High fuel prices causing budget issues for Christian ministries

By July 25, 2006

USA (MNN) — With prices at the gas pump more than a dollar higher than a year ago, it’s causing problems for ministries who depend on it. Buckner Orphan Care International is just one organization that’s feeling the pinch.

Buckner’s Amy Norton heads up their Shoes for Orphan Souls program. “We are really urgently needing to send our containers of shoes to the different countries where we will be having shoe teams delivering the shoes in the fall. And, we have found that right now the fuel prices are just causing all of the shipping costs to just soar.”

A container of shoes sent to Romania last week was $1,500 more than last year. Norton says if fuel prices continue where they are today, it’ll mean an unbudgeted expenditure of more than $12,000.

“We definitely didn’t budget for this,” says Norton, “So, our shipping costs are definitely going to be over this year and we’re urgently seeking financial help to get those shoes to the children.”

Getting the shoes to these areas is important for two reasons. “In our Eastern European countries, Romania, Latvia, Russia, these are all containers that also have warm winter shoes. The orphanages depend on the shoes that we send them. They literally do not receive any shoes other than the ones we send,” says Norton.

The other reason, says Norton, is spiritual. “The shoes are the open door for us to share the Gospel. So, we really depend on those shoes for our teams when they go over.”

The cost to send a pair of shoes overseas is about $2 (USD). Norton says this would be a great fund raising project. “It’d be wonderful for a church to look into their mission budget and see what they might be able to do to help, or individuals to be able to see if they might be able to help us in getting the expenses covered to get the Gospel to the children through the shoes.”

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