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FSM 261 / FN 370 DO Special Issue!
Finances and Fund Raising!--Part One
"I will cause the shower to come down in his season, there shall be showers of blessings" (Eze.34:26).
Written and Compiled by WS Staff
Copyrighted Nov., 1994 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

       Introduction      1
       How a Lack of Finances Hinders Our Homes       2
       Personal Comments from One of Your Editors  3
       Evaluating the Problems & Finding Solutions       4
       More Witnessing by More People!         5
       Some Legitimate Reasons for the Lacks        5
       A Success Story!--Getting Out the Tools & Gaining Pledges!           6
       The Goal: Regular, Self-Propagating Support--Pledges!           7
       Stats of Tool Distribution & Personal Witnessing 8
       Misconceptions or Misinterpretations that Affected Tool Distribution         8
       Faithful Follow-up Works!          11
       The Need for Consider the Poor Appeal Projects  12
       A Balanced Outreach Programme Is Essential!  14
       Ask & It Shall Be Given           15
       Learning How to Ask for Money!         16
       "They that Preach the Gospel Shall Live of the Gospel"   18

       Isn't it encouraging to know that the Lord has promised to supply abundantly, & that as we obey & do our part, He will pour out a blessing that we will not have room enough to contain! Praise the Lord! It's exciting to think of all the Lord has in store for us!
       By the time you get this FSM you will have already read GN 598 & had your special prayer day for finances & your Home prayer & prophecy session. Likewise, you will no doubt have already had a Home Council meeting to discuss your Home's financial situation. We hope you also will have had time to read some or all of the Letters on the reading list on finances. (See page 14 of GN 598.) Through the reading of the Word, prayer & counselling together, we trust that the Lord has given you specific direction & many good ideas concerning what you need to do & how you need to go about improving the financial state of your Home.
       The goal of this series of FSMs on the subject of finances & fund raising is to talk in more detail about some of the points Mama brought out in GN 598, as well as try to share as many specific examples & testimonies as possible, to give you some concrete ideas & "landing gear" for your renewed witnessing & fund raising push. It will be up to you to determine how to apply the information & suggestions in these FSMs to your particular situation. There's no simple answer to our financial problems. It's a complex problem, & therefore the solution is also complex. What will work in some situations won't work in others. There are so many variables in our many Homes & different mission fields that it's impossible for us to be able to discern exactly what your Home needs. We can help by supplying you with direction & ideas, things that have worked for others, but it's up to you to apply the counsel to your situation & see for yourself--through prayer, counsel & experimentation--what works for you! Praise the Lord!

How a Lack of Finances Hinders Our Homes
       The need for a more regular, abundant, self-propagating supply of funds in our Homes is obvious. As Mama said, "Our desperate need for finances is hindering the Family in practically all areas of our life & witness." (ML#2929:47) You can probably relate to that! In a fairly recent delegates' meeting in Europe, the attendees came up with the following list when asked how the lack of finances hinders their Homes. They said:
       Many Homes live a hand-to-mouth existence.
       In many cases, we are not able to supply the needs of all our Home Members as adequately as we'd like.
Finances dictate our activities more than they should, as what is done each day is largely determined by the financial needs of the Home.
       Lack of finances hinders our follow-up, because our witnessing activities are determined by what will enable us to meet our day-to-day expenses.
       We don't spend much time personal witnessing or disciple-winning, because we're so busy trying to raise funds.
       It hinders the ministry training of our young people, because we don't have time to slow down.
       People get under pressure & dragged down, because they're burdened about the financial situation.
       Being so busy raising funds on a day-to-day basis crowds out the time we need for the Word, prayer & rest.
       A lack of abundant finances hurts the children's faith in the Lord & in the Family, as they start to think living by faith doesn't really work. It's a seeming contradiction of the Word, because the Word says the Lord will provide all our needs.
       We are limited in raising the physical standard in our Homes.
       We don't try so hard to reach the top, because we don't feel our Home is a good enough sample to have people visit.
       A lack of finances encourages the "it can't be done" spirit.
       It stops us from getting out the meat of the Word as we should, because sometimes we think if we tone down our message we can bring in more funds. This tones down our conviction.
       We don't have as much fun or joy of the Lord, because we're burdened & working constantly. Eventually low morale sets in.
       Our pioneering vision is squelched, because we are being led by the circumstances; we don't build on a vision or think ahead, because we feel our activities are so limited.
       If there is too much emphasis on funds, our kids feel uninspired about witnessing.
       It dampens our enthusiasm & we don't have the attacking initiative we need.
       We start living for ourselves & our own survival, rather than serving the people in our community as much as we'd like.
       It's a reproach to the Family & poor testimony to the people to whom we owe money.
       It hinders us from keeping on hand a well-rounded abundant supply of tools, which further limits our ministry to people.

              Whew! That's quite a list! And you might be able to think of other ways that a lack of finances has hindered your Home's activities.

Personal Comments from One of Your Editors
       We really feel for you, dear Family, & are sorry you've been struggling so! We realize that finances is a subject that has been discussed over & over again at delegates' meetings, Teamwork meetings, witnessing meetings, etc. It's a long-term problem that has caused you considerable stress & worry! Knowing the difficulties & financial pressures you have experienced in this area causes our hearts to go out to you. In fact, Mama suggested we include in this FSM a reaction sent to her from one of the editors of this FSM series. She felt this person's reaction illustrates how those in WS are concerned & even weep for you & their hearts go out to you.
       Reaction to Mama: "I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to get these finance pubs right. I must admit I have really been battling. I woke up the other morning with a sprained ankle, which made it difficult for me to get around, & a herpes outbreak, which made me feel extremely tired. Plus, as the day progressed, I got quite discouraged. I don't get discouraged that often, but I felt frustrated with my work on these finance pubs, & generally pressured. I knew I wasn't doing so hot!--I felt unguarded & out of the Spirit & impatient & unsettled. So all in all, I was battling. Probably the Lord was testing me & trying to get me to slow down & trust Him & be more prayerful & quit trying to do it in the arm of the flesh.
       "I asked for prayer yesterday morning against the frustration I was feeling, & for direction & help in the work on these finance pubs. You see, I had begun writing & editing the first finance FSM, & I was very full of the subject, having spent several weeks reading all the material from the reports, praying about it, communicating with you, etc. I had the table of contents for the different FSMs all arranged & had planned which portions of what reports to use, etc. Things were progressing well.
       "But then I had to lay that work aside in order to do other timely work for nearly two weeks; & by the time I got back to the FSM work, I was lost. I couldn't remember what I was doing or what I had written or what needed to be written. So it took me several full days of work just to get back in the groove & figure out where I was headed with my mountain of papers & files. When it dawned on me how lost I was in this finance FSM project, I felt completely overwhelmed, like I'd never get it done. It looked like a huge mountain & I just couldn't seem to find the trail I had been climbing. But, thank the Lord, He has been helping me & things are now starting to fall back into place. Praise the Lord!
       "Oh, another thing I meant to tell you: The strangest thing happened to me a few mornings ago. I had a dream that I was in a Home & we had no money. It was a terrible dream. Not only were we broke, but we were so unorganized that we just couldn't get it together to do anything. We went on outreach & didn't get out any tools, we were just floundering in everything we tried. I woke with a terrible feeling of frustration & depression. The people in the dream seemed to all be good, dedicated brethren, experienced witnessers, who had a heart to do the right thing, but our lack of organization seemed to be the most outstanding problem. We just couldn't get it together!
       "During the many years I was on the field living by faith, I was never in such a desperate situation for finances as I experienced in that dream--at least not for long. I don't recall being in debt or completely broke without some way of escape! Therefore, I have never personally experienced that feeling of complete frustration & almost panic, brought on by a severe lack of funds & not having our needs supplied. It was a pretty devastating experience.
       "I concluded that the Lord allowed me to experience that dream because it seems that is what a lot of our Family Members are feeling right now. I felt like He wanted me to have more empathy & sympathy & more desperation in working on these pubs. I felt like maybe I was getting a little weary in well doing, so the Lord brought the problem home to me more personally, so I could actually feel what the brethren are feeling. It certainly did the trick & renewed my vision, but I think I also let it get to me a bit to where I felt pressured & too burdened & took the problems upon myself.
