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FSM 264 / FN 373 Finances and Fund Raising!--Part Three
Copyrighted December, 1994 by Family Services, Zurich, Switzerland

       "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

       Introduction       1
       Getting Started!       1
       "Where Do We Go from Here?"--More Tips for        Raising Support!       4
       Tips on Reaching, Talking to & Relating to        Potential Donors!       11
       Presentations & Appeal Projects       13
              It's a Spiritual Battle!       13
              Our Ministry Is Primarily a Spiritual One!       14
              Consider the Poor Ministries Are Good Appeal Projects!       15
              Your Appeal Project Is What You Actually Do!       15
              Your Home Can Be an Appeal Project       16
       Appeal Projects: Our Children & Endtime Message!--By Maria       17
       How to Handle the Controversy Surrounding the Family!       19
       Answering Questions about Finances, Leadership & Our Organizational Structure       22
       Closing Prayer by Mama       23
A Fruitful Mail Ministry Weathers the Storm!       24

       In this FSM, the third part of the series on finances & fund raising, we hope to cover some of the specifics of how to go about raising support, how to approach & relate to top business people, & how to explain your Work to potential donors & answer some of the most commonly asked questions. Please keep in mind as you read this FSM & the two that follow, that not all the ideas or suggestions presented will be suitable to all fields or situations. You will need to prayerfully consider your particular circumstances & see what would be best for you.
       Some of the ideas put forth in these FSMs are tried & proven & others are still in the experimental stage, so you may find that some are more useful to you than others.  It's up to you to judge which methods of raising support will be most effective & well received on your field, taking into consideration the customs of the people, the laws of the land, etc.

Getting Started!
       Okay, so you're determined to improve the financial situation of your Home. You want to raise more income & cultivate more regular supporters. The first question you might ask yourself is: "Where do I start?" Good question. It might seem a little overwhelming, so let's start at the beginning.
       1. Pray & look to the Lord in the Word! This may seem like a pretty obvious suggestion, but we all know how easy it is to get inspired about a new push or a new vision & jump right in, without praying much or looking to the Lord in the Word. Or else, you start out being faithful in prayer & the Word because you feel desperate & incapable, but with time, as you begin to feel a little more self-confident, you slack off. So please try to remember to consistently & frequently bathe your outreach, follow-up, fund raising, ministering, asking, & budgeting in prayer--private prayer & united prayer. And take time daily to draw your faith, inspiration, & direction from the Word. "Without Him you can do nothing!" (Jn.15:5.)

       2. Be prepared with the tools needed to make a good presentation to potential givers. When approaching people for support, especially for large donations, it's important to be well prepared. Once you have an appointment with an important person, that may be the only chance you'll get to talk with him, so you need to give it your best shot & make it count. Of course, the main thing is to be prayed up, full of the Lord's Spirit & conviction, but some practical preparation also helps. Here are a few tips:
       When you go to appointments, take with you a variety of lit & tools, including the Statements, the milky & meaty Statement summaries, Tapes, Videos, Posters, DFs, Reflections, etc. You wouldn't necessarily present all these items to your prospective donor, but it's good to have them on hand in case a question or topic comes up that is well covered in a certain Family tool or piece of lit.
       You'll also need a phone number where people can contact you.
       It's very helpful to have a business card with your name, address, phone number, & possibly a fax number & bank account number, if you have these available.
       Prepare a photo album of your work. Include action shots of your local work, letters of recommendation, positive newspaper articles, etc. (It's good if you appear in some of the photos, to prove that you are a bona fide missionary who does the actual hands-on work of evangelizing & helping people.)
       Have a local brochure explaining your local &/or national work that you can leave with potential donors. It is nice if your local brochure can be colour, but if that's too expensive or difficult to provision, then black & white is fine too.
       Have available copies of the colour brochure presenting the Family worldwide. (You will be receiving these very soon, D.V.)
       It helps to write an appeal letter, which you can leave with the person you're talking to.
       Have pledge cards on hand.
       Be prepared to invite potential givers to your Home.
       If possible, have a promotional video of your work. If you have the time, talent, & equipment available, prepare a short video presentation of your work. This video doesn't need to be more than about seven or eight minutes long. Some Areas have found it effective to use clips from the International Family Outreach Video, along with some footage of their local work.
       (Note: It would be good if some of the national Home Members are involved in the prayer, discussion & preparation of the materials used by the Home for raising support. They will be most aware of the cultural particularities, likes & dislikes of their country, & their input could prove very helpful in designing fund raising materials so as to make the best impression possible.)

       3. Think & pray in advance about what you want to say to the person. It's good to prepare in advance what you'll actually say when you are face-to-face with a potential donor. Have a basic plan of the main points you want to cover. This way you won't get sidetracked & waste lots of time discussing some insignificant point. Remember, your time with busy people will be limited, so make it count! Of course, at the same time you have to be open to what they want to talk about & what interests them, & not try to push your agenda on them too strongly.

       4. Be specific. Itemize your needs. It's important to be specific in your requests! Generalities & vague requests are not appealing. As Dad said, "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.)
       Draw up an itemized list of what you need for each project & how much each item will cost. This shows potential donors that you are serious about accomplishing your goals & it reassures them, as they'll know exactly what the money will be spent for.
       Mama said: "Smart businessmen often look at things in a business-like manner, they want to know what your goals are & what your plan is & what you're doing. Anybody that's a businessman, who's used to being big & powerful with lots of money, doesn't want to throw their money or their time or their energies away, they want to know what they're investing in! They either need to read what your goals are or hear from your lips that you really have a goal, & that you have a plan to accomplish the goal.
       "You need to have something planned that you can say to give them the vision & a plan of how they can help. We need to figure out, what are our goals? We need to put them down in a 1-2-3 fashion to tell people, & also how we want to accomplish these goals & how they can help." ("Give People a Goal & Vision to Help!", Maria #82:12,14,15)
       If you're asking for support for your Home as a missionary base or school, then present potential donors with an itemized budget of your Home expenses. (Remember to include all that you need!) The totals may sound like a lot to you, but considering how many people live in your Home, it's actually quite economical; & this is something you can explain & use as a testimony of the efficiency of our lifestyle.
       If you're appealing for a specific project, such as a JETT Camp, or the funds you need to pioneer a Consider the Poor ministry, do some homework & break your requests down into the different steps you will need to take to reach your goal, & include how much each step will cost. You should try to provision discounts beforehand, so that you can tell your potential donor, "It normally would cost us $10,000 to have this young people's summer training camp, but we have found sponsors who are willing to donate the food & the owner of the property is giving us a 50% discount, so the whole project will only cost $3,500!--Can you help with the $3,500?"
       On the subject of being specific & letting your requests be made known, consider the following testimony from Josiah about when MWM moved East: "We figured out the cost of going East, upgrading our video equipment & getting new studio equipment. We had no money & WS couldn't afford to cover our expenses, so we had to raise it ourselves.
       "One of the sisters had a friend & she went to explain the situation to him. Beforehand, we itemized the costs, & it all added up to quite a large amount, but we had it broken down to how much each project or item was going to cost. The plan was that when this friend asked how much we needed, the sister was going to first explain about the move East. Then if he said, `What else?' she would explain about our desire to upgrade the video equipment. And finally, if he asked, `What else?' she would explain about our need for new studio equipment. We figured that this way at least he'd help with the most important project we needed help for, which was our move. So that's what she did, & she got through the whole list, explaining all our needs--& he covered it all! It had really helped to have each need listed with its respective price tag, because then he knew exactly what we were going to use the money for & was therefore willing to give such a large amount."
       (By the way, here are a few more interesting details about how this sister originally met this supporter: "She was nine months pregnant, & she & her husband & Home were completely broke. She & a partner had gone to the market to provision, & they were hitch-hiking home with the fruits & vegetables. This man stopped & gave them a ride. She witnessed to him & gave him a piece of lit, the Letter `Feet of Faith'. It turned out that his wife was crippled & this fitting message about healing really touched his heart. She followed up on this man & the first thing he did was to pay for the delivery of her baby, & it went on from there. She was faithful to witness & to follow-up, & the Lord did the rest! Praise the Lord!")

