Feeling Thankful (How our US staff are so important)
Fridays. These days are often very heavy for me as I welcome and orient groups to our site in Monterrey, Mexico. It is a day that starts at 8am and will go at least until 8pm or later. As we gather at our morning meeting to prepare and pray for the day, I sit and just feel overwhelmed with thankfulness.
My thankfulness is for the people who work for Back2Back who live in the US. Although it may seem we have a very hard job in the mission field outside the US, their job is just as hard or harder at times. Here are some things that others do not know about our amazing staff in the US:
- It is hard to raise support (bring in people to give tax deductible donations to B2B for the salary you will receive) in the US. They are not in the “mission field” some would say. The stories that they may provide sometimes are not stories they were directly connected with on a day to day basis. These are stories people love to hear about when you’re raising support or gathering ministry partners.
- They do a lot of necessary, vital, administrative work that goes unnoticed to most people.
- They constantly see friends and family members getting high paying jobs all around them and yet they continue to live out the “call” God has given them. They walk out this “call” on their life all the while receiving a fair, but meager salary.
- B2B loves to go deep and with our missionaries on the ground serving it can be very hard to plan for the future, create large budgets, push the ball forward, and continue to go deeper in every country we are in. B2B believes that God can change childcare in a whole country and we are not only going deep with each child, but with the governments as well. All this planning starts, is followed up on, and supported through our US staff and Board.
Here is how we are supported by our US office staff:
- All the details, flights, preparation for the missions trips, and communication is all done through our US staff. So there is no need for our site missionaries to be burdened by administrative work.
- Groups are prepped for what to expect and any necessities that are needed go through the US site filter first. This mentally prepares missions guests before they arrive.
- Any donations coming from groups or donors go through our great US based staff to help guide these people to the actual “needs” of our sites/B2B. This allows us to move forward, to be more methodical, and to go deep rather than always doing sporadic projects that donors are excited about.
- In raising money for a specific project in Monterrey, we have staff in the US speaking with people to get this done and they spend countless hours raising money for a specific need.
- All marketing, devotionals, new approaches, and new skills all come from our US site. We do not have to concern ourselves that much with all this as they are continuing to fill us up and prepare us in better ways.
- They handle staff care, we have our US staff checking in on us. They provide counseling and friendship for us. They make sure we are not falling apart and burning out, and speak truth, love, and peace into our lives.
- They provide much needed follow up for missions guests. When missions guests and churches leave, our staff help them to continue talking about the things they learned as well as creating deeper partnerships so our children can benefit from continuity through relationships and resources.
- Our US staff feel like extended family and will bring down gifts, little treats, mail, and things we are just missing from the US.
- Our US staff come down fairly often to live and serve alongside us. When they do, they lift so many burdens and loads.
- From the top down our staff approaches everything we do from the mindset that we need to do it excellently because we represent the Gospel.
- Lastly, from the top down the continual theme is: we will never dumb down that Jesus is everything, and without Jesus in everything, and being everything, we would not be able to do anything. The Gospel is central to who we are and what we do. I love knowing that we will never be scolded or told to silence the Gospel for whatever reason or whoever the donor/person is, but yet are encouraged to share it through truth and love to the fullest.
As you can see, I was thankful for a lot that day and wanted to be sure you all knew about it. I am blessed to be able to be with a ministry that cares so deeply about staff support, going deeper, being great stewards of God’s resources, sharing the Gospel, and being excellent in everything. Although it can be exhausting and lonely in the “mission field”, my brothers and sisters in Christ are a huge blessing in the US in their “mission field.”
Hats off to our fellow missionaries living in the States. You do not need to be living in a third world country to be a missionary. We are so thankful for you.