Status Report – FAQs – 3.11.11
Don’t let the title fool you… this isn’t a boring ol’ update. It’s full of exciting and interesting information about the progress of UK for Jesus! So, please read on! As you’ve probably noticed, we are using our blog for a variety of topics, but every now and again we want to provide all of you with a good, old-fashioned status report so that you know exactly how things stand for us.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions, so I thought a Q&A format might work well for this first status report. We’ve included information on everything from when we are leaving, to where we’ll be living, to how our fund raising is going, to what the weather is like there and a lot more! If you have questions that haven’t been answered here, please let us know! We’ll be glad to respond to you personally, as well as include that information in a future update if it’s something we think others might want to know too.
Now, let’s get down to business…
Q: When are you leaving for England?
A: I think some thought we had left already, but we are still here for now. Our target is by this May. However, that timing hinges on two key things: 1) Getting our UK visas and 2) raising our financial support to the necessary level. We are wholeheartedly trusting God to forge the path for us on both of these. There is no way that we can make either happen, so it will have to be ALL Him, which means that He will get ALL the glory when it happens. Amen!
Q: Will you be on staff at the church you’ll be working with there?
A: No. We are going to serve David Flanders and his ministry, filling many critical needs, but we will do so as missionaries. This means NO salary. We will be fully funded by donations from those of you that God burdens to support His work through us in the UK.
Q: Why does England need missionaries and what “missionary work” will you be doing specifically?
A: Great questions! We actually devoted a blog post to the topic of “Why England?”. Click here to read it. Additionally, our Mission page contains the details about the specifics of how we’ll be serving David Flanders and Soul’s Harbour and how we’ll be reaching out to evangelize and disciple the broader community. Click here for that one. The short version is that we are going to serve the church, evangelize the nation and help raise up a generation of true worshipers.
Q: Have you received the financial support you need?
A: Not yet but we are getting there. We are about 17% there on our monthly requirement of $3,000 (for the first 6 months; we are at about 13% beyond that for the rest of the first year). Our one-time need of $10,500 is about 30% funded. A huge thanks to all who have given so generously thus far and/or have committed to help us monthly! We have an additional one-time need with regard to our personal debt; that information can be provided upon request.
Q: Where will you live?
A: David Flanders and the leadership of Souls Harbour Church have generously offered for us to stay in an apartment that is being built over the church. It was started last year (by a mission team from Chi Alpha @ SHSU in Huntsville, TX) and is being finished up this month. It will be one room with a small kitchenette and bathroom (pictures to be posted soon). This will give us time to get settled in and really get a feel for our budget, etc., before we have to commit to a rental agreement. We hope to be able to afford something larger in the long run but this will be a HUGE blessing to us get started. Additionally, it meets the exact criteria we prayed for when we originally began seeking God about going to England: one room, bathroom, kitchenette, within walking distance of the church (which is just through the door and down the stairs) and within walking distance of the market (which is just down the block and around the corner). Thank you, Lord!
Q: Will you have a car?
A: Not at first, but we are believing that God will provide for us to have one eventually… especially if we end up living further out from town at some point. It is a rural area, so while public transportation does exist; if we are too far out from the center of town, a car will be necessary. But we’ll be fine at first, since everything we will need will be within walking distance. Of course, we’re praying for enough funds to take a trip to the big city at least once a month! Side note, if we do ever get a car, Trevor will definitely be doing all of the driving!
Q: What is the cost of living like there? Does it cost less or more than the U.S.?
A: More. In addition to it simply being more expensive to live there (things like $10 a gallon gas and a 20% value added tax [VAT]), the dollar is weak. So, it takes more of our dollars to equal 1 British Pound and those still don’t buy as much there because things are more expensive. Are we worried? No, God has this. He will provide. But it helps for those He will be providing through to truly understand the nature of our financial needs.
Q: Where exactly in England will you be?
A: If you look at the map of the UK on the banner along the top of our website, you’ll see a little orange dot (Trevor claims it’s red… well, brick red) near the bottom with the notation: “UKFJ Base.” That is the town of Camelford, which is in Cornwall (like a state or province, I think), which is in England, in Great Britain, in the UK! Camelford is a rural community of about 2,000, consisting primarily of farmers with lots of sheep and cows. However, there is also strong tourism nearby, as the amazingly gorgeous coastline is just minutes away.