       "I think I have been having a tendency to carry too much of the weight of the problems of lack of finances in my mind lately, but I just can't shake it very well when I read reports about the tremendous lacks some of our Homes are experiencing. It's constantly on my mind & in my prayers, & it makes me very sad!
              "Recently one of the CROs made the following comments: `One of our YAs who is travelling on our MOM Teamwork reported that while having a walkie-talkie with an OC, the conversation went something like the following:
              OC: In the Home you normally live in, do they pray often for finances?
              YA: Yes, all the time!
              OC: But does God answer your prayers?
              YA: Yes, the Lord answers miraculously! It's wonderful to see the miracles He does!
              OC: Well, God doesn't answer the prayers in our Home when we pray for finances, & He doesn't supply.
       `This was quite convicting, as we realized that it certainly must seem like this to the OC who was probably involved in a lot of prayer sessions for finances, but the Home was either not stepping out to receive those finances, or perhaps when they did, they didn't take the time to give God the glory & testify to the Home, as well as to the children, that God had supplied. Thus our poor children are concluding that God is not supplying our needs, & doesn't answer prayer! Lord help us!'
              "Reading this type of report really makes me sad & I feel like, `We've got to do something about this!' I just cry when I read about these situations. In fact, I'm boo-hooing right now as I write this! But, like you said, we here are doing all we possibly can & all the Lord shows us to do. He's going to have to do the rest, & I'm sure He will! Praise the Lord!" (End of reaction to Mama from one of the editors.)
       In response to the above reaction, Mama commented: "God bless you. I love you!--And I'm really praying for you! Whew!--This battle is a big one, isn't it? The Lord must know how valuable these pubs are going to be to the Family, & the Enemy knows also, & that is why he is doing all he can to try to slow you down, hinder you & even stop you if he can. But we know he can't stop you, & we know the Lord will give the victory! I'm so glad you don't hesitate to ask for prayer when you need it. Prayer & faith can move the mighty mountains, your mighty mountains, & calm your troubled sea. And I'm glad to hear that that is what is happening.
       "You know the Lord considers these FSMs important, as He has gone to all the trouble of giving you that amazing dream, which I'm sure--as you pointed out--is exactly what so many of our Homes are experiencing. What a miracle our folks are still holding on & haven't totally given up & just decided it is all too much. But I believe that the Lord wants His power & these pubs to be present in order to heal them (Luke 5:11), & that's why He is giving you such a burden & even letting you experience their feelings." (End of comments from Mama.)

Evaluating the Problems & Finding Solutions
       When praying & counselling about the financial situation in our Homes, Dad & Mama requested detailed reports from the CROs concerning the financial state of the Homes in their Areas. They were asked to report on what percentage of Homes are doing well, meaning how many Homes have working budgets, full buffers, money to pay for needs such as vitamins, glasses, dental work, etc.
       The CROs were also asked to comment on what factors they feel contribute to financially successful Homes & what conditions seem to be common to financially problematic Homes. Their findings were varied, as you can imagine, & lots of different points came up, but there were a few factors that came up repeatedly in the reports from around the World, so it was pretty easy to determine the main strengths & weaknesses in our financial system.

More Witnessing by More People!
       The first & most obvious weakness that became apparent was that in many Homes there just isn't much witnessing going on, plain & simple. On the one hand, as you can read about in the Family Updates on the News (FUNs) & the Family Activity Reports (FARs), we are making great progress in some spheres of witnessing, such as many tremendous Consider the Poor ministries, the Muslim ministry, the church ministry, pioneer teams in war-torn areas, the ministry of reconciliation, our ministry to academics & lawyers, etc. These ministries are going great guns! It's terrific how the Message is getting out & people are being won! Praise the Lord!
       But it doesn't seem we're making quite such good progress in the day-to-day, rather quiet & unseen ministry of regular witnessing & follow-up. One Area's CROs commented that most Homes feel it's a "luxury" to have outreach teams go out each day. Some Homes don't even manage to get one team out daily for witnessing, distribution of tools or follow- up. Another Area commented how the stats of their once-thriving tool distribution have plummeted over the last two years, to where now the Homes don't even order tools, because they're not distributing them.
       There was a common denominator throughout the evaluations from all the CRO Areas that one of the main solutions to our financial problems is more witnessing, which was also confirmed in the prophecies that were published in GN 598.
       Dad & Mama have published new Letters on finances, & we will also be giving you, D.V., a variety of practical tips & suggestions via this series of FSMs. But no matter how much information or guidance you receive on the subject of finances or fund raising, if you're not out of your Homes witnessing in some way, it won't work. No matter how much we try to instruct the Homes & admonish you & virtually plead with you to ask, if you're not out amongst the people, you won't be asking, because you won't be meeting anyone to ask. It's pretty simple. And even if you are out witnessing, you're not going to be winning the long-lasting supporters you need if you're not following up.
In other words, the basics for raising support--no matter what method you use--are the same: getting out witnessing, meeting people, sowing spiritually, & then following up--feeding & ministering regularly to the people you meet, then reaping their material help. (See 1Cor.9:11.)
       In many ways, in these FSMs we're not telling you anything new. In fact, when we address this fund raising subject, we'll be touching on many points that have already been addressed at length in previous pubs. For over 20 years the Lord has been teaching us how to live by faith, raise support, have appropriating faith, set priorities, follow up, win kings & supporters, etc. Not only have we been taught in depth the spiritual principles of living by faith, but we've also received abundant instruction & detailed "how to's" on witnessing & raising support.
       Dad & Mama & WS have done almost everything possible to help, including requiring that the Homes witness more & do follow-up, by implementing the witnessing & the follow-up Home Requirements, which should have pretty much "forced" everyone from JETT age up to get out witnessing!--Or at least that was the intention. But our CROs report that still not that much has changed in the majority of our Homes, & in many cases witnessing & follow-up have still not been given the time or attention needed.

Some Legitimate Reasons for the Lacks
       However, we realize that there are many legitimate reasons for these lacks. It's not necessarily a lack of desire on your part. We know you've been doing the best you can in many ways. There are many factors that have affected the outreach in our Homes, some of which were beyond our control. For example, we realize that many Homes have been living under the stress & strain of prolonged persecution & media battles; & of course, under those circumstances you can only do so much, & something has got to go, as you have limited time, strength & personnel, & your priorities are dictated by the emergencies at hand! Even those Homes that were not in the throes of local persecution still participated very much through demonstrations, prayer vigils, protests, etc.--Not to mention the public relations & proactive work that's been done around the World to prepare for the persecution that is yet to hit! So the fact that we were living under wartime conditions for over two years has greatly affected our normal lifestyle & productivity. On top of that, we are also responsible to educate our many children & train our young people, which is an enormous job! Also, keeping our big Schools running smoothly is a fulltime job, which requires constant attention & lots of hard work!
       So we recognize that there are many variables that have affected our witnessing, & we don't mean to criticize or make you feel bad by pointing out any lacks. In fact, let's not forget that the persecution, media battles & court cases have worked for us in many ways, as they've forced us to come more out in the open & given us a tremendous platform to preach the whole Message & get out the meat of the Word. So the Lord has definitely caused it to work together for our good! Praise the Lord! But with all this going on, we've fallen down somewhat in our outreach, follow-up, asking, & consistently ministering to our contacts. And as a result, most of our Homes still don't have a substantial base of regular support, & therefore continue to live hand-to-mouth. Now that is a pretty broad statement, but basically, that's what we're up against. So let's see what we can do about it!

A Success Story!--Getting Out the Tools & Gaining Pledges!
       It's interesting to note that when the CROs reported to Dad & Mama concerning the financial state of the Homes in their Area, there was one Area of the World that was doing considerably better than the other Areas as far as Home finances go. In this Area, approximately 50% of the Homes are doing very well. The financial state of half of the Homes was described as follows: "They have money on hand to make regular major Home improvements & to buy needs for the adults & children, such as new equipment, vitamins, special PG food & the like. These Homes operate on a monthly buffer system. They have a fairly realistic buffer from which they are working, which covers not only their basic expenditures, but also their needs." As you can see, these Homes are doing very well financially.