       5. Have documented local Consider the Poor or other witnessing projects that prospective donors can relate to. It is very helpful to be involved in local Consider the Poor projects to show that you're doing something in the physical to benefit the city or area where you live. And if you don't have any local "good works" projects going, then start something!--Even something small is okay to begin with! After all, you've gotta start somewhere! Little is much if God is in it! To develop a local Consider the Poor work will take some sacrifice & investment of time, personnel & effort at first, but it will definitely pay off in the long run! It'll make a world of difference if you document your local activities & use them as an appeal. (There is more on this subject later in this FSM, in the sections entitled, "Presentations & Appeal Projects" [EDITED: "pg.13"], & "Consider the Poor Ministries Are Good Appeal Projects!" [EDITED: "pg.15"].)

       6. Get a bank account. People usually give big donations through bank transfers. They are often reluctant to give cash or cheques, & if you don't have a bank account, it can look a bit fishy. If possible, your bank account should be in the name of an association, rather than in the name of an individual, to allay fears that some individuals will pocket the money & it won't go to the organization's efforts.
       However, we would not recommend that you open your bank account in the name of "The Family" without identifying what branch of the Family you are. As each of our Homes is financially independent, & we do not operate with a centralised financial system, you would not want to open an account that would represent the Family as a whole. That way you are not liable for the actions of other Homes, nor they yours. In general, we would not recommend that bank accounts be tied to more than one Home, but that financial independence & indigenuity be maintained.
       So one idea is that you could open your account in the name of a localized chapter or branch of the Family. For example, if your Home is located in Los Angeles, you could open your bank account in the name of "The Los Angeles Family Chapter" or "The Los Angeles Family Missionary Branch". If there are several Homes in the Los Angeles Area, then you could use the suburb or district as the name, such as "Pasadena Family Missionary Branch", or something of the like.--Just so that it's not just "The Family" or "The Family International", or something that would be taken to represent the Family as a whole.
       In some countries it may not be possible or easy to open an account in the name of an unregistered association, so you may have to do some research before opening your account. Please counsel with your Area Shepherds if opening a bank account in the name of an association is complicated or requires a lot of red tape or giving information you would rather not divulge.

       Important note: While it's good to have the materials listed above when soliciting donations, you don't have to wait to start your fund raising until you have the perfect presentation. Go ahead & get started, & work on improving your presentation as you go. You'll constantly be fine-tuning your presentation, getting better photos, more references, etc. But don't wait until you have it all together, because that will just encourage procrastination & you won't get anywhere!
* * *

"Where Do We Go from Here?"--More Tips for Raising Support!
       1. Contact people who have given before. Many Homes have found that a good place to start raising regular support is with the business cards they have gathered over the last months or years, of people who have previously bought Tapes or Videos. Start calling & visiting those people, because chances are, if they were willing to help once, they'll be willing to help again. They'll at least probably be willing to buy the new Tapes or Videos, & they may even be interested in pledging a monthly donation.
       It's a little embarrassing to visit someone again when you know you haven't been faithful to follow-up on them for months or even years. But the old saying is definitely true in this case: "Better late than never!" And the Lord may surprise you with the miracles of supply He has waiting for you! Consider the following inspiring testimony from Simon in Italy:
       "We recently came back to this city after being away for almost four years. We followed up on someone who had bought some Tapes & Videos almost five years ago! He was very happy to see us again & showed us the Posters he has framed on the wall of his work shop. After spending some time feeding him & encouraging his faith, he pulled out 100,000 Lira ($65) & gave it to us, saying, `I want to share what I have with you! Come again!' We've called him again & he told us he has a car that he'd like to give to us! God bless him!"
       David, Rejoice, Paloma & Zac, in the U.S. wrote an uplifting testimony about how the Lord led them to visit a former donor in their hour of need:
       "We were in desperate need of finances, & as we sought the Lord about it, He gave us some beautiful verses about asking & receiving, & the quote: `Look for a similar situation in the Word!' Our Area Shepherd had visited us, & as he left that morning, we had given him a gift for his travel expenses. Zac remembered that as our Shepherd was leaving he gave us the story of the barrel of meal. We looked up that story & the Lord reminded us very clearly of a young Korean widow whom we had met twice & who had bought Videos both times.
       "We went to see her & the Lord gave us the faith to share our need with her, & she thanked us for asking her! She immediately wrote us a cheque for the $600 we needed & then proceeded to buy 11 Videos from us for $330 more! She bought the ones her children didn't have plus some for gifts! (Our MC/OC singing team did well that day, too, & altogether the Lord supplied $1,200 in that one day!) Praise the Lord!"

       2. Take advantage of every possible opportunity to talk to people, make friends, witness & win new supporters. Along with contacting those people you already know & who have given before, also keep your eyes open for the new people the Lord will bring across your path.  Take, for example, this testimony from Cephas in India:
       "Recently we were witnessing in an office, & while we were giving Videos to one man, another gentleman walked in & we got a check to witness to him as well. He bought 19 Videos in a matter of two minutes. He took a set of 11 Videos for his personal family & he wanted another set of eight packed & couriered to a top boarding school in the country where he was a student years before. The main lesson for us was to really jump at these golden opportunities & not to miss heeding the checks the Lord gives us about certain people He brings across our path." Amen!
       Witness to everyone you meet & make your needs known at every possible opportunity. You never know, that person sitting next to you on the train may be a key person--hungry, needy & receptive! Strike up a conversation, (&/or exchange cards), give them a piece of lit & see what the Lord does. (Remember the testimony on page 3 about the sister who witnessed to the man who picked her up hitch-hiking & he ended up supporting MWM's move East?)
       Don't be overly swayed by outward appearance. As any seasoned witnesser will tell you, you never know who you might run into, & often some of the richest or most powerful people are "disguised" in blue jeans or are otherwise very "unimportant looking". Be a faithful witness to everyone you meet & don't unwisely be overly influenced by what people look like, as of course all are in need of the Lord's Love & Message. The Lord works in mysterious ways, & often the most unexpected people open the most marvellous doors!

       3. Keep your priorities right--think of what you can give to the people you meet, not of what they can give to you! Our first responsibility to the people we meet & potential donors we talk to is to witness to them, to try to feed them spiritually.
       Mama recently sent the following counsel to someone who was possibly going to meet with a very wealthy man, a friend from high school days: "It's very important that you minister to him spiritually as you would anyone else. And though we would be very thankful for his help, the most important thing is to give this dear man the message of Salvation & to try to get him saved. You would probably want to talk about his life & also your own life. You could point out that you've both been successful, he at what he does & you in your missionary work. You could tell him about the Family & what we're about & what we do around the World. You would probably want to invite him to your Home & try to have ongoing contact with him.
       "You should not come across that you're there to only get something from him, but rather to give something to him. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't ask him for funds or for help, but that you should `seek first the Kingdom of God & His righteousness' by witnessing to him & seeing if he has any spiritual needs that you can help with.--Is he happy? Is he satisfied with his life? Have his dreams all been fulfilled? If he does ask if you need anything, then of course you should explain the need, & not just the need for your local Home but the overall need for our worldwide missionary Work."

