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Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Knowledge is Power
The philosopher Francis Bacon is known for his saying “Knowledge is Power.” That statement has become a nice little catch phrase used by teachers, preachers and politicians alike. Most every morning around 7 to 7:30 AM when I walk into my office here at Shiloh’s Lighthouse the thought that runs through my mind is “the longer I’m doing this ministry, the less I seem to know.” I am humbled by the responsibility and many needs of the precious people I have the opportunity to minister to every day.
I am a visionary man, the kind of guy who gets excited when he sees a broken down building because in my eyes I already see the new facility God will build there and the scores of lives that will be changed. For the most part I share the vision and do my best to help others—through faith—see beyond current difficulties as they focus on trusting God every day for their needs. A weakness of being a visionary man is that I often am lacking or too diplomatic in expressing the gravity of current needs since, in my mind, they are already taken care of—God has a plan. That is not the wisest thing to do is the lesson I am learning. So I have been praying for wisdom in how to deal with a grave situation my ministry faces …
3 Through wisdom a house is built,
And by understanding it is established; 4 By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches. 5 A wise man is strong,
Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; Proverbs 24:3-5 (NKJV)
I need to make you aware of a most dire situation facing Shiloh’s Lighthouse Ministry. While lives are being changed, people are getting saved, addicts set free from addiction, physical healings from cancer and such are occurring—I could go on, my ministry faces a natural foe that has the potential to bring it to an end.
That foe is finances. SLM is currently running at 35-40% of its budgeted needs in weekly donations and offerings from Sunday services. As a Community Center Ministry there are people (mostly lower income) here daily being ministered to, and the bills are mounting. In April of 2009, thanks to a generous donation from a family in another state, we were able to purchase our facility via a 20 year Land Contract from the Eastern Michigan Free Methodist Church District. We are months behind in our payments for the LC. The generous Superintendent of the Eastern Michigan FMC District has been more than gracious with us, yet we must bring the LC current.
To meet our budget, (which is an extremely lean, no frills budget I may add) it takes just over $3500 per month. To date we are averaging around $1400 per month in donations. The wonderful people who call Shiloh’s Lighthouse their church home do what they can with fundraisers—taco dinners, candy bar sales, rummage sales—those things help, but they will not sustain the ministry on a regular basis. What the ministry needs are regular donations. Just as your household survives on those weekly or bi-weekly paychecks, the utility bills, insurance, Land Contract, etc., come every month and are part of running this ministry.
I am asking that you prayerfully consider:
1. If you are not currently a financial supporter, please pray about becoming a regular donor. All I ask of monthly donors is a pledge of $20 per month, just $.66 per day. The economy is still down, but your $20 per month along with many others will help this ministry survive and continue to change lives.
2.Whether a current supporter or not, or even if you have plans to soon join in the ranks of SLM supporters, Please send me via e-mail a physical mailing address so you can start to receive a monthly newsletter. In this age of email, texting, Facebook messages, Twittering and on and on we are so often overwhelmed with “news” that those things that may matter to us get buried in the process. An “old school” letter allows you to have in hand information and review it at your leisure.
3.All of you reading this: Check over your Facebook friends list, your email contacts, and your cell phone contacts and also send me via e-mail the physical mailing addresses of friends you believe would enjoy learning more about SLM so the “knowledge” about this wonderful ministry can increase. As others learn about what we do, the financial support will grow commensurately as well.
To be blunt now—if I am not able to raise a significant amount of new financial supporters this ministry will have to close its doors. A friend asked me recently as I was sharing the harsh financial reality about the ministry with him, “What is your plan B?” I have no plan B. I believe this is where God wants me to be. I believe that Shiloh’s Lighthouse Ministry is supposed to be here for years to come. I pray that you will take the time to read this over and then pray and act on what you can do to help. Thank you. I know this was long and out of character for me. Nevertheless, I believe that with the knowledge you now have, you can help me to continue to build this house of ministry here in Saginaw.
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