       Another 20% of the Homes in this Area could be described as doing fairly well financially, as follows: "These Homes operate on a buffer system for the most part, & they are able to get some of what they need in the way of needs & wants & other items that come up, & they make some of the major Home improvements they would like." So that means that about two-thirds of the Homes in this Area are doing either very well or fairly well financially. The other one third of the Homes are living more or less "hand-to-mouth". (Of course, it would be best if all the Homes were doing very well, but comparatively speaking, this Area was doing much better, as some of the other CRO Areas reported that they had very few or no Homes that were doing well financially!)
       Naturally, we thought, "Hey, what are they doing that's working so well?" And we were drawn to try to discover what circumstances or activities were responsible for this Area's financial stability. It seems there are a number of factors that contribute to the financial success of this Area. To begin with, it's only fair to mention that this Area overall has not been fighting any huge local persecution or media battles, so they have been able to concentrate their efforts on ministering to the people.
       But apart from that, there is another factor that is very interesting: The CROs of this Area report that the majority of the support of the Homes is generated by two methods: sponsorship of tools & pledges. This is a key point. Sponsorship of tools ensures that a large quantity of Tapes & Videos continue to get out, & cultivating supporters & pledges through regular follow-up generates regular monthly income that the Homes can count on. (A pledge is when a person or company makes a commitment or promises to give a donation of a predetermined amount regularly. The most ideal pledge is monthly, but some people may choose to give a set donation every two months or every three months. The amount that a person would choose to pledge varies, according to the individual's generosity & financial capabilities.)
              The Shepherds of this Area describe sponsorship of tools like this: "Teams approach top businessmen or companies & request that they sponsor a certain number of Videos--anywhere from 20 to 50 to 100--for less-advantaged schools & institutions. The brethren arrange in advance which schools or institutions would receive the Videos. The schools or institutions write letters of request for our Videos, which are presented to the people being asked to sponsor the Videos. We're generally able to ask the regular price of the sponsors ($30 per Video), therefore the Homes involved in this ministry gain a fairly good portion of their income from this ministry, which covers their expenses, overhead, & so forth.
       "Asking businessmen to sponsor Videos is quite helpful because it provides people with a specific appeal project, a specific need that they can relate to & recognize as worthwhile. Someone one Home met through a referral sponsored $4,000 worth of Videos at the first appointment.
       "Another example of the fruitfulness of sponsorship is reflected in the following report from one of our Spearhead Homes. They commented: `We have continued to focus on our fund-raising ministries here. We had a follow-up/fund-raising meeting the other day to better plan & organize our approach. Along with having prayer together for our fund raising, we also wanted to coordinate our efforts of reaching the top of the business community here so we don't overlap.
```As a miraculous first answer to prayer, the very next day a company who we had approached the week before for sponsorship of some of our Videos agreed to sponsor 400 Videos, for about $10,000! Praise the Lord! They also seemed quite interested in helping us again in the future. We originally approached this person by way of a referral, & we had followed up on this person several times previously.'"
       Those are two examples of how the sponsorship of tools pulls in finances for the Homes of this particular Area, while enabling the brethren to get out a large number of Videos. It is interesting to note that some people give immediately, whereas others you need to minister to repeatedly before asking them for a large gift.
       On the subject of pledges, the CROs of this Area commented: "One common factor in the Homes here that do well financially is that a lot of their support is the result of pledges. In other words, most of the Homes have local pledges of some kind, & the Homes that do the best financially are those that have the best pledges. For example, the Homes who fall into the category of doing well financially all have quite a bit of regular support from local pledges, usually $20, $50, $100 or $200 per month from many monthly supporters. Pledges usually make up about a third of the income of the Homes that do well. These Homes' approach to raising regular support through pledges was based on the FSMs on follow-up that were published in early 1993!"
       (Please see "Summit 92: Follow-Up!" [EDITED: "FSM 228"], "Successful Follow-Up in an Eastern Field" [EDITED: "FSM 229"], & "It's a Follow-Up Revolution!" [EDITED: "FSM 230"].)

The Goal: Regular, Self-Propagating Support--Pledges!
       The obvious advantage of pledges is that you can count on a certain amount of regular monthly income, which helps relieve a lot of the financial pressure & the end-of-the-month crams to raise the rent. As you can imagine, it's encouraging to know that you can definitely count on having a certain percentage of your budget covered each month through regular donations. And as your number of pledges grow, you will naturally have more time to devote to other witnessing activities, your children, etc.
       The regularity of pledges & the fact that it's repetitive or what we're referring to as self-propagating is the key. Some Homes are very involved in such ministries as restaurant singing or night singing, which are good sources of immediate income. But the difference is that these witnessing avenues do not generate the self-propagating income that follow-up & gaining pledges generates. In other words, while ministries such as restaurant singing or night singing are lucrative, you'll have to put the same amount of time & effort into raising the same amount of funds next month & the next month & the next month, if you don't secure pledges!

Stats of Tool Distribution & Personal Witnessing
       Our present rate of distribution of Tapes, Videos & Posters is quite low, comparatively speaking. Let's take a little peek at some of the stats for our DO Homes: For the last two years, we've gotten out about one-third as many Tapes as we got out in 1990 & a little more than half as many Tapes as we got out in 1991. For the last two years, we've gotten out less than half as many Videos as we got out in 1990 & 1991. When looking at it from a per-adult* perspective: In 1992 & 1993 each adult got out about half as many Tapes & Videos as in 1990 & 1991. This year reflects about the same stats so far. (*"Adult" in this case means anyone 16 or older.)
       We stayed pretty strong in Poster distribution through 1990, 1991 & 1992, with approximately 13 million, 11 million & 12 million distributed those years. But in 1993, we dropped way down to about eight million--approximately a 33% decrease from the average of the previous three years. So far in 1994, our Poster distribution continues to decline. (This is partially due to the fact that our Poster distribution in Eastern Europe has dropped recently.)
       As far as personal witness per adult, there has been a decline there as well, so much so that each adult is now witnessing personally to half as many people as in 1990. The average personal witness per adult per month in 1990 was 140, which dropped slightly in 1991 to 119. This remained pretty much the same in 1992, when it was calculated at 113. In 1993 it continued to fall, with each adult witnessing to 92 people per month. And so far this year, our adults are witnessing to 77 people per month. This means in 1990, an adult (16 or over) was averaging a personal witness of about 140 per month or close to five people each day. Now an adult averages a personal witness of 77 people per month or 2.5 per day, or five people in two days. (Of course, 1994 doesn't yet have the advantage of including the Christmas season stats, so that needs to be taken into consideration with all of the above figures. But still, the general movement of the stats in 1994 is downward!)

Misconceptions or Misinterpretations that Affected Tool Distribution
       As mentioned earlier, there are some legitimate reasons for the decline in our witnessing & distribution, some of which were "beyond our control". (See page 5, "Some Legitimate Reasons for the Lacks".) However, in spite of this, there seem to be some things that have affected our distribution that can be remedied & are within our control. To begin with, it is our understanding that some people may have misinterpreted or over-reacted to Mama's counsel in GN 527 in which she asks the Family to stop living hand-to-mouth, depending on the arm of the flesh through only tool distribution. Some people have gone way to the other extreme & have almost stopped distributing tools altogether! In fact, we heard that in one entire CRO Area, tool distribution is considered "out", very much looked down upon, & considered by some as comparable to having a System job! Mama didn't mean for people to quit distribution of tools or to look down on distribution as purely "the arm of the flesh," which she understands is now the impression some people have.
