Flying Home

DISCLAIMER TO NEW PEOPLE AND “JUST CURIOUS” PEOPLE

25 years ago we found our support team and haven’t asked for money since. We like it this way, and intend to keep it this way, but right now, due to circumstances beyond our control (mostly), we are “re-discovering” a huge chunk of our needed support. We want to keep this time as short as possible and then return to normal, but in the meantime, know that this is not primarily aimed at you. Thanks for your patience!

END OF DISCLAIMER

 

A big thank you to our incredible support team. We’re writing this on the plane flying back to Japan, thinking back over the past few weeks with very grateful hearts. Our situation hasn’t changed very much, but after talking with so many of you, we come back encouraged and ready for whatever might happen. Several exciting funding possibilities opened up, and we have some other leads to follow up on as well. In another few months, hopefully we’ll all be looking back in amazement at what God has done.

 

Our Situation:

The January 2009 support calculation sheet has us underfunded by $1,276/mo.

Our home church commissioned and sent us out 25 years ago, and has been a rock, a pillar of support in every way. Now they are facing serious challenges, and have made financial and strategic focus changes. Bottom line: We will be losing $833/mo in support this May, with the remaining $833/mo under consideration in November. Combined with other churches and individuals who have had to cut back, we will be looking at a deficit of $2,302/mo in May which could grow to $3,135 in November.

 

What We Will Do:

Stay in Japan as long as feasible (it’s not a great time to be finding support in the U.S. anyway)

l  Aggressively seek new support even while here

l  Return to the U.S. end March and early April to meet potential new supporters

Pray for a funding miracle

May 2009 is the deadline

If we haven’t found at least $1,600 in new support by May, we’ll need to return to the U.S. until we’re 100% supported. Frankly, this is not an exciting prospect. Wonderful opportunities are opening up for both Mark in Sign Language Bible Translation and Mary Esther with Wheelchairs of Hope. In neither case does it seem that fundraising in the U.S. is a good use of our time. So our first line of action is to do everything we can from Japan (while still keeping up with our work) to find funding in the U.S.

 

How can You Help?

Pray: There are several exciting funding possibilities, as well as some other leads we are following up on.

Scout: Help us find churches and people who might be interested in either of our ministries. Attached is a one-page profile of our ministries, and we also have PowerPoint presentations and DVDs of various lengths available. Feel free to suggest other formats that you might find helpful.

Advocate for us at your home church.

Prayerfully consider increasing support (we understand that many are struggling just to stay the same, and others are needing to cut back—God knows the realities you each are facing.) If each personal supporter added 10% and each supporting church added $100/mo, we could continue in Japan without interruption.

 

Praise God for:

l  Two new church contacts

l  Three new and increased support commitments already

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About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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