       4. Show people the Love of Jesus. People can feel your sincerity & your concern for them & whether you honestly love them. Ask the Lord to give you a soft heart for people, sincere love for the lost, & real compassion & understanding. Remember that when Jesus saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion upon them; He loved them & healed them & bore their burdens. If you will do the same, you will not lack!
       When one Home was praying on their recent worldwide prayer day for finances, the Lord gave the following prophecy which illustrates the importance of loving the people that the Lord brings across our path:
       "Ye shall be a light unto the people, to quench their thirst for living water, to feed the hungry, & to bind up those who are broken. For ye cannot pass by the poor man on the road to Jericho, ye cannot face a needy situation without doing something about it. I have no hands but your hands, & I have no heart but your heart. For every day around you, ye see those that need you, that need love, that need care; & insomuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.
       "For it is the little things that count in My eyes, & when I see these things, then shall I reward you a hundredfold. It is not a new thing that I say unto you, that ye should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, & that ye should love your neighbour as yourself. And who is your neighbour, but him that walks beside you? Therefore love Me first, & then love those whom I will give unto you.
       "Ye must not only look at the gift, but at the giver [EDITED: "those people who give"]. Look at the hearts that I send your way, that I give you to care for. For this is the most important thing.--And when your eyes shall be turned more towards the giver [EDITED: "those who give"], then shall the gifts come, in full measure. Then shall they flow in, in plenty, like never before....
       "For My Love, plain & simple, My outgoing Love would reach out to all those who are around, & they will see it, & they will give.... For this is what sets you apart from the rest of the World, this is what differentiates you from the other charities, that these people would choose between you & them. They will see your love, when they wonder who they should help & who is most needy of their favours. Then shall they look upon you, & they shall say, `These people have the Love of Jesus. These are the ones who are the most needy, for the Work that they do is like unto no other. Therefore will I give them my time; therefore will I give them my funding; therefore shall I supply their every need, because they have the Love of Jesus in their hearts & in their eyes & in their hands & in their mouths. Everything that they do is a reflection of the Love of Jesus.'
       "This will they say in their hearts, when they see your sample. And though ye may not even know it, or think that your encounter is important, yet are they measuring you in every little thing that ye do. Think never to be off guard, for ye are never off stage.... Even the way ye live is a sample & a testimony. Therefore be yourselves, be happy, be joyful, but most of all, be loving. Be full of My Love, be a vessel of My compassion to pour out upon the needy, to help where there is a need, to volunteer above & beyond the call of duty.
       "For they shall be won over by your love, & they shall be changed by your sample.... So love, & I will give unto you more than ever before."
       It's great to have wonderful promotional materials & witnessing tools, but Jesus still needs you, to show the people His Love. Dad said: "Nothing will have as much effect as just one look of love, one touch of love, one word of love from you! The personal witnessing & your personal love & your personal concern & your personal word, your personal guidance, your personal feeding, your personal explaining, even that arm around that soul, that touch of love--you're going to be shocked now--is even more important than the literature or even the Poster!
       "I'm still sold on personal soul-winning, & the Posters & the lit are mere tools to help you win souls & personally witness! And they are proving to be a terrific tool, but they're not going to amount to much without you & your personal touch & your personal word & your personal love! They're not going to win near as many souls, if any, without you!" ("Postering: Seeds or Souls?", ML#1920:28,27)

       5. Minister spiritually to your supporters & contacts. Mama said: "You've got to witness personally & talk to people & make friends if you expect them to support you & sponsor you. They can give you their material help in exchange for your spiritual blessing. If you faithfully sow unto them spiritual things, it is no great thing if you reap their carnal things!--That's what the Bible says!--1Cor.9:11." ("New Ways to Reach Japan", ML#2406:37)
       Once you've re-established contact with potential givers, start ministering to them the Word, & as you meet new people, begin feeding them spiritually right away! Giving people the Word is the key that will help them progress from just buying another Tape or Video each time a new one is released, to becoming regular supporters. Also, praying for them & their spiritual growth (& giving), & letting them know you're praying for them, their family, business, etc., can be a key to inspiring them to help. (More about this later in part four of this FSM series, the section called "Taking Care of Your Supporters" coming soon.)

       6. Ask for pledges. Some have found it helpful to ask potential supporters for moderate regular pledges rather than a huge lump sum in the beginning. It seems that many people test our faithfulness & motives by first giving small amounts, & then as they get to know us better, become more grounded in the Word, & see more of our sample, they are inspired to give more. Josiah recently shared the following thoughts on this subject:
       "I went out for an appointment the other day to visit an international lawyer who had contact with the Family years ago. The sister I was with had renewed contact with him & visited him a couple of times, & it appeared like he was willing to pledge to pay part of our rent.
       "When we went to visit him he pledged $75 on a monthly basis, which was a disappointment to the sister I was with, as she thought he was going to offer a lot more than that. He's actually a real precious man, but he knows very little about the Family & it seems he will need some more feeding before he will help with much more.
       "This dear sister was very apologetic, but I said, `You know, if you look at it on a yearly basis, he's actually giving $900, & to be honest, I'd much rather get it in small instalments on a monthly basis, as that way we are able to make it part of our broader financial base.'
       "When we came home that night, we had a meeting with our YAs, as they've been wondering how we are going to go about raising funds, not only for our Home, but for other projects that we would like to participate in & give to. I shared the testimony about the $75 pledge & how we might be wiser to build our financial base on pledges rather than on big one-time donations. Several of our YAs have been witnessing to some very top people, a number of whom have asked them, `What can I do to help you?' The YAs have answered, `We need $75,000,' & as of yet, none of these men have been willing to give that much. We are continuing to witness to them, & there is definitely a real bond there & they do like us very much, but it seems like that's just too steep a request to begin with. They are actually fascinated by the YAs' dedication, liveliness & fire, but I have a feeling that they don't feel confident to give these dear young people such a substantial donation right from the start.
       "These men will probably want to test us first with smaller donations to see how faithful & diligent we'll be with their money. So I shared with our fund raisers that I felt that we would be wiser to ask these millionaires to start with a monthly pledge, even a relatively small one, & to challenge them to see if over a year's time we are worth their investment. In other words, we in exchange would continue to minister to them & also show them everything else we do to change the World with the Love of God.
       "Something else that the Lord seemed to highlight through this incident with the international lawyer is that we may be a lot better off to get pledges from people, however small they may be, because once people have agreed to pledge, they've agreed to give many times; whereas with a substantial donation, there's nothing to say that they would necessarily give a second time. If you get small, regular donations you have something you can count on. This is something Dad has taught us from the beginning, to build our financial base on many small donations rather than a few large ones, & considering how much work & prayer go into making contacts, you certainly want them to be regular givers."
       On this subject, Mama commented: "Dad always quoted Fred Jordan on this point, that we'd rather have a thousand little grandmothers giving a small donation every month, than one person giving that full amount each month.--Because if something happens to the one person, then you're sunk.--But if you have a thousand little people giving something, some of them are bound to continue giving no matter what happens, & even more important, praying for you. It's true, we'd rather have a broad base of support with a lot of people giving, than just one person giving a million Dollars. Well, we could certainly use the million Dollars too, but we need to cultivate many donors giving whatever they can.  And in order to do that, we have to knock on a lot of doors, because it takes a lot of time & effort to cultivate each supporter. But the Lord has made it that way so that not only can we be blessed with finances, but so that they can be blessed with spiritual riches."