       The problem is that sometimes people don't have (or take) the time to study the Letters well or review them often enough so that they can grasp & retain the whole message with the proper balance. But instead, after a quick reading of a Letter, what happens is a phrase or one part of an idea can stick in your mind, & with time, the overall message of that Letter gets somewhat distorted, because you remember & over-emphasize only one small portion of the Letter. Like the example mentioned above, in reports or in comments on TRFs, getting out the tools is often referred to in a demeaning way as "the arm of the flesh"--as if getting out the tools is a bad thing. That expression was used in Mama's Letter, "God's Financial Blessings!--How to Receive Them NOW!"--But if you take time to read what she said in context, you'll see that she also greatly emphasized the need to continue to get out the tools. In that Letter Mama said:
       "I'm concerned about the Family's general lack of faith for the Lord to supply their needs. I believe that many of our Homes may be leaning too much on the arm of the flesh, depending on the Video, Tape & Poster distribution to bring in funds, rather than praying it in. `Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, & that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.'--Heb.11:6.
       "Of course, the Lord wants us to do our part, to do what we can do. He doesn't want us to just sit around & not do anything & just say, `Lord, drop it from the sky!' But it seems to me that the Lord's not allowing our Tape distribution, our support from kings, our provisioning, etc., to be enough. Most of our Homes can manage to get by, yes, but not quite enough to really give us the edge that we need so we don't have to live hand-to-mouth, so we can do more follow-up & more ministering to people, so we can really do the right kind of ministering, & even have a chance to relax sometimes, & sit back & pray about things & think about things & not just be rushing out the door every day from dawn to dusk trying to get out the Videos & the tools just to get enough money to survive that night & the next day! So I'm concerned that we need more faith for the Lord to do what we can't do, & for Him to do it supernaturally. `Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me?'--Jer.32:27. (See also Mat.6:30-33.)
       "When it comes to our physical needs, in many ways the Family in general has gotten away from real utter dependence on the Lord, & the Lord alone! They've gotten more dependent on the funds generated through the distribution of our tools & on our needs being supplied through provisioning.
       "Now I want to hasten to say that we do need the Videos, we do need our distribution tools.--And the Lord almost forces us to get them out because we need support. If we didn't, we probably wouldn't be as faithful to get them out. So I'm not demeaning those or belittling that or saying we're not doing the right thing in bringing in support through distribution. The same goes for provisioning; we need to provision. I don't think the Lord will bless us if we don't provision, or if we don't get out the tools. `I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread.'--Psa.132:15.
       "But I feel we're lacking in real full-of-faith desperate prayer for the Lord's supernatural supply through whatever means! Our Homes need to pray for the Lord's miraculous, supernatural supply in a very supernatural way, not just through the Videos--which, in some ways, comparatively speaking, can almost become like the `arm of the flesh.' It's important to ask the Lord to bring in support through our tools, but that's usually not enough! We definitely need to have desperate prayer for the Lord's supernatural supply to not just be able to survive, but to have all that the Lord wants us to have in the way of comfort & convenience & efficiency. `Thou hast given him his heart's desire, & hast not withholden the request of his lips.'--Psa.21:2." (ML#2813:25,26,28-30)
       As you can see, when read carefully in context, it's clear what Mama is saying about our tool distribution.
       Another thing that has affected our distribution is when the Homes tried to do less distribution & more follow-up. This was in an effort to obey the push on follow-up in which, according to the Home Requirements, half of the witnessing time was to be dedicated to follow-up. But the problem occurred when many Homes did not do more follow-up, but they did do much less distribution. The end result was less witnessing overall! Of course, that didn't bring the desired benefits, which was supposed to be more spiritual ministering & more regular supporters.
       One of the CROs of the Area mentioned above, which once had a thriving tool distribution ministry that has now slowed down considerably, commented: "Beginning with the Birthday Fast of 1992, our Homes started trying to get away from being salesmen of tools. They tried to depend more on follow-up. But it seems our Homes never really made that changeover very well. Before that time, the Homes were doing quite well financially, certainly compared to now, & in many cases they were flourishing. Even though at that time the Homes were in need of more training, it seemed that when the Homes were getting out more tools, they were doing much better financially; & thus they were able to do more for the Lord, as well as take better care of their children & have a better standard in the Homes.
       "We, being the extremists that we are, have swung the pendulum way to the other side & have gone to such an extreme that the Homes have virtually given up getting out the tools. We've come to a drastic realization that Homes don't even order tools now for next month's outreach, because they don't have funds to order them, & basically just aren't even getting out the tools. At least that is how it is in our Area.
       "It's a shame that with as much work & oversight & financing as we put into our full-time production units such as music studios & video studios that produce our GP tools, our Homes are just not getting out these tools. So many hours & weeks & months of time & great prayer go into the counselling, communications, financing & decision-making to produce & fine-tune these tools to get them to the beautiful final state they come to us in, but oddly enough, so few Homes are even getting them out.
"And on top of that, we produce the tools in many local languages, which requires further financing, not to mention lots of top talent & manpower. For example, our local language studio is not financed by WS. We finance it ourselves, bring in the talent from all over the country, fly or bus people in from long distances, & really work hard to get the tools out in the local language, but they still don't seem to go very far. It's so sad!
       "With as much work, time & money as we put into producing these tools, it seems only logical that we could push getting them out a lot more. Some of our brethren are real good salesmen, having been witnessers for years. They shine in this area. A real clear ringing signal from WS would help the Homes to see that it's not taboo to get out the tools, but is in fact an answer to our serious financial problems in every Home!" (End of comments from a CRO.)
       Well, here you have it, dear Family. This is the "clear ringing signal" that getting out those beautiful Tapes, Videos & Posters is where it's at! Let's go for it & see if we can make a big leap forward in upping our stats during the remaining months of this year & the year to come! Praise the Lord!
       Here's a very inspiring testimony from one of the CROs in North America: "Resurgence of Tool Distribution in Chicago! While we were visiting in Chicago, YA Jonathan Waters helped to engineer a couple of very successful witnessing attack weekends. Last weekend the main Chicago Home got out over 1,700 Posters, 40 Tapes, a handful of Videos, won hundreds of souls, & brought in an income of over $2,000 while they were doing it. This, by the way, was a Home that had been having financial difficulties, as previously they had been struggling to bring in a couple of hundred Dollars on their weekend witnessing days. The Lord seemed to bless it when the Home took off their roller blades, got rid of their hockey sticks & got out witnessing! ({\ul \i Editor's note}: This Home was a little tripped off with too much emphasis on sports, but we understand they're doing better now! God bless them!)
       "The following weekend the Home went on the attack again. The Teamwork got together ahead of time to prayerfully plan the three-day witnessing assault, & once again the Lord blessed with another great weekend of witnessing! Praise the Lord!" (End of testimony from Chicago.)
       When we talk about getting out the tools, don't forget that that includes Posters! In "God Is Not Limited" Dad said: "Help us never ever just to do it for money, Lord, or just support. My God, help us to always do it for You, Jesus, to give them the Message of Thy Love, in the Name of Jesus! Even if we get no money, You will supply for us. Thank You Jesus! (Maria: Then should we just go back to giving out Posters?) Yes, yes. (Maria: And forget the Videos?) No, no, no, no! Why do you say that? Of course we'll go back to giving out Posters. That's the best & the main thing of all, to give out Posters wherever we can. The Posters are the greatest thing of all. I told you that before.--That Posters are the best & the greatest because they're the cheapest & they stay with people & they can keep on using & reading them. But we need Videos, too!" (ML#2611:9)
       As Dad said, getting out the Posters is a good means of income. Take for example the following testimony from the PACRO Shepherds: "The follow-up Home in Australia has a full-time outreacher who spends five days a week getting out Posters (with different partners). He brings in an average of $100 to $200 a day. This brother loves to go out, and in no way feels burdened or pressured to raise funds. He simply likes getting the Posters out, and enjoys being out witnessing each day. Postering is his fort, his favourite witnessing approach, which is fruitful, so he burns free in this method."

Faithful Follow-up Works!
