audited financial statement for AFM’s operations and a sample budget of missionary launching and monthly costs. If you have any questions or concerns regarding funding, please call me at 800-937-4236 or email payne.su@afmonline.org.

Next month, we will continue this discussion of the financial side of AFM’s operations.

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