       7. Prove your worth. Sometimes when meeting very rich people, they will take some time to get to know you to see if you are indeed worthy of their support. One Area reports the following: "We have had quite good success in fund raising in some situations & have been able to raise enough funds to purchase new vehicles & other needed equipment. However, it has required a great deal of emphasis, follow-up & diligence in terms of not only approaching these people, but oftentimes ministering to them for a while before actually asking for a large gift or sponsorship.
       "Generally, the greatest help we've received has been from people we have been ministering to & not some that we've asked after having just met them for the first time--though this has happened in the past as well. For example, in one country by way of a referral they met someone who sponsored $4,000 worth of Videos on their first meeting--and recently a new contact gave $10,000. However, usually we've had to build up to bigger gifts like this.
       "Our Spearhead Home has only just begun to get referrals, as was suggested by some of their top DF friends, which we feel will eventually result in quite a major source of support. We already see, from having approached a number of people here, that getting to know them & having them get to know us & our Work seems to be the best way to eventually inspire them to give, like Dad brought out in the Letter `Kings'.
       "We have found that sometimes very rich people will not give straight off the bat because they want to see that you are worthy of their generosity, & they like to see you `prove your worth,' so to speak. We're learning patience in this, & that it takes a bit of time to raise up big donors." (Note: However, if this is the case with a prospective donor, you could start by asking them to pledge a small amount, to help them cultivate the habit of giving, & with time, as you show them you're putting it to good use, you can encourage them to increase their pledge.)

       8. Ask for referrals. You can broaden your number of potential supporters by asking your present supporters to refer you to others who may be willing to give.
       A professional fund raiser who has advised some Family Members commented that fund raising is basically referrals. You get someone who likes you to set up an appointment with someone else, & it keeps growing & growing.
       Don't only ask your long-time friends for referrals, although their referrals will possibly carry the most weight, since they've known you a long time. Ask all your contacts, even new ones. Referrals are powerful! Positive peer pressure! Get all the referrals you possibly can!
       Some of your supporters may not only be willing to refer you to others, but they may be willing to actually approach those people themselves on your behalf, to request that they help you & to explain why you're a worthwhile investment.

       9. Encourage your donors to give or tithe as unto the Lord. Mama says: "First of all, pray the Lord will lay it on their hearts to give, & then `ask & ye shall receive'! After these people are saved, you can approach them with something like: `Now that you're saved, you can lay up treasures in Heaven! You can't take any of these riches with you when you die, but you can send souls ahead by supporting God's Work!' You can present this to them as their opportunity to make the greatest investment of their lives!" ("New Ways to Reach Japan", ML#2406:49)
       Be prepared with a good understanding of the Scriptural basis for tithing so you can easily explain it to your supporters.
       Mama said, "You need to keep sweetly reminding these people that, `This is your church. Your tithes are a real need & a real blessing & the Lord depends on them for the support of His Work. He expects those in the Body of Christ that have the money to give it, & He requires them to give of their income. If you're not giving, then maybe that's why the Lord isn't supplying our needs or blessing you.'" ("Ye Have Not Because Ye Ask Not!", Maria #75:18)
       Some fund raisers have found that it sometimes helps to get away from the strictly business side of things, & show your supporters that their decision to give is between them & the Lord. Bringing the issue of giving down to a personal responsibility between that person & the Lord cuts through a lot of the technicalities of registration, logistics, etc., that you may face with some people.
       The following testimony was shared when two CROs followed up on a potential donor in order to feed him & encourage him to support the Family. It's one example of how to present to our friends the responsibility that they have towards the Lord to give. These CROs reported:
       "We read P. the parable of the talents. We told him that he is a child of the Lord, & the Lord has given him certain gifts & talents to put to the Lord's use. We said something along the lines of, `You can use your talents for the Lord's Work. You have a responsibility before the Lord, & if you want to grow & partake of the Lord's blessings, then you need to exercise the gifts that the Lord has given you & fulfil your responsibility to support the Lord's Work, just like we have to fulfil our responsibility to witness. If you don't use your gifts, then you're going to be like the poor man who buried his one talent & lost it in the end.'"
       Of course, this is a rather strong approach & not suitable for everyone, but presenting it in a similar way may be a help to some of your potential supporters whom you have known for some time.
       You could present the following advantages of giving to the Lord's Work:
       a.) You're laying up treasures in Heaven, & that's the only thing you can take with you when you die.  You're not giving just to me, but to the Lord, & by giving you're becoming a part of His Work, & you'll reap eternal dividends in Heaven. (Tell them the story of Sophie the washerwoman. See "Giving to God," ML#1959, in Growing in Love.)
       b.) You'll reap dividends right now in this life also, as the Bible promises, "I will bless them that bless thee."--Gen.12:3.
       c.) You, too, will get credit for the souls that are won. "Those who stay by the stuff receive equally with those who go forth to battle."--1Sam.30:24.
       d.) In supporting us, you're helping us get the job done, a job which many other people should be doing--including you. If you're not going to be a missionary it's your duty to support one."
       Of course, you may not want to use this approach with someone you've just met, especially if they aren't even saved yet & therefore have no concept of the principle of laying up treasures in Heaven. But as you feed them spiritually, they will be able to understand these spiritual principles & hopefully respond!

       10. Stretch your faith to ask for large donations. The Lord promises, "Ask & ye shall receive!"--But how often do we limit the Lord by not stepping out by faith to ask for what we really need? We're content with a little donation that someone gives, which is nice & a help, but we often fail to actually put into words what we need; whereas if we would step out by faith & express our needs, we might be surprised at what the Lord does.
       Take the following testimony from Lily, for example: "Don't underestimate your friends & how much they can give. I had a friend who had been giving little amounts, & I didn't have the faith to ask him for a large amount. But the time came when we desperately needed a large amount, so I finally approached him. When he asked how much I needed, I plucked up the courage to give him the figure, & within a week he had it for me."
       We can all learn a good lesson from a testimony Martin shared during a fund raising seminar in Europe. Several years ago in Pakistan, he was asked to raise $6,000 to purchase a photocopy machine for the NO office of that Area. He met one potential giver & shared with him the vision to help. The man gave him $1,000! At that point, Martin could have just said, "Thank you, that's great!" & left--but he still would have had to raise the other $5,000 somehow. So instead, he sincerely thanked the man for his help, & then went on to explain that the machine costs $6,000 & asked if he could help with the full amount, or if he knew of others who could. The man then called around to various of his friends who each contributed $1,000, & within 15 minutes the full amount had been supplied! Praise the Lord!
       That's the kind of faith we need for fund raising. When we meet someone who is a potential supporter, we need to stretch our faith to ask for what we need, & encourage these people to become friends who will support us regularly or with larger gifts.
       When people have the ability to give in a big way, then it pays to think big. Don't be ashamed to ask!
       Mama said: "When we meet the very very wealthy, I think we ought to go in there with a big shopping list & then let them pick what they want to give. I think we ought to tell them practically everything that we need, & then let them say what they'll give. If you know they have unlimited resources, then I think it's good to think big. You don't want to embarrass people by asking them for something they can't necessarily give, but when you know they are financially able to help, then to think big & ask for what you need is a key.
       "You need to have specifics, a list of exactly what you need. You can put things at the top of the list they'd probably be interested in helping with, according to their speciality or their charity interests. Some people have special interests that they like to give to. If you can show you're doing something along those lines, too, they may be willing to help."
       When people first meet you, they might give to you personally. As they grow closer to the Family in general & their faith is strengthened, if they have the means to give abundantly, challenge them & help them to broaden their giving by giving not just to you as an individual, but to your Home, then your Area, then on an international level.