       We won't go into all the details & a big "sales pitch" as to why follow-up is so important & how to go about it, because you can read about that in the FSMs on follow-up that were published in the beginning of 1993. (See FSMs 228, 229 & 230.) We believe that you already realize the importance of follow-up. It's not that you're not convinced or that you're unwilling, but it's been difficult to find the time & the personnel to do follow-up. Also, the pressing need to bring in finances each day often makes it impossible for your outreach teams to stop & spend several hours following up on someone, because follow-up appointments don't always result in a donation each visit. From what we can understand, this need for daily income, coupled with the lack of time & personnel for witnessing & follow-up, have greatly hindered your progress in gaining regular supporters.
       What makes winning supporters so difficult is that it's not something that you can just push for only a few weeks. It basically amounts to changing your priorities, changing your outlook on outreach & acquiring new habits--habits of follow-up & feeding people spiritually on a very regular & faithful basis & then asking for help or support, whether by mail or in person.
       Going on a witnessing blitz to raise immediate support, as opposed to the slow laborious method of raising long-term support through pledges & kings & supporters, is like the difference between going on a crash diet, as compared to changing your eating habits, exercise plan & whole lifestyle. On a crash diet, the weight may drop off quickly, but it also comes back quickly, so you're soon in the same fix as before. Whereas if you make fundamental changes & correct the root of the problem, you might lose weight more slowly & that might take more determination over a longer period of time, but it stays off; & you'll also succeed in establishing new habits that will make your desired weight easier to maintain. But on the other hand, if you never change your eating & living habits, & insist on going on crash diets, you get caught in the vicious cycle of lose, gain, lose, gain, lose, gain--never making lasting progress toward your goal.
       This is similar to the plight of Homes that don't have regular support. You're broke & then you blitz on raising the rent. Then pretty soon you're broke again & you blitz on the rent. On & on & on! What a dilemma!
       In order to start accumulating regular pledges, it seems the best place to start would be with the names of contacts you have collected over the months & years of distributing tools. Some have collected hundreds of name cards. Those who were interested enough to give once will likely give again. Many of you seem to already have a good habit of going back to sell regular "customers" new Videos or Tapes. If someone has already proven to be receptive to our tools, chances are, if you take the time to explain your Work & show them the need, they may be willing to pledge regular support. Even if people start slowly with small pledges, their gifts often grow as they get to know you better & as you faithfully feed them spiritually. As you follow up on your pledgers, they'll become easier to feed, so your time spent with them will be more fruitful. They'll also learn to feed themselves from the lit. Pledgers can be compared to a fruit-bearing tree: The yield is small at first, especially in relation to time & effort required to tend it properly, but once it's well-established it's very fruitful.
       Dad said, "I wonder if you have contacts that you're slipping up on, contacts that you have sitting on the shelf somewhere that you haven't done anything with, provisioning contacts or other business people whom you've met & you've had something to do with who have liked you & maybe bought a Tape & expressed some interest, but that you haven't cultivated, you haven't done anything with?
       "Like one doctor we heard of recently, he was really hurt because the Family Members he'd helped hadn't contacted him again! Sad to say, too often with our people it's, `When I need you I'll get in touch.' You may have kings like that who are just sitting there waiting for you! `What is that in thy hand?'--Maybe they're right there, maybe you've already met them & you just need to follow up on them!
       "If you win a soul & you follow that soul up & make a disciple out of them, even if they don't join the Family & move in, you're going to have a good solid supporter who loves you! You won'm to the Lord & they'll love you forever, they'll support you forever! You'll have a king or queen or prince or princess or somebody there that's going to be a help!--Not only that, maybe protection, maybe a haven! But if you just go out scattering lit wildly, far & wide, scattershot, helter skelter, you're never going to know whether you've won any souls or not!" (ML#s 2406:44,45; 1920:16)
Please remember that follow-up does not only have to be done face-to-face. A mail ministry that is attended to regularly is an effective way to keep your friends & supporters on the line & well-fed spiritually. There are many advantages to the mail ministry, one of the greatest ones being that many people can participate in the mail ministry, thus fulfilling the expression, "Many hands make light work!" A faithful teen or YA can oversee your Home's mail ministry. The children can get involved by writing little notes, hello cards, or thank-you letters, which are invaluable when it comes to touching people's hearts. The team that stays at home can feel a part of the witnessing & follow-up by getting involved in the mail ministry. You can even make the letter writing & participation in the mail ministry part of your young people's scholastic curriculum.
       There is tremendous, abundant counsel on the mail ministry available in the Word, plus you have wonderful tools at your fingertips to feed your sheep, such as the Daily Foods, the Mountain Streams, the Statements, etc. Let's take advantage of the power of the written Word! Dad said, "Do not underestimate the magnitude of the ministry of the mail! I consider this mail follow-up one of the most vital, responsible & essential parts of our whole worldwide ministry; & I hope every [EDITED: "Home"] feels the same & is taking care of these little babes & potentials & needy souls with the greatest of faithfulness & diligence!" (MOP 79:1,14)

The Need for Consider the Poor
Appeal Projects
       Over the last three years--since Dad's "Consider the Poor!" revelation--it has become evident that along with faithfully witnessing, distributing the tools, & following up, the Lord seems to want most of our Homes to be involved in some type of ministry to the poor & disadvantaged. It's absolutely thrilling to see how many wonderful doors the Lord has opened for our Family worldwide to minister to those in need, & to obey the instruction the Lord gave to Dad when He said, "Help the helpless who don't care who you are!" (ML#2755:30)
       Of course, our primary goal in such ministries is to help the people we're ministering to, as the Bible says in Isaiah 61:1-3: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, & the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, & the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified."
       The Lord promises to bless such projects. He says, "If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in."--Isa.58:10-12. (See also Isaiah 58:6-12.) These verses have been beautifully fulfilled in areas where the brethren have been doing Consider the Poor work.--Their "light has risen from obscurity", winning them many supporters and opening new doors, etc. Praise the Lord!
       But also, our ministries to the poor are essential when it comes to raising support. These are excellent appeal projects! As you know, it's sometimes difficult for people to grasp what our ministry is & exactly what we do to help their country or local situation. So it helps to be able to give potential donors some concrete examples of what you're doing to help cure the ills of society. People want to know what they're giving to. They want to be convinced & to feel that yours is a worthwhile cause. "Man looketh on the outward appearance" & they often want to see the proof of your volunteer work.        Of course, Christians can understand when we explain that we're winning people to the Lord & feeding people spiritually. But people who aren't yet saved or who don't have much respect for our spiritual work want to see what other "good works" we're doing. In this respect, your work with the poor can be very helpful in proving your sincerity & raising support.
       People will be especially interested in what you're doing about the issues that they're worried about, such as the problems of young people, the plight of the homeless, the difficulties facing victims of disasters, etc. As Mama said, "People want to see what we can do for the problems of the World. So few have any solutions!--We do have the solutions but we need to show them to the World, & we need to explain them to people in terms that they can understand. Every day the Family accomplishes so much that we just take for granted, but that the World would be awed by if we could, on a consistent basis, give them testimonies & documented evidence of the impossible situations that the Lord has changed through the Family's love & prayers & sacrificial efforts." (See LNF 209.)
       So if you haven't yet discovered what ministry to the poor & disadvantaged you should devote some of your time & energy to, we suggest you pray & ask the Lord to lead & open the doors. It will be well worth your time & the Lord will bless you for it too. "Whatsoever thou spendest, I will repay! Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; & that which he hath given will He pay him again. He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack!" (Luk.10:35; Psa.41:1; Pro.19:17, 28:27.)
       As you know, the Lord recently gave Dad a beautiful revelation about our financial situation which was published in his new Letter, "Dream About Finances" (ML#2937, GN 604). The Lord promised that if we would give abundantly, He would more than give to us abundantly, & we would have tremendous income. Dad said, "I just know you can't outgive God, & that if the Family were giving enough, the Lord would give us enough financially. The Homes barely scrape by & give their 10%, but the Lord promised to give us more than enough if we were giving enough. He said He'd `open the windows of Heaven and pour out such a blessing there wouldn't be room enough to hold it.'--Mal.3:10. But He also said in the passage of Scripture I got, `Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee?--In tithes & offerings.'--Mal.3:8. Could it be that they give their tithe, but they're not giving offerings?" (ML# 2937:7,9.)
