The U-S dollar exchange hurting missions outreach

By February 10, 2004

Europe (MNN) — It’s great for the U-S economy, but it’s bad for U-S missionaries working in Europe. The value of the U-S dollar, compared to the Euro, is much lower.

Greater Europe Mission’s Devere Curtis says, “In February, 2002 you could get one Euro for 85-cents, today it costs $1.28 to get that same Euro. Which means in two years we’ve seen a drop in the value of the dollar of 49-percent.” He says rent that used to cost $900, now costs $1,344. Groceries that cost $300 per month, now costs $447.

Practically, that can put missionaries out of work. “The exchange rate has really wrecked havoc, especially with an organization like Greater Europe Mission where about 80-percent of our missionaries are in the zone where the Euro is used,” says Curtis.

While the lower value of the dollar makes buying U-S made products cheaper overseas, Curtis says, “With the weaker dollar, many missionaries have had to come home early from their ministries in order to spend time raising new money so that they can go back to the field.”

Curtis says it makes missions expensive. “It also cost God a lot to win redemption for us,” says Curtis. “We need to be expecting that it will cost in terms of lives, in terms of commitment and in this case even ready cash to see the Gospel spread throughout the world,” he says.

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