Thursday, August 9, 2012

Today is Thursday, August 9, 2012,

I am finally getting an opportunity to update our blog. I had some access issues and now that is resolved!

What’s happening here?

Gail and I have been on furlough for almost 3 months for the summer months of 2012 and have enjoyed some good times visiting some of our individual supporters and all of our children, and our eight grand children. We praise the Lord for his continual provision for us and the meeting of our daily needs. Two significant milestone were also passed this summer, I turned 60 and we celebrated our thirty-ninth wedding anniversary. It is a funny feeling to have these numbers since we both feel that we have a lot of years ahead of us serving the Lord.

One recent highlight was a on-line meeting with our mission financial administrator who went over our accounts and notified us of our outstanding support needs before we return to Thailand. It is mission policy for this minimal amount to be listed as our support commitment from our supporters. This amount is the combination of individuals and churches who are financially supporting us.

He broke down the remaining support need and made a suggestion that we need to raise 1,150 dollars a month in order for him to approve of our return to Thailand.

The amount we need to raise will be monthly support for only about 5 more years before we can on “retirement status” meaning that I can retire, collect Social Security, and retirement, greatly reducing the support needs we need to carry on our work.

Why has our financial support dropped? Well the explanation is complicated:

First of all the “Cost of Living” for all Americans has gone up. This includes the results of inflation, which has increased for example, the cost of Health insurance (double what it was just 10 years ago).

Second, the worldwide financial market losses has cut deeply into investments and hurt not only our support but also our mission administration which was previously supplemented by dividends to finance the mission operations. Now we are contributing more to the fund as members of the mission.

Third, we have been missionaries for over 32 years serving in Thailand, and a number of our supporters who backed us years ago are now with the Lord. Others are retired and some laid off, meaning they cannot support us or cannot increase our support.

Since we have spent nine years without a furlough, we have some catching up to do. We are as I said above, having to find new support now.

Perhaps the Lord has challenged you to be an individual supporter that will get us back to service soon. Your gift should be sent to ABWE, Inc., PO Box 8585, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8585 Please include a note, "For the work and ministry of Don and Gail Craft, account number 0130353." And if you want to support us regularly, please indicate your desire to do so.