Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Called to missions but stuck at home

Jodi Nichols cries when she talks about it. Husband, Kevin, says he would rather be hit with a baseball bat.

The couple from Wheeler, Miss., committed their lives to missions nearly two years ago. They planned to move to Russia with their four children in January. But in the midst of a rocky economy and shortfalls in missions giving, they won’t be going anytime soon.

The IMB is cutting 600 missionaries from the current number just under 5600 by the end of 2010. The cuts will come from normal attrition processes. 

“It hurt,” says Kevin of the day he, his wife and about 200 others also called to missions learned the Southern Baptist IMB (International Mission Board) did not have the funds to send them.

“Today it still doesn’t feel real … I know what God has called us to … [but] it takes money,” he says.

For now, the Nicholses are uncertain when — or if — they will be able to go to the mission field. By the time the economy rebounds, their oldest child may be 15 or 16, and IMB discourages the appointment of families with children that old.

The Nichols family’s situation is a snapshot of how a struggling economy impacts lives — both here and around the globe. Because the Nicholses can’t go, someone in Russia may not hear the Gospel.

Source: Shawn Hendricks at Baptist Press posted on IMB.org

How much does it cost to support a missionary?
• $40,931.64 a year
• $3,410.97 a month
• $787.15 a week
• $112.14 a day
• $4.67 an hour
• $.08 a minute

Reported June 2009. Support includes housing, food, children’s education, medical expenses, retirement and more.