Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An appeal

As we have reflected on this blog post and our appeal we believe this was a poor choice. Part of being a missionary is assuming a level of poverty to be in solidarity with the poor. That can mean forgoing some of the things we want to do, but are not needs. It is hard to admit when you make a mistake. We are not removing the blog post because we don't want to pretend we did not make a mistake, when we did.

     This is Lora making an appeal on behalf of our children.  Every summer the youth division of Family Mission Company reaches out to middle school children with the gospel through a week long camp called “Faith Camp” http://www.bestweekofyourlife.com/Best_Week_Of_Your_Life/Home.html .  There are a lot of fun packed days that draws children every year but more importantly the focus is giving these kids Jesus.  Everyday has a message about faith, evenings of praise and worship, small group discussions, all culminating throughout the week.  We had the opportunity to send three of our girls last year and we can attest that it is a life changing week for them.  Read about Abigail’s experience here http://veritasspelndor.blogspot.com/search/label/Faith%20Camp .  We would love to send our oldest four this year.  We were blessed with a sizable tax return this year that we were originally going to put towards the airfare to send them.  However, due to a couple of reasons we will not be able to use that money for them.  One of them is that we have not kept in contact with our benefactors through thank you’s and newsletters.  So our monthly support has gone down.  We know that it is vitally important for missionaries to let their benefactors know what the Lord is doing and we failed at that.  The second reason is we feel like the funds we do receive from our benefactors are not for us but for doing God’s work.  Therefore, when we see a need, we give.   When Mark sees something in a person’s house that he can fix or we can buy that improves their living we do.  We also give a lot of food away through parcels as well as feeding.  The Lord has always supplied for our needs for the last 17 years of our married life and we know that He will continue to do so. 
  If this camp was just a fun kid camp, we would not even be considering this.  However, I feel like it is important for other reasons.  1st Abigail and Gabriella would be on the staff side.  This means they are giving their week to serve and make every effort possible to lead others closer to Christ.  I think that this camp will enhance all four of their lives as missionaries and give them training for their futures.  Also, for all four of them, I think it will be  refreshing, encouraging and an opportunity for them to draw closer to Jesus.  The cost of the airfare for the 4 of them is almost $4000.    
If all this was not selfish enough, I also would like to send Abigail and Gabriella to Jamaica to the Missionaries of the Poor for a Retreat.  They would get the chance to work alongside the brothers giving their lives to the abandoned and forgotten.  They have a center with separate quarters for handicapped men, women, children and babies.  Then the girls would also be a part of a retreat given by the MOPs to help in their discernment for what God is calling them too.  Here is their website with more information. http://www.missionariesofthepoor.org/ The airfare would be around $2000
If you would like to sponsor either of these trips you can send a donation  to Family Missions Company earmark it as Eckstine’s Faith Camp or Eckstine’s – MOPs and the funds will be used for those purposes.  On behalf of the children and from me, Thank you and the Lord bless you.

We pray this will not deter our benefactors from giving to the truly good causes we share in the future.

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