IN Message from the Road, I said it was "good news" that we are experiencing so many difficulties along the path to the Kingdom. But of course, the financial shortfall in our ministry is no small thing. With the growing economic turmoil in the world, more and more people are finding it difficult to make ends meet, or are holding on more tightly to their funds. As a result, this full-time ministry, which depends entirely upon the support of my readers, viewers, and those I meet on the road, has been experiencing a shortfall of thousands of dollars each month since the Spring. This has quickly piled up into debt as we’ve had to use credit just to pay the everyday bills.
My wife Lea and I trust in the Lord’s providence, He who time and again has provided for all our needs, often unexpectedly. You know that I rarely make appeals such as this for support, mostly because I don’t want to distract from the message that is freely given here. But there comes moments, such as now, where remaining silent means that I will also be prevented from being able to carry on my ministry for lack of needed resources in a world where "just living" costs a lot of money.
Around 2005, we purchased a tour bus (motorhome) that carried our family nearly a hundred thousand miles throughout North America where we brought our ministry to hundreds of churches and tens of thousands of Catholics. In 2008, we decided to put the bus up for sale as both my wife Lea and I felt that I should focus more on my writing and webcasts where I am reaching a large audience compared to the increasingly smaller crowds that attend the events where I travel (another sign of the times). It just makes sense. However, with the shortfall in ministry revenue, I have had no choice but to go back on the road in order to generate financial support so that the entire ministry does not go broke.
But this tour bus, which has been difficult to sell because of its higher mileage, has also been a cross. Repairs and maintenance average $5000-6000 per year, whether we use it or not. My monthly payment on the unit is $950, what most people pay on average for their home mortgage (which we also have in addition.) In 2008, when the economy began to unravel, the motorhome industry took a devastating tumble. The value of our tour bus was nearly cut in half overnight. As a result, the bus is only worth about $40,000-45,000 as where our loan is still at $85,000. We need a benefactor to help us either cover the monthly payment, or help us to pay off the loan altogether. Christ used a donkey to carry Him into Jerusalem; we use a motorhome in our much bigger world. Either way, He needed someone to donate His vehicle as much as we do ours.
Other items where we need assistance:
• Our home, studio, and offices are all integrated. Our power and heating bill is $600-800 a month.
• We can only afford one staff member in our ministry, Colette, who has been an amazing gift to us as she does the work of three. Her salary each month is approximately $2500.
• Our internet and cell phone costs for studio and offices and the tour bus are on average $200 monthly.
• Our website hosting costs for the shop, blog, and other services is $100 per month.
• We need to update our website and online shop, which are about 10 years old, and no longer compatible with our office computers. The cost is approximately $2200 (Lea, who is a graphic designer, will redesign the site.)
• We want to purchase a mobile camera for our studio ministry, which is about $1500.
These are just some of the major outstanding costs at this time. This of course does not leave us any reserve funds for promotions, purchasing new materials, or emergency situations. However, if we can find supporters for the above costs, that will free up funds for us to carry forward our ministry without having to borrow just to survive, which of course, is a dead end.
Thank you to everyone who has given in the past. You have carried us thus far to this point, and the fruit is wonderful. If you could read the letters I receive, you would weep with me because Jesus is grasping souls from the clutches of the world, in part, through this ministry.
Above all, I ask you not to forget us in your prayers. The trials and spiritual attacks are increasing to the point where it literally stops me in my tracks some times. But Christ always comes to the rescue, and I have no doubt, it is largely due to the intercessory prayer of you, my brothers and sisters in Jesus.
Forgive me for having to beg once again. But I am resigned to the fact that it’s part of the territory for ministry. It was for Jesus; it was for St. Paul; it was for St. Francis, and it is for this small soul who hopes to be a saint.
My love and prayers be with your spirit!
P.S. We have run out of desktop calendars, but we are happy to send a fridge magnet of Lea’s Embracing Hope painting to all our donors as a way of saying thanks!
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MINISTRY TOUR IN MANITOBA CONTINUES:
- November29th, School Presentation, Holy Cross Elementary School, Winnipeg, MB, 2pm
- November 29th: Encounter With Jesus, Holy Cross Parish, 252 Dubuc Street, Winnipeg, MB, 7-9pm
- November 30th: Extreme Teen Encounter With Jesus, Holy Cross Parish, 252 Dubuc Street, Winnipeg, MB, 7-9pm
- December 1st: Encounter With Jesus, St. John the Evangelist Parish, 2 Academy Drive, Morden, MB, 7-9pm
- December 2nd: Encounter With Jesus, St. Rose of Lima Parish, St. Rose du Lac, MB, 7-9pm