       11. Encourage sponsorship of Videos. As was explained in the first part of this series, we hope to increase our distribution of tools--Tapes, Videos, & Posters. Sponsorship of Videos for institutions is an effective appeal project, which can be very fruitful if given the time & attention needed.
In one Area, a Home pioneered the "institution ministry" whereby companies sponsored sets of Videos for various institutions. According to their reports, the implementation of this plan consisted of the following steps:
       "a.) We put together a brochure explaining the benefits of our Videos, with testimonies from institutions that had already received them through our normal Video sales. This brochure also included an explanation of the price we were asking for each set of Videos & a form at the end where the potential donor could specify how many Videos & which institutions he would like to sponsor. This was basically a pledge form that they would sign.
       "b.) Before approaching the companies, the first step was to find institutions who were willing to receive our Videos, & were able to receive free gifts (as some are restricted in this).
       "c.) Once we'd done our research, when approaching the companies for sponsorship, we could let them know which institutions in particular were available to sponsor, & we'd let the company choose which institution they'd like to help with sponsored Videos. It helps greatly to have specifics.
       "d.) When delivering the Videos to the institution, we'd arrange to do a performance with our children/teen singing group at the same time. This would give us an opportunity to witness to the people in the institution. It also provided us with lots of good promotional photos & linked our ministry of spiritual & physical encouragement with the distribution of the tools, which made our ministry much more appealing to potential donors, rather than simply being a group making educational videos. These photos were then incorporated into our brochure explaining the `institution ministry'.
       "e.) We prepared a certificate of appreciation which the recipient of the Videos signs. The certificate & a letter of thanks written by the institution on their own letterhead are then sent to the donor company.
       "f.) We found that we could return to these institutions for another show every year or six months, & at the same time provide them with new tools which had come out since our last visit. These were great witnessing opportunities. Praise the Lord!"
       Another Home sent in a similar idea of doing shows in children's hospitals, & getting sponsors to sponsor a Video for each of the children in the ward, or for X number of children. With the Video they would receive a card with the name of the sponsor. The sponsors would receive a certificate for having participated in the project & a copy of the newsletter with photos of the shows & the children receiving their Videos.

       12. Ask for letters of recommendation. You probably have enough friends already that you can go around & ask them if they can give you a recommendation letter, something like a "To Whom It May Concern" letter, saying something like, "These people are good people & they are doing a fine work in our community. They are involved with the orphanages & senior citizen homes (or whatever the case may be for your Home), etc., etc. They're bringing much joy to folks. Please try to do what you can for them. They are very worthy of your help."
       Housewives could even write letters like this, but of course it would be more effective coming from professionals & people with a "position" (written on the letterhead of their company or organization). But the more letters you can get along these lines the better. You could go armed with your letters & other recommendations & references from people, such as what the academics have said, favourable news articles, etc., & it could be quite impressive to your new contacts & help win people's confidence.

       13. Contact professional fund raisers. There are people whose profession is to raise funds for groups such as charities, religious groups, universities, humanitarian aid organizations, etc., or for individuals such as politicians, or for causes such as AIDS research, environmental concerns, etc. These people make a living by getting a percentage of the donations they raise, therefore the better ones are often quite wealthy themselves. We could possibly greatly benefit from their services, time, expertise & information. Such professionals raise funds for a lot of organizations, so they'll probably realize that we are definitely worth trying to help.

       14. Don't get discouraged if people don't give a lot right away. People will usually give more as they get to know you better & become stronger believers. If someone doesn't give as much as you expect them to, keep loving them & feeding them & hoping & praying for them.
Also, if you often get turned down or rejected when you're raising funds, don't let it get you down. Just keep plugging along, because if you tell enough people, it is bound to ring true with somebody. And God wants even the people who don't accept you to get the Message, so that's why you often have to knock on quite a few doors before you get any response. But if you're faithful to ask & to seek & to knock, & you fight the good fight of faith, the Lord will not fail you. He will fulfil His Word & open the doors, help you to find the support you need & supply your needs.
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Tips on Reaching, Talking to & Relating to Potential Donors!
       Getting through to the boss. When asking for funds (or goods), it's a real key if you can meet the person face-to-face to present your work & needs. If you haven't already met the person & are trying to talk to him on the phone to set up a personal appointment, often one of the main obstacles is getting past the secretary, as their standard procedure is to not put you through to the boss, but to ask you to send a request letter through the mail. Although you should send a request letter (& possibly a copy of your PR brochure), it's much more effective to get a personal appointment; & the best way to get that is to talk to the boss on the phone first.
       Here are some tips that some provisioners in Europe shared on getting through to the boss, which could also apply to fund raising as well:
       Although I live in a non-English speaking country, I usually start my conversation in English when on the phone with the secretaries. I tell them that I'm from "The Family International". They figure it's important & they often put me right through. (You shouldn't do this if you're a national of that country.)
       In areas where we've received a lot of bad publicity, I've found that using the controversy surrounding our name can help get in the door.
       With some secretaries I tell them exactly what I want & why I would like to see the boss. But sometimes with imposing secretaries, I take an air of authority & just say the boss' name, "John Smith, please." In such cases, the secretary often figures I must know him quite well if I ask for him personally.
       Often when the secretary asks me a lot of questions, I tell them "It's personal," & they usually put me through.
       Sometimes the secretary asks which company I represent, & I just give them my name. They figure it's my own company, therefore I must be pretty big & they put me through.
       Often I found that if I can win the secretary, they help me win the boss, as they know their boss better than almost anyone. They're sometimes very well-meaning & are just trying to protect the boss, so winning them can be a real key. If you respect them, they can help you a lot. Sometimes they get offended if you try to bypass them, so you have to be Spirit-led according to the situation.
       Often after meeting the boss, when writing a thank-you note, I put in a little P.S. saying, "Please give my regards to Ms.... [EDITED: "the secretary"]." The secretary usually reads the mail before giving it to the boss, & it really turns her on that someone thought of her & mentioned her specifically. Usually the next time I call, the secretary is super helpful.