       Dad & Mama go on to explain that perhaps our Consider the Poor ministries are offerings. The Letter says: "Maybe you could count what they are giving out in the way of Consider the Poor ministries & various other projects that they have underway as offerings. Perhaps those are their offerings right in their fields, something above their tithes. (Maria: But they don't give financially to that.) Well, they do in a way, because it costs them money to go to these hospitals, institutions & places where they minister. (Maria: Yes, it's true, because it costs them what they would normally be doing, which is getting out & distributing the tools, etc. They don't do that because they are doing these other things for free. So that's true.)" (ML#2937:10.)
       Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the Lord blesses our Consider the Poor ministries so mightily & why they are so rewarding & why those Homes that are faithful with such ministries & projects are often more stable financially.--Because those ministries are their offerings to the Lord. And as a reward, He fulfils His promise & pours out His blessings in return! As He sees that we are pouring out all we can, even sacrificially, He blesses & sends help our way so we can continue to feed & minister to His children. Praise the Lord!
       Concerning the need for appeal projects when raising support, one of the Shepherds from Japan commented: "When I pondered the question about why our Family Members are afraid to ask for financial help, I tried to put myself in the shoes of the Home Members here in Japan. In recent months as we've been discussing the financial problems in the Homes, we've talked to various Shepherds & outreachers, & we've prayed about it at our leadership meetings, & one thing that has stood out is that many of our Homes lack a suitable appeal project that they can use to convince people that we are a cause worth donating to. Because they don't have this, it is difficult for them to have the faith to ask for financial support.
       "Our friends who have received Jesus love us & they love our Message, but it has still been difficult to convince many of them to support us financially, because to them it looks like most of our energies are spent in keeping up our Homes & taking care of our children. Since most of our Homes are modelled after the School Vision, the first impression an outsider gets when visiting our Homes is that we are a Christian school that is trying to raise our children in a Godly manner & that most of our personnel is involved in that. While they think it's great & they love our kids & their beautiful sample, that is still not enough to convince them to support us.
       "Some of our more spiritual friends can understand our goals of evangelising the World, winning people to Jesus, & bringing people Salvation for eternity. But the vast majority of `flatlander' Japanese don't think this is such a great appeal project. So, it seems that one major need for each Home may be that they unitedly decide on some outreach ministry that they can get involved in that would be relatable to the outside World as being a worthwhile cause, such as a Consider the Poor ministry.
       "The best appeal projects for Japan are if a Home is actively involved in some sort of institution ministry, like visiting old folks' homes, orphanages, centres for handicapped people, etc. Many Homes have produced local black-and-white newsletters or brochures explaining their Work, & they almost always try to promote this kind of work, even though it may only be a part of their outreach, since these activities are the most relatable to the Japanese.
       "I've heard quite a few brethren say it's hard to put into words why we need money. Of course we can say we are Christians, living by faith, trying to help their country & give them God's Love, Truth & Salvation, but we haven't had a lot of success that way. People here are much more willing to give us money for teaching them an English class or somehow helping their community in a tangible way, but not just for the sake of our Christian mission.
       "I think the goal to get as many Home Members involved in outreach & Consider the Poor ministries as possible will help tremendously to give our Home Members more faith to ask for finances, because they will be able to say with full conviction that they really are doing something for the community in which they live, that the people can relate to! Thank You Jesus!"
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: For more on appeal projects, Consider the Poor ministries & sample presentations, please see part three of this FSM series, coming soon, D.V.)

Outreach Programme Is Essential!
       One of the CROs recently commented: "The Family Members on our field are quite dedicated & hard working, yet the state of their finances leaves much to be desired, which is a drain on the overall spirit of the Home. It is a vicious cycle, & something has got to be done to break it!"
       As mentioned earlier, there's no pat solution: We can't give you a 1-2-3 formula that will solve all your witnessing & financial problems, because there are too many variables. But what we can tell you is that as we've been studying our worldwide witnessing activities & pushes & progress & stats for months & months, it's become clear that the different aspects of witnessing must work together & there needs to be a proper balance.
       In times past, it seems our witnessing programmes have tended to be rather unbalanced. This has happened mainly when a push or emphasis on a certain aspect of witnessing has been taken too much to the extreme. The result has often been that some things have been over-emphasized, to the neglect of other things. For example, some people have the mistaken idea that they no longer need to work hard at distributing the Tapes & Videos when follow-up is being emphasized. But emphasizing follow-up does not mean that Tapes & Videos are no longer important. Some young people don't want to do any more distribution of tools or follow-up, because they only want to go personal witnessing. When personal witnessing is encouraged for young people, that doesn't mean that distributing the Tapes & Videos or going on follow-up appointments are no longer appropriate means of witnessing for young people! The counsel in "Inside, Out of Sight" (ML#2385) to "get off the streets" doesn't mean that you can never distribute Posters on the streets or busk publicly. And now, in this FSM, when we point out that some methods of witnessing, such as restaurant or night singing, raise mainly immediate support without the benefit of much follow-up, we're not suggesting you abandon those methods, if they're fruitful for you.
       There has to be a balance! As difficult as it may seem, to make concrete progress in witnessing, to be faithful to get out the Message & to gain lasting support, you'll need to find time to do some of all of the following witnessing & outreach activities: Distribute Posters, Tapes & Videos, personally witness to people, spiritually feed your friends & supporters through consistent follow-up of some kind, by mail or personally, & participate in some form of Consider the Poor ministry. If you only do one of those, to the complete neglect of the others, you'll be missing a key piece of the puzzle.
       For example, as many have learned & can testify, if you only distribute tools day after day, gathering hundreds of business cards & phone numbers of sheep & potential supporters as you go, but you never follow up on them, you won't make progress in gaining pledges. You won't be accumulating any regular support that you can count on each month. That means you'll be obligated to keep investing the same amount of time & energy & personnel to raise support day after day, month after month.
       On the other hand, if you only follow-up, but do no tool distribution, then you won't be meeting new friends or generating daily income, & you will be failing to get out the Message & the meat of the Word to the waiting World. If you don't take time to get involved in your community & commit yourself to a Consider the Poor ministry, then you'll miss the opportunity to be a blessing to many, to make many contacts, to gain good public relations, & to have some "good works" to help in your fund raising.
       So the key is to have a well-balanced witnessing programme!--Including distribution of tools, witnessing & follow-up, & Consider the Poor ministries.
Let's make a concentrated effort, shall we?--To push evenly on these three fronts--a three-pronged attack!--That is sure to bear fruit spiritually & materially.

Ask & It Shall be Given
       In some cases, Homes are doing well with their witnessing, especially their Consider the Poor ministries, but in such cases, if they're still lacking support, the problem may be a lack of asking. There are numerous Homes that are ministering very sacrificially, but their ministry doesn't even pay for itself, much less generate extra income, because they're not making their needs known. Mama explained this very clearly in her recent Letter in GN 598. (See "From Poverty to Plenty!", ML#2929, GN 598.) The Lord is more willing to give than we are to receive, & often our lack of asking & receiving is what keeps Him from being able to supply. Consider the following testimony from Brazil:
       "While selling Videos in a Catholic school, Bernardo & 14-year-old Tim witnessed for about one hour to the treasurer of a Catholic school. The man hardly spoke one word & was closely scrutinizing Bernardo. Bernardo finally said, `Do you want the collection of 10 Videos or not?' To which the Catholic priest simply replied, `How much?' When Bernardo told him it was $400, the priest said that it was a bit expensive, but he asked them to come back next week so he could get together the $4,000 needed to buy the whole collection. He had understood that the Videos were $400 each instead of the collection of 10 being $400! So when Bernardo told him that it was $400 for 10, the priest bought the collection on the spot & paid $400 cash.
       "It struck us as so encouraging that the priest valued the set of Videos at $4,000! It shows the need for all of us to increase our faith & not to be limited, as he was considering giving $4,000 for the set of 10. As Dad taught us, the Lord's capacity to give is only limited by our own capacity to receive." (End of testimony from Brazil.)

Learning How to Ask for Money!
