I very rarely blog or comment about my own financial situation or means of support. However, I realise that some of my readers may wish to be made aware of this subject - so, despite a fair degree of discomfort in doing just that in this post, here goes!
For over three decades now, my 'home' church near London (UK) has consistently been making monthly gifts to help cover my personal and family needs in Spain. However, this arrangement will come to an end in March 2012 due to the cutbacks the church feels it needs to make in its annual budget and other priorities in its ministry. The leaders are presently encouraging their members (and any others beyond the local congregation who wish to support me individually or as families) to take steps to make personal arrangements once the church payments cease. They will be reminding the members again shortly by means of a letter, and recently they asked me for a short note outlining my current ministry that could be enclosed with their letter - especially for those who do not have access to this blog. Here is what I wrote:
For over 25 years, I have been involved with Unión Bíblica (Scripture Union Spain) as their National Coordinator for Children’s Ministries. I continue to travel regularly as a Scripture Union worker to different parts of Spain (and sometimes further afield), responding to invitations for training, lecturing & consultation. Since 2004, my work as a trainer has particularly focused on Godly Play, an imaginative approach to encouraging children (and grown-ups) to engage personally with Bible stories. My other duties with Scripture Union Spain also include publishing projects, especially in the area of evangelistic and Bible-reading materials for children.If you also wish to contribute financially, you can send designated gifts on my behalf via Independent Christian Workers Trust (ICWT). This is especially useful for UK tax payers, as ICWT are able to reclaim tax through the Gift Aid scheme and, thereby, substantially increase these contributions. I would be happy to give you further details on request.
More recently, I have been encouraged by the leaders of my (other) local church in Galicia (north-west Spain) to take over as their new Children’s Minister. This involves general supervision of Sunday school classes, summer camps, all-age worship, prayer events for children, etc. At the time of writing, I am busy training Sunday school workers in Godly Play principles and practice, setting up a brand-new Godly Play environment in one of the church classrooms, organising a KidsGames seminar for children’s and youth workers in Galicia, and regularly preaching on key Bible texts which either refer directly to children or impact indirectly on ministry with children and young people.
None of these posts is salaried, so my work still depends on voluntary contributions from supporters. I continue to be extremely grateful to God who has supplied my personal needs and those of the ministry for more than 35 years by means of regular donations from faithful supporters. Thanks be to God for this practical fellowship in the gospel!