Weekend of the 13th-15th NCU Graduation
Friday the 20th - 2nd Annual Loi Kratha
Friday the 27th - Thanksgiving
Learned we are pregnant with number 2
Friday the 11th - Christmas Party (last class day of semester 1)
Sat-Sun 19th-20th - head of English camp for 4 schools in Chiang Mai
Dec 26th - Last day of finals
Dec 28th - Last day to submit grades
4th - Turned in syllabi for 3 subjects
11th - First day of Class
13th - Call2All Chiang Mai's first day with our Chinese for Communication Majors
15th - Call2All runs our Friday nights
20th - C2A @ NCU
21st-24th - Zac to BKK/PangKabi for an English seminar/competition prep w/ 3 students
22nd - C2A @ Classic
27th - C2A @ NCU
29th - C2A's last day @ Classic
3rd-7th - Deanna in the hospital with a bacterial stomach infection
11th-14th - Zac went on a silent retreat
20th - Heading up NCU English Camp
So, true to form, the beginning of the second semester has been pretty insane per usual, trying to cram the end of one semester and the prep for the next semester into two weeks. I got put on a committee which goes over all of the exams and final grades for our department, so that adds in to it. Call2All Chiang Mai was a lifesaver in January, and hopefully will be a partner with us for some bigger things on down the line. They were running a discipleship school with around 30 Chinese people, and they came and did some language activities with our students and invited some new students over to Classic for our Friday nights who normally I wouldn't be able to invite.
But I have also been struggling to put into words exactly where we are are right now. I'm burnt out yet again, and for me that means I get depressed and it's hard to not become all woe is me in my updates, so I avoid them. However I need to get this out there for all of you have been supporting me, and for those of you who have been on the fence about it, or maybe for some of you who have never considered it but you actually should be supporting us.
What we are doing now, and where we are is a dream I've been chasing for 7 years and right now we have a foundation that could be built up into something amazing but we are lacking in two places: Financial/Time and Personnel resources. I combine financial and time together because time is money. I put in at least 60 hours of work at the university each week between my subjects, extra projects (English camps), meetings and seminars. If I am going to stay full time with the university, then I have to start doing classroom research and get it published. So all my time is tied up with the university because they are my full time employer, make up 1/2 of my income, and provide my visa. Which means I just don't have the amount of time I want/need to take our ministry to the next step.
I actually had a little Bible study going last Nov/Dec, but I couldn't keep it up because I didn't have the time/energy left over to prepare and make it worthwhile for two students coming. We are able to make the connections we need on Friday's, but haven't been able to transition beyond this because there just aren't enough hours. So I need to be able to buy that time back from the university.
The other part of that equation is I'm trying to do all the ministry stuff by myself. Anne is taking care of Deanna, dealing with being pregnant again, and trying to keep the shop running. The kitchen which was paid for from fundraising last year has helped us be able to keep up with the expenses related to supplies and paying Anne's mom for cooking in there. But we need some partners. We need someone who has the same heart to reach university students for Christ who can help with the Friday nights. We need a Thai person with management experience who can run the shop and keep things in line. Anne is great at customer service, but we have discovered she doesn't have the personality to be a manager, and with taking care of a toddler while trying to do somethings she isn't gifted at has been trying to say the least. We need help in the form of people coming alongside us.
Call2All and YWAM may have those people who are ready to commit to the ministry we have here. Or maybe that person will be a manager who we will need to pay, but can take the shop into being profitable.
Our dream as a family is to have three kids, and be able to send them to a good school to give them the education they need to excel in their futures.
Our dream for our ministry is to:
1. Use our Friday nights for outreach and relationship building
2. Disciple our students and teach them how to do the same
3. Provide jobs and job training for those who are in need of it
4. Partner with local churches and ministries to do outreach to this community
But we can't do this where we are. If we are going to be able to take care of our family and be effective in our ministry, then we need partners, but I also need to be able to move from full to part time at the university and still be able to provide the things our family needs. So here is a basic break down of what we would need currently:
To break down some of those numbers a bit:
1. They are all converted from THB and rounded to the nearest 5. So depending on the exchange rate these numbers will increase and decrease. This is four people, if we are able to have baby number 3 the cost will increase accordingly
2. The car payment covers our monthly payment and yearly expenses e.g. oil changes, insurance, taxes, new tires, etc.
3. Utilities (rent, electricity, water, internet) are at the coffee shop. If we can continue our work here, then we will move in there for the next 5 years and try to purchase.
4. Food is $5 per person (4) per day. That is where the baby formula for baby 2 is in this budget.
5. Currently, I don't have insurance, but it would be similar to Anne's which is around $35, and for two children, Deanna's is around $50 per month plus a little for my estimate.
6. Clothes, this is where the diaper budget is located.
7. Savings is for taxes, flights, visas for Anne, big replacements (e.g. computers, appliances, phones), and other unexpected expenses as they come. To bring our family of four to the US will cost $4,500 (baby 2 flying for a small fee, at current prices, will go up and down according to the world economy)
8. Student loans. At the moment, I don't make enough money to have to pay taxes so my monthly loan payment is $0 right now but accruing interest. If we move up to this level of support, then I will have to pay taxes and that means I'll have to start repaying my student loans as well, which will be at least $500 per month.
9. School: That cost per month is just the tuition and doesn't cover all the other fees. The fees are for Grace International School. It's a Christian school here with a great educational program. here is the breakdown:
a. Tuition for a kindergartner: appx. $4000
b. Kindergartner plus first time application fees and other school fees: $6700
c. For a senior: $7,500 before other school fees (no first time application fees)
d. This is for the 2016-2017 school year (http://www.gisthailand.org/wp-content/uploads//downloads/2016/02/Annual-Tuition-Rates-standard-2016-02-05.pdf) and will increase before Deanna or peanut make it to school.
e. So we need to start preparing for this last year.
10. Ministry is $100 per week x 4 weeks in a month. At first this will be too much, but will help with getting the shop up to where it needs to be to attract customers with what is left each month. Then it won't be enough if we reach our goals, but the coffee shop will supplement it.
11. Tithe keeps screwing up my final totals every time. But 10% for that, and then the final total
We can expect a portion of this to keep coming from my part time work at the school, but only if the school keeps me on when I drop to part time. Or else all of it will need to come from monthly support. It will of course change and adjust as we grow as a family and ministry, but our goal is to live here in Chiang Mai and do discipleship with university students. This is the cost. It's actually a very conservative estimate because I'm holding out hope that Classic will become a profitable business, and be able to supplement some of those things, but if it doesn't, we'll still have a location for our ministry. Anne has also started selling insurance and nutritional supplements to try and find us some extra income
Right now our total income is about $1500. I'm burnt out half from the hours I'm putting in, half from the stress of not knowing how we can keep doing this. And we can't. We need to see our monthly support grow by at least 4 times. And if it doesn't, then we can't keep doing things the way we are doing them.
So right now we need your prayers and we need your help. I want to put my heart into the ministry we are growing here, but I have to be able to take proper care of my family. And our family can't do these things alone. Please be praying that God will provide both monthly financial support we need, and in partnerships.
The NCU English camp is over, so my extra time for that will be put towards trying to raise that extra monthly support, and we'll see where we are by the end of April. Love you all.