Happy Saturday evening

12 08 2012

So I’m home in Chattanooga, mailing out hard copies of the email update many of you received yesterday.  I also hope to send out a couple thank you notes, and more will follow on Monday.  Addressing and signing letters, penning thank you notes… these things may seem mundane, but they’re the stuff of relationship–expressions of the real partnership in the gospel I have with many of you.

planted one month in Astoria to prepare for two years (minimum!) in Kiev!

Thanks for your prayers and support!  I wouldn’t have been able to attend MTW’s Cross Cultural Ministry Internship in New York without your partnership, and certainly wouldn’t been able to follow God’s call to serve in Kiev without your vital role.  Because of your faithfulness, I was planted in Astoria, Queens, New York City last month, and was able to serve Astoria Community Church there while preparing to serve in Kiev soon.

Also, through your prayers and giving, you’re making more certain my September departure for the field.  I’ve received emails regarding two more pledges, one from an individual and one from a church, that move my overall support to nearly 98%!

Happy Saturday evening!  Thanks for your generosity in giving and your persistence in praying!





21 day countdown

23 03 2012

I had my bi-weekly talk with my MTW coach today.  I thought I needed 80% overall support, and since I have 69% overall, I told you in my last post I only needed $500/month and some additional one-time gifts.  I was wrong.

To register for training this July, I must have 80% of my monthly support by April 15th. Can you help provide part of the $735/month I lack to register for training?

The blue bar in the graph on the left has to reach 80% in 21 days!

Email partnerservices@mtw.org with your monthly pledge to my support account, #17138.

You don’t have to start giving until I go to the field, and I’m asking you for a two-year pledge starting when I head to Ukraine. My goal is to finish fundraising this summer and move to Kiev in August.

If you’ve been thinking, “Oh, I’m gonna support Joel,” but you haven’t pledged yet, please pledge monthly support now, $300, $150, $90, $60, $30 per month, or whatever you are able.

As the Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians when he urged them to give as they’d intended,

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”           – 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 ESV

See http://swansonmission.com/give for details and links to download the electronic giving form, but please email MTW with your pledge to record it sooner.  Let me know if you have questions.





end of year giving?

23 12 2011

Out of curiosity, I just ran a couple quick numbers: if everyone who’s given a one-time gift (not counting a couple annual gifts I’ve received) toward my Ukraine support raising were to give the same amount once more, my one time need would be exceeded by $6,965. Converting that extra to monthly equivalents, my monthly support would rise from 59% up to 70%. So, if you’ve given a one-time gift, do you have it in your budget to give the same amount once more?

You’d have that much more to deduct on your 2011 taxes, my one-time need would be met, and I’d only have 30% left to raise on my monthly support.

Thanks for your crazy-generous giving, friends. I’m excited and humbled to see how God is working in and through you!





what’s your bottom line for Ukraine support?

4 10 2011

“What’s your bottom line for Ukraine support?  Not your percentage, but how much money do you need,”  asked one of my pastors today.  I did the quick math for my outstanding 64% of my monthly $3,713 and told him $2,385 per month and $11,000 in one-time gifts. Or $8,000 since I plan to contribute myself to reduce my one-time line items by $3,000…. there I go complicating the bottom line.

Another way to see it is 50 new monthly supporters could meet my outstanding monthly need. Here’s one way it could break down:

  • 1 church or person giving $300 per month
  • 2 churches or people giving $150 per month
  • 3 people giving $90 per month
  • 10 people giving $60 per month
  • 25 people giving $30 per month
  • 5 giving $25 per month
  • 4 giving $10 per month

If you’re not already giving monthly, which of those levels could you give at?  I need your partnership if God is going to work through you to send me.  Thanks!





shifting schedule

7 07 2011

Tuesday I met a friend for lunch to tell him a bit more about my calling to serve in Ukraine. He and his wife are interested in praying for me, holding me before our Father’s throne. I was encouraged by his enthusiasm for cross-cultural missions as I heard about his early exposure to missions, his wife’s almost serving overseas herself before they married, and their commitment to give and to pray. I need conversations like that, for encouragement and for the joy and excitement of telling others how God is working in Kiev.

Summer is a busy time – another friend and I had to reschedule the Ukraine dessert and coffee she was going to host for me last night, because a number of people who expressed interested in coming couldn’t make it last night. Too often this seems to be the case: people are interested but busy. Please ask God to enable me to schedule meetings with friends and new contacts who would like to hear about Ukraine, and who may participate by praying and/or giving to send me.

I’m excited to go, but still need 68% of my monthly support, or $2,455/month. Sounds like a lot, but it could break down to 25 people giving $50/month and 50 people giving $25/month.  My schedule’s shifted: I need 100% of my funding by November of this year, so if you’re been intending to give but haven’t, please do.  Check out the give tab for details how you can give.

So pray that I can schedule meetings. Pray also that I’ll remain driven by the culture-crossing gospel of Jesus. Thanks!





four days remaining

12 04 2011

God has answered your prayers for meetings.  My calendar’s been quite full, and I’ve still got two meetings tomorrow, one Wednesday, and could meet you for dinner Thursday.  Praise the Lord with me for answered prayer!

I’ve currently received pledges for 24% of my monthly support.

Many thanks to those who have committed monthly support, and to those of you who’ve already begun giving.  Please continue praying specifically that I’ll reach 60% by this Friday.   Sounds impossible, but God parted the Red Sea and raises the dead, so he could do this if it pleases him.

Perhaps you’re interested in giving, but you’re not sure what a monthly pledge means.  It’s a commitment to give that amount each month (or you could pledge quarterly, or annually), and I need pledges for 60% by this Friday to attend training in July.

Would you like to pledge monthly support before April 15th? Are you getting a large tax return?  Divide it by 24 to pledge it over two years: $600 would be $25/month, or $1080 would be $45/month.  You get the idea.  Here’s how:

  • email: partnerservices@mtw.org with your monthly pledge to my support account, #17138.
  • call MTW donations, 678.823.0004 ex. 2451, with your pledge to my support account, #17138.
  • visit http://swansonmission.com/give to print out a pledge card or e-giving form to mail to MTW, but please call or email them to make sure your commitment is recorded before Friday, April 15th.

Pray for God to act.  Give as those who treasure Jesus above all else.  Join me in praising our great and faithful God.





what are you gonna do?

17 03 2011

Hi friends,

The short story is I’m working toward 60% of my monthly support pledges by April 15th.  Currently, I’ve received pledges for 18% of my monthly.  That deadline is so I can attend pre-field training this July, instead of waiting til January.

The details are all in my latest newsletter, which if you didn’t receive via email or snail-mail is here: online or PDF (975 KB).

This is impossible for me.  The only way it will happen is if God works with power and grace through you, his people.  In the brick wall graphic on the left, each row of bricks is 10% of my support: will you give to see God’s kingdom built in Kiev?

I need you to pray.  I need you to give.  God is building his church all around the globe, including in Kiev, Ukraine.

What are you gonna do?