As a missionary, I get asked often "What are the needs?" This is both a wonderful and scary question, and I often feel tongue-tied. It is wonderful because the person asking really wants to know how to help, and it is scary because most often, the needs seem to be unending.
How do I prioritize needs? How do I decide which one to talk about today? Because I certainly don't want to overwhelm those asking. Just recently when speaking with friends, they said, "We want to give, but why don't you just decide where it is needed most." I almost cried. At that moment, it almost broke my heart to have make the hard call of who got what was needed...and who didn't.
We have a great God who provides extravagantly. But my little heart can't hold all of the needs, or all that is given. I will work hard to share (in an organized and not overwhelming way) the needs we have because I know there are people who want the blessing of giving. I have to believe that for every need there is, there is a person God created to meet that need. Here are five immediate needs, and in our daily prayers. You can click the link to go right to the donation spot:
1. Carnaval Camp Sponsorships: Caid and I believe in this strongly in camp, and these are our kids from Living Stones at our church in Cajueiro Claro. We have felt called to provide three $30 scholarships (putting our money where our mouth is),but there are still SEVEN more scholarships needed ($210). Please tell me right away if you would like to give to this (or are giving), so I can make sure the money gets to them ASAP. More Information is here.
2. Melody Medical Costs: our dear friends and co-workers in Brazil (Jeff and Lindsay Turner) had a big medical scare with their daughter Melody last week. They, like us, do not have medical insurance in Brazil, just medical savings. This emergency hospitalization ended with $2000 more in cost than their savings. Thank the Lord that Melody is doing better now: please continue to pray she would continue to improve and not have any further digestion problems in the future.
3. Pastor Flavio's Support: our closest workers (with Living Stones and our home church in Brazil) are Flavio and Mercia. Their daughter Heloise is Sofia's best friend. And they are at 1/3 (that is being optimistic) of the support they need. Flavio is a church planter, with incredible energy and drive for Jesus, but right now he is being stretched thin, having to focus on how to make ends meet every month. If you are looking for a local leader to invest in: I would suggest pastor Flavio.
4. Lane's Knee Surgery: Lane and Misse are the two girls who lead Living Stones in Guadalajara. They do an incredible job with well over 60 kids a week. For the past two years, Lane has been having trouble with her knees, especially the left one. Last year, she dislocated it over seven times, and often couldn't even walk to the church to help with Living Stones. She was told both knees needed surgery, and the left one immediately. But, with public health service, she has been to many, many waiting rooms, and has yet to have the date for her surgery finalized. She is hoping to have surgery (and a long recovery) this spring semester. She needs many prayers, and there are many extra costs involved (even if the actual surgery is free). I don't have a direct link for her, but if you go to the provided link and put "Lane's Knee Surgery" into the comment, I will make sure it gets to her.
5. Ferguson Family Support: Since we have doubled our family, our monthly support has actually gone down. We are about 60% funded from what our ministry suggests we raise. We are looking for people who want to partner with us long term: who know us and believe in what God has called us to do. We are determined to connect and keep connected with you (have you seen any of our 350+ videos on YouTube?) through weekly vlogs and blogs, Facebook, Instagram, e-mail, Skype, Facetime...whatever works best for you!