Q: What’s the weather like?
A: Cool and wet. Summers are supposedly amazing, with highs around 70 and lots of sunshine… that’s for about 2 months, I think. It does rain there over 200 days a year, which is what keeps the countryside so lush and green and perfect for grazing (for the livestock, of course). So, umbrellas and raincoats will be standard gear. The winters are cold but being close to the coast generally keeps things from getting much lower than the 30s. It’s different than here, but not terribly extreme on either end, so I think we will adjust okay. We’ll let you know!
Q: How long will you be in England?
A: We are not sure. Could be a few years; could be forever. We are committed to doing all that we can to hear God’s instructions for us and be obedient to them. As of now, those instructions are simply to go there and serve. We are hopeful that our initial visas will at allow for at least a 2- or 3-year stay.
Q: What are you doing to prepare for this change?
A: A lot! We are working on the legal structure of UK for Jesus – filing papers with the county, state and IRS, getting a P.O. Box, setting up a bank account and so on. Additionally, we are working to build our financial support base by making our vision and needs known at our church, to friends through Facebook and this blog, by sending letters out to certain ministries and businesses and so on. And, in the midst of all of that, we are preparing for our “everything must go” sale. We are transforming our home into a showroom (well, it really looks more like a flea market) and nearly everything will be for sale. Our first public showcase event will be on 4/9, so if you’d like to come, please contact us! We are also letting people shop sooner by appointment. Our proceeds will go first against personal debt, then toward our ministry fund.
Q: What will happen with the youth ministry at The Crossing?
A: Until we leave, Pastor Trevor will continue to work for The Crossing and function in his current role as youth and college pastor. He is working with his leadership team to begin transferring various responsibilities (such as teaching Sunday School) so that everything can continue on without disruption when we do leave. However, his heart is still for these students and he continues to seek God’s best for the youth and college ministries of The Crossing. We have lots of events planned in the coming months, contests, and an incredible summer camp. Don’t miss out… check out the Ignite Youth Church Facebook page or contact the church for details about what is going on and how to get involved. Who will ultimately replace Trevor in the pastoral role is not yet determined. But there are plenty of wonderful and capable leaders that will help to steer the ship and watch over the passengers until God brings along the right captain. (Not sure where that nautical theme came from, but let’s just go with it!)
Q: What are your biggest prayer needs?
A: The short answer is: visas and finances. The longer answer is: we are so glad that you asked and we have a page of our website dedicated to that very topic! Please check out our Prayer Needs page for the nitty-gritty and thank you SO VERY MUCH for your prayers.
Q: Is there a way to give online?
A: Why, yes, there is! Our Donate Page has all of the details about how to give online or by check. Our online giving is actually linked into The Crossing Church’s E-Giving page, so you will still be making your donation through them. We will eventually be set-up as an independent non-profit, 501c3 corporation, but there’s a lot of paperwork to submit first. That’s still in progress. In the meantime, all donations designated to UK for Jesus are managed by The Crossing and are tax-deductible in the U.S.
Q: How can I stay updated on what’s going on with UK for Jesus?
A: Our website is updated regularly: the blog, the prayer needs, etc. When new updates are made, we will typically utilize Facebook and Twitter to make people aware. However, if you don’t use those regularly or are worried about missing an update, you can subscribe to our free newsletter. It’s simply an email notification that will tell you that something new has been posted and it will provide you with a link to the site. Quick and easy! Emails only go out when we post something new, so you might receive 1 or 2 a week based on our current activity level. You always have the option to unsubscribe as well. See our website for more info!
Well, I think that might be it for now. Please be on the lookout for more updates and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to ensure you are aware of new updates even if you miss the notifications on Facebook or Twitter. You can also contact us at any time by sending an email to email@UKforJesus.com.
With every passing moment (and every sold item), this change becomes more real… we get more excited and a little more nervous (in a responsible, godly way, that is), but we also know with more certainty that we are on the right track – the one God has set before us. Again, thank you all for your words of encouragement, prayers, and support. It has been amazing!
Blessings and more to come soon!
- Connie, Trevor & Brooklyn