       Overcoming our fears of reaching the top. Many of us feel nervous or incapable when it comes to meeting top people. When you look at them, you see that they're rich, famous, impeccably dressed & usually seem to just be brimming over with self-confidence, & it naturally makes you feel insecure. It's so hard to break the ice! You can easily start looking at yourself & comparing, & before long you feel like you're definitely not together enough to approach them, much less have a decent conversation with them or establish a friendship with them or convince them to support you!
       During a fund-raising seminar in Europe, the attendees shared the following personal tips on how to overcome these fears:
       For me it's like plunging into cold water.--I just have to take a deep breath & jump. It's easier to meet people if you don't care whether they are rich or poor--they're just people. Don't think about their position. You have to respect them & be sensitive to their needs, but in general I have found that starting with a personal witness helps me look at their heart rather than at their outward appearance.
       I used to have a lot of fear of top people because I worried about my clothes. But I've since realized that we don't need to dress as fancy as the people to whom we witness! I don't mean that we shouldn't be well-groomed & neat & clean & have on nice-looking attire, but this can be bought at a thrift store or at some inexpensive department store (or provisioned). If your hair is combed nicely & your teeth are brushed & you have a sweet spirit & a big smile, smell nice, have nice clean, ironed clothes which fit properly & your shoes are shined, then you shouldn't be concerned any further about your appearance.
       After all, we are missionaries living by faith, & the rich certainly wouldn't expect us to be dressing like they do. If we did, they would wonder why we are asking for help. We should be able to dress simply & be welcomed by the folks to whom we go--because of our spirit, our sincerity, our simplicity, our love! And if our looks & clothing are so important to some people, if our lack of fancy clothes bothers them, then maybe we should just bypass such people & go to others who are more receptive to the Spirit & who don't go so much by outward appearance.
       Simplicity is the key. It's a major attribute of the Family. So don't put on airs or try to act intellectual or try to be something you're not.  Businessmen like it when you're natural with them, & they feel comfortable with you. By the same token, they don't like it when you're not natural with them. When we are approaching the rich or people sitting in their big fancy offices, we should see them in our mind's eye as someone we might meet out on the street, or we can picture them sitting next to us on the bus completely away from their business setting.
       These fancy settings can be very intimidating. But if these sophisticated men were dressed in tennies, jeans & a T-shirt, they wouldn't look any different than anybody else, & you'd never know the difference, & then you wouldn't be afraid of them. So try visualizing that, when you feel nervous.
       Business people often appreciate the fact that you speak directly with them, because everyone else kow-tows to them, which many of them don't like. It's a breath of fresh air when they see that you talk straight with them. I'm often quite direct in my approach, & people respect that.
       It's important to remember that we're God's ambassadors. In other words, we are important too!
       I used to have a lot of fear of meeting people, but I have found it best to just approach them on a personal level--smile & find a common point of interest.
       One thing that helps me is that when introducing myself, I give my name & ask for theirs. Then I use their name a lot in the conversation, which helps to reach that person on a personal level. The key is talking to their heart & not so much to their title or their sometimes hard exterior.
       If you're nervous about meeting an important person, one thing is to simply be honest with them & admit it. They'll admire you for your honesty, because everyone else in the System is trying to put on a show.
       For example, a Family video team who filmed an interview with Mother Theresa in Calcutta shared the following testimony: "When we first met her, she told us that she didn't do interviews or take photos & we couldn't have an interview with her. Then she went into the chapel for prayer. So we went back downstairs, quite defeated, but we had a check to try again. Then by a miracle, the Mother Superior arranged for us to meet her! About an hour later she came & said, `You must come now.' We ran upstairs, but when we sat down with Mother Theresa, the cameraman was so nervous he couldn't focus or anything.
       "So he decided to face his fears & he told her that he was nervous, & he apologized that it would take some time to set up. She smiled & told him to relax, & that she had lots of time. Whew! We all relaxed!--And we had a wonderful interview with her. We were able to ask her even more questions than we had prepared & it was terrific. So honesty can be a real key to break the ice."
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: It might help to further pow-wow different ideas of how to get through to top people, & how to break the ice when meeting them. The experienced witnessers & provisioners in {\ul \i your} Home probably have some good tried-&-proven tips too.)

       Relating to the Top. The following is an interesting testimony from Josiah about an experience with Dad. It's a sweet good sample that we can all benefit from when raising support! Josiah commented:
       "Years ago, we were house-hunting for the Folks' staff in France. We met a high-class architect who had built a house for this rich lady. It was up for rent because the woman who had the place built for her kids was disappointed that they had all moved from this small town to the big city. I talked to the architect on the phone, since she acted as the agent for the lady she had built the house for, & she asked for all kinds of papers & references.
       "I told Dad that we had found a house, but that the lady taking care of renting the place was a real high-class snob. Dad said that he wanted to visit the house & meet this lady & the owner. So he did, & it was amazing to me to see how he handled this tough high-class lady who had given me such a hard time on the phone the day before.
       "Dad walked around the house very sweetly & warmly, & talked to both ladies. In the process of talking, he answered all the questions that she had had.--He casually wove what he wanted to tell them into his sweet conversation with them. For example, to answer their unspoken question about bank references, he told them how concerned he was about the recession & the crash taking place in so many countries, & that he was thankful that he had told his children to `dump their dollars' & go for gold a few years back. Amazingly enough, she never asked him for bank references, nor for all the other references she had asked me.
       "The architect was quite concerned about the fact that there might be children living in the house, & she had asked me a lot of questions about the kids--their behaviour, their education, etc. As I said, the owner had built the house for her own kids who had moved to the big city, & Dad perceived that she was heartbroken about this, & he got something from the Lord for her. He told the owner that the `walls of her house would again hear the voices of happy children'.--That won her heart! She started to cry & was sold on Dad!
       "Dad didn't get disturbed by all the high-class stuff.--He bypassed it by going straight to their hearts & found their key. So when you go into these fancy places, you have to go for the heart. Then people don't care whether you're dressed fancy or not."
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Presentations & Appeal Projects
       When raising support, it's often difficult to put into words not only your needs, but also what you're doing that merits people giving to you. Some of the first questions potential supporters are likely to ask themselves are:  "What is this person (or group) doing? Why is it worth my time to listen to them? Is it a good investment for me to support them? What's in it for me?"
       When you first meet a potential supporter, you may not have a lot of time to present your Work & your needs, so you need to try to make a good impression & capture the person's attention right from the start. That's why it pays to be well prepared, knowing what you're going to say, having the needed information on hand, such as an address, phone number & business card, as well as witnessing tools, brochures, photos, appeal letters, promotional videos, etc. By being well prepared you'll be able to talk with conviction & get right to the point, without hemming & hawing & wasting time.

It's a Spiritual Battle!
       Even if you're very well prepared when asking for donations, you can sometimes get hit with different negative thoughts, which can weaken you & cause you to feel intimidated, embarrassed, discouraged or shaky in your convictions. Such battles can come as the result of negative comments made by the people you're asking to support you, or just from the Enemy's spiritual attacks. Everyone gets hit with battles when raising support, because it's a spiritual battle. The Enemy doesn't like our asking, he knows how much we need the support & how it's going to cause our work to progress, so of course he's going to do all he can to discourage us & get us to slow down, procrastinate, backwater, compromise, or even quit. And if you're new at asking for donations & raising support, if you're inexperienced or you haven't done it for a while, you might be more sensitive to people's negative responses, & as a result, you may get hit with a lot of battles, as has been the case with some of you dear YAs.
       Let's talk about some of the battles that you might be wrestling with. It has been reported that some Family Members are a little ashamed of telling people that we minister to people in spiritual ways more than in physical ways. Apparently some feel we're not doing enough physically for people & that it's wrong to receive financial help for the "little" that we offer people. Others feel we're being deceitful when we receive support for the "good works" of our Consider the Poor ministries, when that's not what we do fulltime. Some have confessed that they feel it's wrong to ask for donations "to help people" when most of the money we receive "goes to support our Homes & care for our own children". Do any of these concerns sound familiar to you? Have these thoughts crossed your mind? Well if so, read on!

Our Ministry Is Primarily a Spiritual One!
       One of the primary ways to avoid having such battles or at least to minimize them, is to be straightforward when raising support. Talk from your heart & talk about what you actually do. But in order to do this with success, it's important to be busy for Jesus, to be working hard, accomplishing something, forging ahead & making progress. It's natural that you would feel uninspired to ask for support if you're not faithfully serving the people of your community, pouring out, establishing a lasting work, changing lives, & doing something worthwhile.
       But "doing something worthwhile" does not only refer to our work in the physical.  While we have done many wonderful works worldwide in disaster relief, ministering to refugees, taking care of the homeless, working with juvenile delinquents, etc., our main ministry is primarily a spiritual ministry. Our most important job is to preach the Gospel. Even our Consider the Poor ministries are for the purpose of giving people Jesus! As Dad said in "Consider the Poor":
       "We don't have a lot materially & we may not be able to help them much physically, but we can certainly help them spiritually, which is of far greater importance--so great, in fact, there's no comparison! As Peter said to the lame man, `Silver & gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up & walk!'--Acts 3:6." ("Consider the Poor", ML#2755:19)
       In the same Letter, Mama commented: "Somebody has got to feed the hungry & clothe the naked & shelter the homeless, so especially since they're not doing much of anything else, that's a good job for the churches!... Of course, we have to do what we can to help people physically, if that's their need, but our main job is to minister to them spiritually. The Lord can take care of them after that, we don't have to do it for them. It's like the quote, `Give a man a fish & you feed him for a day. But teach a man to fish & you'll feed him for life!' The Social Gospel gives the fish to the people, but what we're doing is we're teaching them to fish by getting them saved right then & there & dispensing with all the physical stuff & all the things that the Lord will take care of immediately when someone finds Him. Then He'll supply all their material needs automatically! He'll do that! He can do that easily! But He needs us to do the job that we have to do, which is to really feed their souls & help them to find the Lord!
       "Of course, we should do what we can, since if you have it in your hand to help someone who you see suffering & you don't do what you can, then you're not being a good sample of Jesus' Love, & it may be pretty hard for them to see past your poor sample. But in our situation we usually don't have that much material goods that we can share with others, & the Lord has given us the much more important commission of feeding their souls, not their bodies. You can tell them, just like Peter told the lame man, `I'm sorry, I don't have any money to give you, I wish I did, but what I have to give you is far more valuable than money or goods!' Of course, if the Lord supplies an overabundance of provisioned goods, etc., you could always share this excess with the poor you minister to, the homeless missions, etc.
       "It doesn't take long to lead them to the Lord, & once they get led to the Lord, then the Lord is going to take care of them right away! And that's our job!--And that's really the job of all Christians. But most Christians have been deluded into thinking they have to do it all. They think they have to feed & house them, build them villages & schools & give them all the necessities of life before they can even ask them, `Would you like to take Jesus now? Look what He's done for you.' But how long is that going to take, while a lot of them die & go to Hell!" (ML#2755:23,25,27,28)
       In testimony after testimony received from around the World, heads of relief organizations which the Family has assisted at disaster sites & institutions have said that they value our spiritual ministry far more than our physical, material help, & that is what makes us unique! So use it as part of your appeal!

