Devaluation of U-S dollar hits missions hard.

By December 24, 2003

USA (MNN) — It’s being called a financial crisis in mission circles. The U-S dollar is worth just 75-centS to the Euro, but is only worth about 50-cents in some African countries when you figure in inflation. That’s causing incredible problems for mission organizations.

Evangelical Baptist Missions Jim Burdick says, “Some many of our missionaries, we send them to the field right at the support level that they need. And then, if they lose an exchange rate then all of a sudden they start to lose the money to live within that economy.” He says that means even more problems. “Then what mission agencies have to start doing is looking at ‘do we need to bring our missionaries home, do we have to raise more support, what do we do to tackle this problem?’ And, we’re also trying to ask is this a long term problem or a short term problem.” Burdick says it could mean they’ll have to bring missionaries home.

Burdick says this would be an incredible problem for EBM. He says, “Europe and Africa are our largest fields. That would be a tremendous hit in the Gospel ministry that’s going on for our ministry.” He says it’s not just unique to EBM

The short term solution is simple. “We have an immediate urgent need” for more funding, says Burdick. Long term Burdick says, “(We need to be) making sure that we’re replacing ourselves with nationals that are qualified to do the work that’s out there as well.”

Burdick says nationals also need to invest financially in missions and become less dependent on dollars from the West.

Pray that funding will increase so missionaries can stay in the field. Pray too that nationals will catch the vision for funding their own programs and that they’ll become less dependent on western dollars.

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