By Dust, North America

       The heart of the matter is in the asking! That is a quote from a System fund raising class. I think the point that Mama brings up in her Letter "From Poverty to Plenty" about our Homes not asking is a key point! The same point is brought up in this fund raising class by Paul H. Shneyiter, who also confirms that lack of asking is pretty much the core of the problem for a lot of fund raisers.
       Here in the Home where I presently am, we have tried a number of programmes, initiatives, new ideas, etc., to raise funds, but oftentimes these new initiatives were thwarted at the very point of asking.
       To give you an example: Not too long ago we composed a pledge letter to be delivered to our list of most potential friends & contacts, in an attempt to get them to share the burden of paying our monthly expenses. The letter itself seemed well-written enough; it included a little class on giving & a very personal plea urging each friend to please contribute monthly, & then gently pinning them down to pledge a certain amount. The letter included check boxes at the end where the potential giver could check the amount that he or she would like to pledge or tithe toward the Home's monthly expenses.
       At a united meeting the entire Home laid hands upon this little stack of pledge request letters, asking the Lord to anoint it & to cause it to bring forth the desired results. Up until this point our plan for raising support looked pretty good. We had had a number of friends & contacts attend our Open House who we felt we could ask, & a number of others who we felt were close enough friends to help us financially, if they were approached with this pledge letter.
       However, as our delivery teams went out to take the letter to the different individuals, in each case we found that when it came to actually standing in front of the person & asking for help, our Home Members failed to make a personal presentation of the letter along with an explanation & personal plea-- even though we had gone over this in our Home meetings. One team testified that yes, they had delivered the rent pledge letter to a friend with whom they had dinner that evening. They presented the letter just as they were leaving. This means that the friend read the letter after they were gone, rather than together with them as they stood or sat in front of that person, looking him in the eyes as he read the letter.
       Another key phrase in the class by Paul Shneyiter was, "Pressure is essential." Our folks just seem reluctant to put the pressure on by making a good, forthright personal plea for money.
       In another case, when the team went to deliver the letter to a certain friend who we all felt would be willing to help, the friend was not there at the time, & so the team nonchalantly left the letter with someone at his work place to deliver to him. Thus, once again, the actual asking was thwarted.
       As the reports began to come in of the different teams delivering the letters to the different individuals, the pattern became one of team after team going out & delivering the letter in such a way that the recipient was left to read the letter on their own, without one of us being right there with them, explaining the need, explaining the letter & pleading for help. What it boiled down to was that when the "showdown" came, we "chickened out"!
       It seemed that in each case our dear Home Members had found a way, or the Enemy had thwarted their efforts in some way, to where they didn't actually ask the person for help. As a result, our Home reaped very little financial support from this particular fund raising programme, even though we had put considerable prayer & effort into writing the letter & preparing the presentation.
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: These brethren had planned to ask their friends face-to-face for support, along with giving them the request letter. Professional fund raisers agree that the personal request is the most effective, & if you are face-to-face with someone, it's recommended that you make a personal appeal by {\ul \i verbalizing} your request, rather than just depending on a letter to do the asking for you. But this is not to say that you can't use the mail to ask for support or that written requests are completely ineffective! You {\ul \i can} & {\ul \i should} appeal for support by mail as well, especially if you are ministering to & requesting help from someone who lives too far away for you to visit frequently. You can also use the mail to confirm pledges, remind people of missed pledges, or request help from someone who is too busy to meet with you personally.)
       I've seen this happen so often over the years with our dear Family Members simply being afraid to ask. It leads me to believe that there's just something about money & pride & being afraid to ask for money that the Enemy uses against the Family to where he's actually got us intimidated & bamboozled into thinking & feeling that we just can't ask for money. I think this is a hold that Satan has over our Family, to where he's got us hamstrung by causing us to either be too proud or too afraid to ask for the thing we need the most--and that is money.
       It seems there's a spirit behind it, which appeals to self-righteous pride, that tries to convince us that asking people for money is to somehow neglect the care of their souls & to not have the right motive. And then there's the fear of what they might think--that they might think that we're just in it for the money, which as Dad pointed out time & again, is ridiculous. This lie of the Enemy has crept in among our teens & YAs as well, to where they too are bound by pride & fear of asking, thinking that our motives are wrong if we ask for money.
       This, of course, is a big subject, but when discussing this at a GAS meeting, Ike (Isaac Numbers) brought up a real interesting point: He said, "It seems in our Family we have no problem at all having the humility that it takes to witness & tell people about Jesus, or to provision food, clothing, medical care, vehicle repair, lawyers, etc. But when it comes to asking for money, there seems to be a spiritual blockage. We seem to have plenty of boldness to witness to people right out of the blue, telling them about Jesus & Salvation. We have no problem with that--or even with asking them to donate goods. Yet, when it comes to asking our friends & contacts to help financially, we suddenly become bound by fear & pride."
       In the case of the pledge letter that our Home tried to make work, it was quite frustrating to see such a potential project thwarted simply by our failure to really get out there & ask. It made the whole project a near waste of paper & envelopes, not to mention the hard work & prayer & time that went into composing the presentation letter & the little pledge section at the bottom.
       This all causes me to think that a good prayer request for our worldwide Family would be to aggressively rebuke that spirit of pride from the Enemy that causes us to be ashamed & embarrassed to ask for money to support our Work. As Ike pointed out to our GASs, it's quite commendable how the Family is so bold to witness & so emboldened to provision every possible need. Yet when it comes to asking for money, we tend to cower in fear & pride. The Family is nothing short of ingenious at finding ways to provision every possible imaginable need, yet when it comes to the cash that is needed to pay for the things that simply cannot be provisioned, we just don't seem to have the boldness & courage that it takes to ask for it.
       I wonder if we may want to somehow formulate a worldwide prayer request against this device of the Enemy, which is holding us down & in a sense has the entire Army pinned down. We have such a wonderful Family, so full of boldness, faith & conviction to do so many things--to witness, to provision, to win souls, to go places where Angels fear to tread--and yet I would say that when it comes to asking for money, on the whole, we're pretty much an army of chickens & cowards.
In our prayer we could:

       --Rebuke the lie of the Enemy which has us bamboozled into thinking that there's something wrong with asking for money, which causes us to be embarrassed & ashamed to ask.
       --Pray against the Enemy's appeal to our self-righteousness, which causes us to feel that there's something sinful about asking for money, that our motives are questionable.
       --Pray against fear--fear of failure, fear of being turned down, fear of what people are going to think, & fear of not having our needs supplied.
       --Pray against pride--the pride that causes us to be so concerned about ourselves, our reputation, our image, or whatever it is that the Enemy holds in front of us that causes us to be too proud to ask. As Dad said, "I never found any branch of the Lord's Work where pride pays!" (ML#684:40)
       --Pray for the faith & courage to ask for the money we need!

       How 'bout it, dear Family?! Let's pray these good prayer requests & then get out there & ask & see the Lord work! He's going to do it! Praise the Lord! God bless you! We love you!
* * *

"They that Preach the Gospel Shall Live of the Gospel" (1Cor.9:14).
Compiled Quotes from Dad on "
& Ye Shall
       I'll tell you, if you're living by faith, you've got to learn how to be humble enough to ask, seek, knock, or "ye have not because ye ask not".--Mat.7:7; Jam.4:2. You've got to let them know you need it & ask'm for it.
       It's easier to be able to give than to have to receive, but God wants to teach us to ask & receive what He has for us. One of the toughest lessons we had to learn in the life of faith was to have to receive!--Receive from our own relatives, our friends, our inlaws.--That's going through Hell, as far as your pride is concerned! But oh, it's so good for your humility! It absolutely humiliates you until you're really humble! (ML#s 1087:37; 211:3)

Most of the World is engaged in making money & earning a living & paying for their own needs. But for God's people to serve God fulltime & devote their total time, strength & energy to His fulltime service & His service alone, they must learn to receive from others who are not devoting their full time to God.