Consider the Poor Ministries Are Good Appeal Projects!
       Of course, we can use our Consider the Poor ministries as appeal projects, because such projects are "good works" that can easily be seen & documented in the physical. In fact, when preparing your presentation material, such as your photo albums, brochures & promotional videos that you use for fund raising, you may want to concentrate mostly on your "good works", rather than anything that is very controversial or heavy in a religious, doctrinal way. This way, when you're presenting your Work initially, you can talk about the side of our ministry that is most easily understood by almost anyone--our works, meaning our ministering in the physical. ("Man looketh on the outward appearance [EDITED: "good works"]."--1Sam.16:7b.) Hopefully this will help you establish common ground with people & they will have a chance to get to know you somewhat & feel the Lord's Spirit, without getting distracted by doctrinal differences. This is especially true in non-Christian countries.
       We are not trying to hide anything. By taking this approach, you put yourself more in the position where you can become all things to all men, & your presentation materials can more easily be used to approach people of all religions. (See 1Cor.9:19-23.) This approach is not being false, because even if your initial presentation is rather "works" oriented, it usually becomes obvious to people pretty quickly that we are Christians & that we minister spiritually to people, & you should usually bring this up in your conversation with them. All our lit is obviously Christian, our Tapes end with invitations to receive the Lord, etc.
       Even if you use your Consider the Poor ministries as "good works" appeal projects, you don't have to try to give the impression that good works is all you do, or that most of your time is spent in administering humanitarian aid if that's not the case. We are missionaries! We bring people hope, encouragement & peace of mind; we heal broken hearts & save people's souls. There is nothing to be ashamed of in that. In fact, we should be proud of our ministry. Remember, there are thousands upon thousands of people who are willing to minister to the physical needs of the destitute of the World, but by comparison, there is only a small handful willing to minister to their need for love, encouragement & most of all, Salvation through Jesus! We have a high calling, & there's no need to hide it or be ashamed of it.
       Selah, a provisioner in Sweden, commented: "My heart really breaks for these bosses & businessmen. They are so lonely even though according to outward appearances they seem to have everything. But they are desperate. Actually, there have been newspaper articles lately which reported that there is a very high rate of suicide among top executives, the rich & influential, in our country.
       "But we can help them, we can give them what they need--love & understanding & the Lord, our way of life & a sample of Heaven on Earth. Our landlord, who is a lawyer, said: `In my world, people only think about themselves. Your Home is the only place I have found where real Love exists. I would like my only son to come & live with you.' Isn't that beautiful?--And he is not the only one who has said such things!"

Your Appeal Project Is What You Actually Do!
       How you present yourselves & your needs would depend on what country you live in, who you're talking to, what the person's religion is, etc. You'd want to tailor your presentation, if possible, according to the person's individual interests & what you know they will be able to relate to & appreciate. For example, if you're in a primarily Christian country, talking to a born-again believer, then the explanation of our spiritual ministry of preaching the Gospel is much more easily understood & a much more powerful appeal project, than if you live in an Asian country where the people are mostly Buddhists or Hindus. If you're talking to a lawyer who you know is particularly interested in human rights & freedom of religion, then you'd probably discuss our similar interests on these points, as well as our persecution battles & victories. If you're talking to a home schooler, then the education of our children would, of course, be a good topic of discussion. Again, this approach is based on the Apostle Paul's admonition to "become all things to all men, that you might win them" (1Cor.9:22).
       Your presentation will also vary depending on what appeal projects you have, the main activities & Consider the Poor projects your Home is involved in. If your Home is investing a lot of time in a Consider the Poor ministry, then you'd use that as an appeal project. Or if you have a particular need, due to some pioneer ministry you're involved in, you could use that as an appeal project. You can adapt your appeal for support according to your ministry & needs. Take, for example, the following testimony from YA David in the BI:
       "A small team of us went DTD, two by two. (We try to do this in nice-looking housing estates, & residential areas, rather than apartment blocks, as people seem to be more relaxed.) Unlike past experiences of the DTD `salesmanship' routine, we've been trying something new. Instead of going to people's doors to only try to sell them a Tape or Video, we begin by introducing ourselves as the Family, while showing them photos from our presentation albums. Being able to show people pictures about our local work & outreach, such as busking, personal witnessing, provisioning, kids' performances, etc., has been a real bonus, as people love to contribute to something local.
       "After we have explained a bit about what we do, we then ask for a contribution or donation for our work, stating the need & how we plan to use the funds we receive. For example, we tried this when we needed to raise $1,500 to rent a small building in downtown Dublin for our `Poorboy Club' youth outreach. When out witnessing, after introducing our work & explaining that we're volunteer missionaries who spend our full time preaching the Gospel & trying to help people in any way we can, we'd tell people, `We're in this area today presenting our work to people, & asking them if they would like to help. At present we're trying to raise money to get a place downtown to use as an outreach base this Summer! This would be a help to us because we are presently an hour's drive away from the city, & having a place in the centre would make our job so much easier. Is there any way you could help us?'
       "Another approach we used recently was: `At present we're trying to raise some money to help fix up a double-decker bus that was donated to us, which we're going to use within a week's time to tour the country for the duration of the Summer. We've planned free concerts, shows & performances in children's homes, & we want to spread God's Love & His solutions to all we come in contact with. Is there any way you could help us?'
       "This approach isn't to minimize nor de-emphasize the importance of our distributing the tools, as of course we also sell Tapes & Videos, but this has been very fruitful for us & helps bring in the necessary funds by presenting our specific need to people. We've found that you don't have to have any set lines or phrases, just use the present situation you're in, present them with the facts, & tailor your presentation according to the need."
       ({\ul \i Editor's note}: As an update to David's comments, the Lord supplied the funds & provisions needed to fix up the double-decker bus beautifully. A team of 25 travelled around England throughout the Summer, putting on many concerts, & they are now pioneering a Home in downtown London.)

