Increasing health care costs causing problems for mission groups.

By November 20, 2003

USA (MNN) — The economy and rising health care costs are causing problems for missions outreach. Since missionary support is tied to those costs, support isn’t cheap. Send International’s is asking people to pray.
SEND ‘s Frank Severn says rising costs in health care have many of their missionaries seeking additional support. “As we compare our health care costs with the market locally we are still lower, but there is just no way to keep it down if we’re going make sure our people can be adequately covered if they have to come back to North America for emergencies and those kinds of things. We’ve had to raise the health care part of our support across the board.”

Severn says donations have been down the last couple of years. He says project giving, “has been down $100,000 in that area.” That mean some projects are simply put on hold. Kiev Theological Seminary construction is stalled. A scholarship fund for Bible students in East Russia is depleted. Funding for unreached people group outreach is under funded.

He says the better economy won’t help short-term. “As I look back on 20 some years now of leadership in missions, giving in the Christian circles is about a year and half, maybe two years behind the economy. So, I think it will take a while for giving to turn around.”

Severn says while funding is important, prayer is needed even more. “We have great opportunities today. Pray and ask God to send laborers to the harvest field.”

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