       [EDITED: "The Lord"] likes to use people [EDITED: "to supply your needs, rather than dropping it out of the sky"]. He likes to use men as His means in order that they too might be blessed & have a share in your ministry & its fruits & receive part of the rewards. Because that is a part of His plan, "that they which stand by the stuff shall receive equally with them which go forth to the battle."--1Sam.30:24. Therefore God intends for others to help you & support you.
       But to do this you must be willing to ask them for support! You must be humble & not too proud to ask. He says, "Ask & ye shall receive, seek & ye shall find, knock & it shall be opened unto you."--Mat.7:7.
       "The labourer is worthy of his hire", "muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn", "they that preach the Gospel shall live of the Gospel"; in other words, should be supported by it, if possible.--Luk.10:7; 1Cor.9:9,14. Paul says a great deal about this, exhorting along this line: "If I have ministered to you spiritual things, then you should minister to me material things."--1Cor.9:11.
       Every country has its rich! Every country has its big business moguls & governing kings & queens & princes & princesses who have lots of money & who would be happy to support you if you'd win'm to the Lord & win their love & their friendship & their interest, to encourage them to support you. But too many are afraid to contact this class of people, too many are afraid to go to them. The rich, as I've often said, are the most neglected class of people of all when it comes to preaching the Gospel to them! Most missionaries avoid them like the plague because they think they haven't got what it takes to approach them, either in looks or clothing or education or a means of conduct or whatever. But there are plenty of rich people in every country who could help & support you if you would ask God to help you find them & get ahold of them in some way that they would be willing to help you. (ML#s 641:65; 1677:39,40,55,68)

       Like St. Francis, you need to become a beggar for Jesus! I've known some fund-raisers who even sent out wires or telegrams to friends when in emergencies! The major source of funds for a Home could come from its prayer letters specifying your needs, outlining your accomplishments, & asking parents & friends for support!
       But if you're too proud to do a little begging, then you're too damn proud & your needs aren't going to be met. People are accustomed to religious outfits begging, & most people will give to the people who have the strongest appeal & the most desperate need.
       If you are too proud & ashamed to [EDITED: "ask"], then you ought to get out of this business & go someplace where pride pays! I never found any branch of the Lord's Work where pride pays at all! Pride does not pay, & it certainly doesn't pay the bills. We've got every reason in the World to ask for help for His Work. (ML#s 212:30; 684:38,40)

       So don't be afraid to ask for money! Don't be afraid to beg for the Kingdom of God! Don't be afraid to beg for their soul & their eternal Salvation! Beg for it! Plead with them! Ask'm for it! And don't be afraid to ask'm for money. Don't be afraid to beg'm for funds & tell'm you need it! "I need something to eat, I need a place to lay my head! I've got brothers & sisters, I've got a wife & children! Look at all my little kids here! Please! How about a donation for our support? We're preaching you this Gospel, we're giving you the Gospel free of charge, now you help support us! We're saving your immortal soul for Eternity, the least you can give us is a little bit of your life! We're saving your life, come on, give us back some!" A few dollars is nothing to what you've done for them! It's nothing!
       Get away from this penurious attitude of: "Excuse me for livin', I'm so sorry to have to ask you for something for this, but you know, I've gotta live" & blah blah!--Baloney! Demand it! Insist on it! "Listen, you owe me a Heaven of a lot more than this! I'm saving you from Hell! You oughtta give me your life! Your earthly life is the least you could give me for Eternal Life!"
       So don't be afraid to ask them to pay for something that is absolutely priceless! They couldn't possibly pay enough for the information you're giving them!--A few dollars of their paltry living to pay for this priceless information of how to live forever, how to save their souls from Hell! Amen? There's no gift too big, there's not even any gift big enough to thank you for what you're doing in just giving them one Poster!
       When you go around saving people, witnessing, winning souls & saving them from Hell, my God, that oughtta be worth something! They oughtta be thankful enough & appreciative enough to turn around & support you! If somebody saved you from drowning in the river, you'd feel like rewarding them! People often get rewarded for saving lives.--Sometimes the people rescued feel like they owe'm their whole life! There's some culture, I think it's Chinese, where they have a little saying that if you save a life, the one you've saved owes you their whole life! Let me tell you, people whose souls you win to the Lord & whose lives you therefore save & their eternal souls you save, they owe you their life, the whole works! They not only owe you this life, they owe you for the eternal life that you gave'm! They owe you their lives! So the least they can do is pay you back a little bit by at least helping support you! (ML#1885: 52,54,55,57,47)

       Sure you're a beggar, we're all beggars! Even the Lord's a beggar. He begs you to get saved, He begs you to love Him, He begs you to give your life for Him! He has to beg you to save you from Hell, think of that! So don't be ashamed of being a beggar! I admired that Catholic priest who wrote me a prayer letter about his orphanage down in South America someplace & he always signed it "God's Beggar"! He wasn't ashamed of it, begging is nothing to be ashamed of even in the Bible. Beggars were supposed to be loved & were supposed to be donated to & given alms to. The Lord encouraged giving alms to those who asked for them.
       Don't be ashamed to beg, it's one of God's blessed methods! He says, "Ask & ye shall receive! Seek & ye shall find! Knock & it shall be opened unto you!" (Mat.7:7) When you're asking, you're begging! When you're seeking, you're looking for somebody to beg from! When you're knocking, you're begging for somebody to open the door! Our whole work is begging!
       I never saw a preacher yet that didn't beg! The better beggars got along better. All these Gospel preachers on radio & television in the U.S. beg & beg & beg all the time: "Send me this, send me that, send me support. We cannot survive without your support! This ministry is dependent upon your help & your support!" They kind of avoid using the term "money" or "gifts" or something like that, they say it in a nice way so it won't offend the radio or television station or their audience, but they get the point! (ML#1885: 59-61)

       You're going to have to make a choice, just like Paul did: Either settle down & get a job & "make tents" to support yourselves, or you're going to have to sock it to the home folks & say, "Now, listen! Do you want me to stay out here as your missionary? I'm doing your job for you. I'm out here preaching the Gospel in all the World to every creature. You send me the money & support me!--That's the least you can do! You're staying home living selfishly & comfortably in luxury, so if you can't do the job, fork over some of that dough to help me stay out here to do the job for you!" You are going to have to do it--just like the churches have had to do it & the missionaries of denominations have had to do it.
       So ask for it! They ought to be forsaking all & doing it themselves!--But if they won't, the least they can do is pay you to do it for them! So don't be shy about asking for it! "The labourer is worthy of his hire!" (Luk.10:7) "Muzzle not the ox that treadeth out the corn!" (1Cor.9:9) "They that preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel!" (1Cor.9:14) (ML#s 771:12,13; 922:9)

       Be specific about your needs & "let your requests be made known". These people who would like to give you gifts will not know exactly what you need & would appreciate some concrete ideas.--"Ask & ye shall receive!" (Jn.16:24.) "Ye have not because ye ask not!" (Jam.4:2.) (ML#1060:1)

       Our friends had better start investing in God's Work, then they can't lose!--10,000% interest on investments in the Lord's Work, 100-fold, that's 10,000%!--Mark 10:30. Our stocks keep going up & never lose, how about that? Eternal dividends! Some of it you see here & the rest in Heaven! Thank You Lord!
       Jesus, we thank You for our precious friends that You've given us throughout the World, those whose lives have been changed by Your Message of Love, & who are learning a whole new way of life with us, life more abundant because of You, Jesus! We thank You for how You've helped them to support Your Work, & through giving learn that they can have a special place in Thy Kingdom & a special ministry to help us in our work for Thee, & that they're a very necessary part of our Work. Help us to continue to teach them that as they pour out, You'll pour in, & that they can't outgive You. Help us to be faithful to feed them & guide them & teach them how to live for You.
       Lord, bless & keep us all safely in Thy care & make us a blessing & make us unafraid to beg for You & beg for souls & beg for people to get saved, beg'm to go to Heaven & beg'm for enough money for us to keep doing it! Amen! Praise the Lord! God bless you! (ML#s 2379:11; 2436:54; 1885:74)
       [EDITED: "end"]

Copyright 1996 The Family