“No. Aim for 110 percent.”
It is better for you to shoot for 110 percent of your support and to have those funds committed before you leave for the mission field. Most missionaries lose 5-15 percent of their support during the first two years of service, so leaving home before you are at least fully funded is a recipe for financial disaster.
God has all the money you need to serve in missions, but sadly it’s in other people’s wallets and many of them forgot to have their wallets baptized.
Answer from Rob, who has served ten years with Operation Mobilization.
“No. Going without full support is not wise.”
Maintaining funds on the field can be difficult enough, but trying to raise additional funds while on the field is even harder. One of my colleagues went to the field after raising 80 percent of her support because she felt she was under a time crunch to get there. But suddenly, she barely had enough money for food. In addition, the currency exchange rate was suffering, so she was forced to go back home to raise more support. I would highly suggest not only being fully supported, but having some funds built up in your account to take care of supporters who either are late on gifts or who end their support.
Answer from J.B. who serves in the former Soviet Union.
“Yes. Trust God for all your financial needs.”
My husband and I have been with a faith mission for thirty-two years. We have yet to be without all that we need. Has our support always been 100 percent? Perhaps not for what we wanted, but for what we needed. Many mission agencies allow you to go to your assigned country with 80 percent of your financial support raised. You may feel, I just can’t go unless I have the 100 percent, because how will I make ends meet? If that’s your concern, then you may be trusting more in money than in God, who promised to provide all you need.
Some see their support jump to 100 percent after they leave their home country. God wants to know if we are willing to obey him and trust him to provide. The time is short and so many people need to hear the good news. Don’t limit God. Do your part: Share the ministry and stay in contact with all the people God leads you to write and call. Then leave the rest to him.
Don’t allow the pressures of fundraising to build so that you’re begging God to let you go to your assigned country. Pray and move ahead. God will provide all you need, either by moving in the hearts of his people to support you, or he will provide in other practical ways.
Answer from Carol who has served with TEAM for thirty-two years in Sri Lanka, India, and the Persian Gulf.
“Yes, but seek God for guidance and make sure you have what you need.”
If you are independent or with an agency that allows you to determine the amount of funding needed, then the answer could be yes, with two caveats:
1) Make sure that your decision to leave at that point is in clear obedience to God’s leading and not just anxiousness to move forward. Leaving in faith, at his direction, trusting that God will meet your needs, that’s one thing. Disobedience is another.
2) Make sure that you have budgeted very well with inside information from cross-cultural workers living in your target country and city and including all possible costs. Guessing at financial needs can cause frustration once you arrive. As a guide, remember if you need it at home, you will probably need it there.
Many agencies will not allow you to leave until you have a predetermined percentage of support raised, and in those cases, you’ll probably just have to wait patiently.
Answer from Jeff in Colorado, who has served with One Challenge in Guatemala and the United States for 24 years.