A Year Later: The Money Thang

VERY exciting email yesterday – A Foundation has offered to match donations given to us.

Its been almost exactly 5 years since we left USA to come to Europe. And exactly a year (April 19, 2004) since I wrote The Skinny on Support in response to a blog post called Faith or Gutlessness?, in particular a comment by someone who wanted to help support us with a gift but didn’t know how. During that huge outburst of vulnerability and emotionally draining explanation of why it seems to be so hard for people to send us donations, | did promise to be more open and honest in the future. I am being honest today – even if it is the only time this year when i make our needs known.


Unlike traditional missionaries, we have not had any individuals or families give us small monthly contributions (which must be a traditional church thing) But a number of individuals have sent us money through PayPal or a check to cover our expenses in emergencies. In the 5 years since we left USA, some church groups have covered our backs: The Baptist General Convention of Texas, and DAWN Ministries in particular. The First Baptist Church of Austin has helped with administration for the past 5 years, Glenwood Community Church has been there for emergencies, and Solomons Porch allows donors to give to Boaz through their 501C3. Without these groups, we would have returned home to USA long ago.

How about now?

Well, God is good and we have not missed any meals. Things have often been tight – very tight – but we always have enough. The killer for us now is the weak American dollar and the strong British pound, which means that our level of personal support is far less that what is normal – less than a school teacher, but higher than a bus driver . . . although since we don’t get any benefits in living in a foreign country (no family supplements for our 5 kids, etc) then our situation forces us to be hyper-creative. Sometimes I feel like putting a banner across my blog that says “Make OUR Poverty History”

But there is good news: An email yesterday from a Foundation in USA that has offered to MATCH donations from supporters up to $10,000. This is GREAT! Great for me and great for those of you that want to support us. And every dollar sent to us right now will be DOUBLED.

Your Questions:

Paypal? Yes – in the right column.

Need more details? Then send me an email.

Cant send money? Then pray for us.

Need money? Let us know and we might be able to help.

Biggest single need right now? To pay for my plane ticket for California (next week).

Report? The Boaz Report, will be restarted and sent monthly to supporters and key organizations.

Google Ads on my blogs? | have not felt the freedom from God to sell advertising or charge money for my blogging, speaking or writing. After 25 years of speaking at conferences and churches, I have never asked a fee. This will continue. Maybe I need another paradigm shift, but this is where I am right now. “Freely, you have received, freely give”

WWHHHHEEEEEEWWWWWW . . that was hard!


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • An apology

    I think I need to apologise to a friend of mine. I have always found the ‘PayPal Donate’ icons on people’s blogs rather annoying, as people often say they blog primarily for themselves – so why ask for money?

  • man, do i ever know what you mean about it both being tough getting money from people and the nearly uselessness of the dollar in the UK. i was given a year-long internship in southwest London which started last August. i hate asking for money and it didn’t go very well. to make a long, sad story short, due to the weakness of the dollar and the fact that most all the people who sponsored me monthly didn’t give the whole time i was in London, i had to cut my time in half and came back last month. to be honest, i really dealt with some bitterness issues ’cause i came from a pretty wealthy church and they didn’t really support me like i wanted them to. anyway, all that to say i can certainly understand what you are going through. i’ll be praying for you that God would continue to bless you for the work you’ve been doing; i know i’ve definitely benefitted from the ministry of your blog. keep it up.

  • One cool new feature that PayPal has set up is the ability to make recurring charges. They describe it as being for subscriptions (you might have to be a business member, which involves clicking one link), but you can use it for any recurring charge. I’m using it to charge for monthly webhosting.
    Perhaps if you asked for small recurring donations ($5-$10), you would get lots of people signed up. I’m sure most of us could handle $5 a month. That would mitigate the problem of one-time-only donations.
    Best wishes in your fundraising.

  • Andrew, I admire anyone who is willing to live by faith (having had to do that a few times myself), but I must say that refusing remuneration for speaking (which is your gift) or writing (which is also your gift) flies in the face of our Scriptures: 1 Tim 5.18: Do not muzzle the ox… the worker deserves his wages. And these are rooted in Matt 10.5-11 which permits the missionaries to accept compensation for their missionary efforts.
    It is between you and God; but brother, I’m in prayer for you on this one.
    [andrew] Scot – I accept gifts gladly, especially when i speak at events, but i do not charge a fee upfront, or insist that i be paid. I decide to speak or not speak at the event after prayer and thoughtful decision not based on renumeration. OFten i will receive a gift – and it is great if that provides my airfare, but sometimes it doesnt happen and God will provide in other ways.
    Thanks for your thoughts

  • You typed… “which means that our level of personal support is far less that what is normal – less than a school teacher, but higher than a bus driver . . . ”
    Well, you still get per month more than MOST families in Asia get per year (and more than the average doctor’s salary in China) or even more than a year…and they have the same number of children as you probably.
    Don’t sell out, Andrew. I mean that. You don’t have to advertise for money if God is the author of what you are doing…Like you, I was down to my last cent, but I didn’t advertise…God provided. he will with you too. Don’t get desperate. Maybe you should change your itinerary?
    This is The Way. Yeaaaay! Yee-haaah!

  • thank boltono
    that was one reason why we moved to Czech Republic – to make our money go further and still live in Europe.
    And we have considered moving to India (Bangalore) and to China (Beijing) which would be an economical choice, but at this point we feel we should be guided by God’s Spirit and our passion for Europe, rather than our level of support. My itinerary will continue to be where God sends us – we have operated this way for 2 decades.
    And, despite your challenge not to “advertise”( i really despise that word – i find it offensive), most of our counselors have chastised us for continualy running out of money without anyone knowing – and they have advised us to make our needs known (ie. communicate well and clearly) when we need to.
    but thanks for your thoughtful post.

  • Yes, just hear God, that’s all.
    Stay fluid in the flow.
    Don’t know about Bangalore, but Beijing is definitely not cheap…I lived there for 6 years.
    I maintain that money comes without letting needs be known. When it comes that way you know you’re on the ball.
    Going into one’s “closet” does work letting needs be known…I like good wine, and although the corks are sometimes screw-top I don’t go without!

  • cool! good to see some pure Hudson Taylorists still out there – keeps the rest of us on our toes.
    I was with Operation Mobilzation for a few years – and during that time they switched from a no-tell policy to one of more open communication – not asking, but at least providing enough information to allow partnership
    i guess i also am trying to strike the same balance.

  • that’s a tough balance. during our 4 years of church planting in wyoming we didn’t ask for money from people we knew elsewhere. if they sent it, we accepted it. we worked other jobs for extra money. at the time we were convinced that was the right thing to do. i no longer know what to think. sometimes i wonder the church only lasted 4 years because we were too proud to ask for money. sometimes i think God only intended for that church to last those 4 years. i really don’t know. but i do know that we followed our hearts the best we could.

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