"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. We worked day and night in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you." 1 Thessalonians 2:8-9

This blog is much more than our family and our crazy antics. After being overseas in Haiti for 4 years we prayed about coming back to the States and just still felt like God was going to use our family overseas...so here we go again. The big move to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and now the school growing and moving to Barbados. We just can't seem to rest until our family can love as many as we can to relationships with Christ. We always feel so blessed to meet the many people we get to serve with overseas, and of course love that you are reading with us as we serve in a new culture!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

To Read or Not to

     Newsletter Updates - For a missionary this can be equated to an end of semester term paper hanging over your heard, yearly taxes, etc.   Sometimes we are excited to share what is going on and other times dreading the writing, proofing, getting pictures that fit the text to match.

    Besides family and visitors to us, it often happens we don't see our supporters except an every 3 year rotation.  This past year at a church we were introduced as missionaries from Jamaica - wrong country!  And then at another church we were introduced as missionaries from Haiti at an elementary school, yes- that was correct 5 years ago we were!  Both of these churches are faithful monthly givers and have only seen us but a few times over the last 10 years, so we hope that our newsletters are a way to keep them connected to the work. We are so grateful for their help and want them to know how their partnership continues to help.

     So after 10 years of writing them monthly and quarterly here are some thoughts we have discovered from them:

- It takes time, thoughts of trying to prepare something that has not been said in the 540 previous ones we have sent out over the years.  We try and think of something original and interesting.

- There is always another one going to be due:)  Even when you breathe a sigh of relief you just finished one.  The next one is around the corner.

- The balance of figuring out if we put too much family news in a whole mission newsletter as opposed to all the news of the mission- with none of our personal family life.

-Because 400 on our list are still mailed and we have those costs of printing and postage, we went from monthly to quarterly newsletters.  Yet, in between  those times we get about 40 requests asking when our next newsletter is coming out.   It shows our life, successes, prayers, joys- and after sending out over 1,600 copies that people have signed up for and asked for- we typically get about  only 8 responses back.  It is definetly not that we want to guilt people into reading, but also want to send something that people want to read.

- In a group of missionary friends, we talked about this one day.  One said her average response was 1 response a newsletter after sending to over 600 people!  Another said after sending out their newsletter the head elder at their church asked to be taken off their mailing list- here is the guy who helps decide how much support goes to them and yet does not want to receive their updates?  This is the person who should be the main contact encouraging them and instead would rather write a check but not hear of their work and progress and what to pray for!

- After we send out a newsletter we typically $400 extra is given from someone who received it.  When we are back on furlough- so many ask us questions on things we have written about and wanting more updates.  So, in a day and age when so much is going on,  we have found so many are praying- you just may not know that instant!

      We'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts on this topic!  Let us know if you read newsletters, what you like to see in them, or other ways to get communication?  We'd love to know how to encourage others through them.


7 comments:

  1. I enjoy all your newsletters. They keep me in the loop and help me know what the prayer needs are. I know they are a chore to do but please realize that even though we may not answer them many of us are reading them and praying. Since I was involved with WISE for many years I still love to get news of what you are doing. Thanks for the effort! God bless!

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    1. Thanks, Carlene. Great to hear from you. You are continually in our prayers!

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  2. Not many missionaries are brave enough to write this kind of post or pose this kind of question. Good job! I read and pray over every newsletter I receive, but that is certainly due to the fact that I am a missionary and know 1) how important specific prayer is to the missionary task; and 2) how much work goes in to even the simplest of newsletters. That said, Crystal and I just had a conversation last week over the question "Is it time to stop sending newsletters and go only social media (Facebook)?" Unfortunately, we aren't brave enough to pose that question to our prayer supporters! So I'll be watching the comments to your post! :)

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    1. Thanks, Chad- we keep talking of this with all our missionary friends, so we thought we'd see what others said! Thanks for the encouragement!

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  3. I always enjoy reading the newsletter and sharing it in our monthly Missions Committee meeting. During this meeting our committee decides how to spend any flex fund money so knowing what the needs of WISE are is critical. HCC has sent these flex fund dollars several times to help the school in the big move to Barbados. I also watch your page in Facebook when the newsletter hasn't come. That way I can properly represent WISE during the meeting. Perhaps you can just post more information on prayer requests and needs for the school there. After all Facebook doesn't cost you the funds that the newsletter does and it is easier to send a quick post regularly than to sit down and fret over a lengthy newsletter. I understand your concern but having monthly information for the committee is vital for us to be able to help. God bless you all. Kathy Smith

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  4. Heather DannahowerMarch 2, 2017 at 5:58 PM

    I admit that I miss some of the newsletters, but I do enjoy reading them and it helps me know what your needs are, how God is working, and what to pray for. I hope you keep them!

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  5. OH......
    Amanda, I love your posts and your newsletters! You are an awesome writer and just trying to write a yearly letter (in Place of a Christmas one) is driving me nuts. I Can't imagine doing it every month, but I do love to know what you are doing. I wish I Could come babysit while you do it! :-) I will purpose to do more about commenting and responding. Love, JULIE M

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