OMS, my sending agency, requires me to have $3,293 USD/month committed in faith promises.
Why do you need so much money every month?
Living costs in Australia & New Zealand are much higher than in the US of A (Australia is 6th most expensive country in the world, NZ the 7th) but this money goes a few directions. Rent, which comes directly out of my account, as does fuel. Small amounts go to the OMS Australia office and to the OMS America office. A small amount goes to my future retirement. The American, Australian, and New Zealander offices all provide some form of missionary care (which I’ve reaped the benefits from many a time), financial assistance, organization, and accountability, newsletter help, funding training, and everyday help. There are so many ways that these offices support me & help me to be a better missionary, for longer, leaving behind a stronger and more durable ministry. Finally, this amount also includes my salary which I use…like anyone does..for food, necessities, bills.
OMS, my sending agency, also requires me to have $11,700 “cash” in my account before I can leave.
Why do you need more money in your account if you’re already raising so much per month?
This “cash,” obtained through one-time gifts or the accruing of monthly pledges, is there to cover…flights to and from Australia, a vehicle & registration costs (see #3), and travel to New Zealand.
A large portion of the “cash” required is going to purchasing a vehicle & registration/insurance costs for that.
Can’t you use public transportation? You’re living in Melbourne, after all.
If you’re from Melbourne you might be chuckling. For the rest of you…public transportation is not always reliable, and when I’m driving somewhere it’s usually because I have an appointment to keep. Also, I’m often out until 11 PM or later, which is not the best time to be using public transport even if it’s running then. Having a car last year also proved to be helpful in unexpected ways. Several times visitors came from OMS USA, or OMS Australia missionaries were on furlough, or the office moved locations (twice!). Having a car allowed me to help ferry visitors around, help with moving, and gives me a very helpful amount of independence.
Do you have to have both the “cash” and the monthly “faith promises” raised before you can return to Australia & New Zealand? And does it have to be 100%?
Yes, and yes. Above questions will give you more info on why.