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Managing Money when You Live Outside the US, Part 3



September 28, 2017

Help Your Support Team Understand What It Costs You to Live Internationally

They may not say it, but it’s natural for members of your financial support team to wonder where the money goes. If you’re living in a less developed country, it would be logical for them to expect your cost of living to be less than in the US, when oftentimes it’s not. This perception gives you an ideal opportunity to tell a story or two that not only shows them the cost of living and working where you do, but also the impact of their investment in your work.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you do a fair amount of ministry in your home, meeting with people and providing meals. Part of the story here is about the food. What would your typical grocery list look like? You could show it as a two-column list, with the prices you pay in one column and average prices in the States in the second column. Next, identify the items that cost more where you live and explain why. Finally, talk about how your typical grocery shopping experience plays out. Do you have to drive a long way to the market or take public transportation? What does your car cost? And fuel to run it? If it’s public transportation, how much do you pay, how far do you go and how long does it take?

By telling this story, you answer logical questions your supporters might have. Plus, you give them another window into your missionary world. This story could be the first half of a two-part series. Follow it up by talking about one or more typical meetings in your home during which the food you shopped for gets served. Explain who you meet with and why, then tell the story of one or two who you’ve had the privilege of sharing the gospel with, discipling or mentoring.

If you’re an ECCU member missionary, you could also let your support team know that banking with ECCU is one way you seek to wisely steward the money they give, because missionaries save an average of $600 a year by banking with the credit union.

People remember stories. When you communicate with your supporters, use stories to show them more clearly what you do, why you do it and the impact you’re having. This hypothetical one is just an example. What’s a story you’ve told that resonated with your readers? Make a comment and let us know

Category: Missionary Minded