Your Home Can Be an Appeal Project
       The fact that you have pioneered a Home in your city & you're busy trying to preach the Gospel is in itself an appeal project. When Pedro was on a supervisory visit to Bolivia not too long ago, the Home there learned this very lesson. Pedro commented: "We had a witnessing meeting during which we discussed the need to have an appeal project when we ask for monthly help. Some of the witnessers like to present what we do as a Family internationally, others try to keep it more on the local level, but the general feeling amongst the brethren there was that they didn't have anything concrete to use as a local appeal project.
       "The brethren had just read Mama's `Sample Letter to Explain Our Work & Goals!' (Maria #76, FSM 66), so they had good ideas as far as presenting our international Work, but locally they didn't feel so sure of themselves; & they said that sometimes they stumbled with their words when it came to that. The Lord led us to realize that they do have a concrete project to appeal for locally, but they tend to underestimate it.--It is their Home, their missionary base! We came to the conclusion that if they were to ask for help to pay for their living expenses--their rent, house maintenance, food, schooling materials for their children's education, etc.--that would be a good appeal project, especially in this Catholic country.
       "They could tell potential supporters, `Just think, we opened this missionary base without any financial help from abroad! That's a miracle & very commendable! Who in the World pioneers a missionary work in places like Bolivia without any financial help from outside the country?' Looking at it in that light helped us to appreciate even more the fact that we have a Home there at all, which the brethren pioneered by faith. And it's a clear signal that we love the people of Bolivia & want to give them Jesus. `The Love of Christ constraineth me!' We feel if presented this way, in this particular country, it will touch many people's hearts to give. This gave us the `umph' & conviction needed."
       If the Enemy tempts you to doubt or feel bad because so much time, money & energy is invested in raising our own children, consider the following comments from Mama about how our children are a worthwhile appeal project.

--By Maria                                      Maria #244  DO 2960
       1. Of course kids are the biggest thing you could emphasize when raising support. Everybody is concerned about kids. You can't say that everybody likes kids nowadays, because this generation of kids has pretty much turned the adults off. In fact, many people don't like kids anymore, because of what they see & the terrible kids that have been produced in this last generation. But they're very concerned about kids. They're very concerned about the World because of the kids & what is going on with them.
       2. So we can explain that we're a missionary organization & our whole ministry is to help others in every way possible; & our young people are being brought up to do the same. They are being trained to be role models for the World; they're in training to be examples of young people with morals, character & faith. Nobody has to be convinced that the World's kids are in terrible condition. You could give a pretty good talk on the value of our young people & what they're doing. You could say something like the following:
       3. "Our young people are being trained & brought up to be examples to others & leaders of others. When other young people see them, there is hope. They see that kids don't have to be involved in gangs & drugs & crime & all these other things, but they can do something worthwhile, make something of their lives, do something to help others. They see they don't have to just live selfishly & seek success for themselves alone. A few young people today are successful, but the thing that is very rare in our kids is that they are not only successful for themselves but for others, & that they reach out to others & they do something to make the World a better place.
       4. "We're a worldwide organization whose main mission in life is to bring love & encouragement & comfort to others. We teach our children to do the same from babyhood; & to them it is perfectly natural, & it is the right thing to do to help others, to love them, to encourage them, to help change the World for the better. Our young people give hope to other young people that they can overcome the problems that they have. They show other young people that there is something to live for, & that in doing something of value to help others, they can help themselves.
       5. "We believe that every person was created by God to reach out with love & understanding & share with others the blessings that we have been given, not to live selfishly for themselves. If each one gives something to help another, we can all make the World a better place. To this end we all work together to share Love, hope & faith, forgiveness & healing with all who need it.
       6. "When it comes right down to it, the thing that makes people the most fulfilled & the happiest is to know that they are doing something to help others. There is a little saying that goes: `If you want to be happy, make someone else happy.' And it's in the giving that you get. As Jesus said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive' (Acts 20:35). The happiest people in the World are the ones who reach out with helping hands to others. The saddest people in the World are the selfish folks who never give, but always take.
       7. "The Bible teaches us to train up a child in the way he should go, & says that when he is old, he won't depart from it (Pro.22:6). So we believe in training our children to love & be of service to others. It will not only make the World a better place, but it will help them to be happy as well. This is what we want for our children, & this is what we want for the World.
       8. "In fact, we're already succeeding in that our oldest children, who are now in their teens or early 20s, are already enthusiastically engaged in volunteer missionary work to their peers in society. They are reaching out to hundreds of other young people, helping them to find fulfilment & the solutions to their many problems, sharing what they have learned to inspire their peers to lead happy & productive lives!
       9. "We believe that the principles upon which we have based the education of our children are superior, & that we have a very good foundation. We have deliberately kept them away from the very negative influences of public school & its crime, violence, drugs, total disbelief & cynicism, resulting in confusion, mental & emotional depression & even suicide. The results of home schooling our children, as has been found with other home schoolers, are overall well above the average. It has been proven that home schooled children by & large are above the level of public schooled children.
       10. "We have used all the resources that we have. Our adults, though most are not professionals, have given what is most valuable & most important--their lives in sacrifice to teaching our children. For them it is not a job but a vocation, a lifetime commitment. However, because we do not have the facilities of the public school system at our disposal, we are lacking in some of the tools that would enhance the potential of our children.
       11. "In order to give our children the very best training for the purpose of making them the very best leaders of tomorrow, & the knowledgeable & capable & educated role models that the youth of today's World need, our young people must have computers & educational programmes for their development. We need computers for our nearly 4,000 school-aged children. We need libraries & other resource materials for our Homes. We need gymnasium equipment. As most of our children are musically-inclined & participate in singing groups & drama as a way to effectively minister to others, & as most of them learn guitar & many of them learn other instruments, we need musical equipment. We need recording studios for our young composers, & video equipment for our young people--both as an educational tool, as well as a means for vocational training. (You could go on here with many other items.)
       12. "In helping to give our children the training they need, you will not be disappointed. Not only will these children succeed, but they will help others to succeed also. Please visit one of our Homes & see our children in action.--Or invite them to come to you!
       13. "In investing in our young people, you are investing in a better World. Not only are you helping children, but you're helping children who can help the World's children. In other words, you're not only helping us but you are helping the World at the same time. We have over 200 Homes worldwide. If you would prefer to sponsor a Home or two or three or more, you can adopt that Home & become part of their family. You will have the opportunity to share the love & happiness that abounds in our Homes, & participate in this unique experience with these precious children & their parents."

The Endtime Message as an Appeal!
       14. Considering that the Endtime is such an important part of our Message, you'll probably want to talk about it in your witness to the people you're ministering to & asking support from. Some of them may not understand or accept it, but others will, & for those for whom it turns a key, you may want to use it as yet another appeal project & reason why they can support you. You could tell them that we're not just any missionary group, but we have a vision that the Next World, which is much more wonderful than this one, is going to be ushered in soon. Things are getting bad now, but we know from God's Word that after they've gotten so bad, they are going to get better; & we are preparing for this Next World, which is going to be an extension of all the good things in this one, but more wonderful.
       15. We're going to be using There what we learn now. And the good things we do now are going to be carried over to the Next World, so we should do as much as we can to prepare now with good works that are going to stand us in good stead in the Next World. That's the philosophy of most religions, your good works: What you do here you're going to get credit for There, which is the truth.
       16. I think if we talk more matter-of-factly about this, people will be able to relate to it a little more. People are into sci-fi now. I don't think they have such a hard time accepting some far-out things. We could be more matter-of-fact, telling them what is in God's Word about the Endtime, saying: "Well, things are getting worse, but then they're going to be better. Those who are working on God's side trying to make a better World now are going to go on & be leaders in that Next World. You can have a part now in investing in that Next World & in the leadership of the Next World. Your investment in us is not only going to yield rewards right here, but rewards in the Next World."
       17. That doesn't sound too much different than the normal religious spiel, but we can add a lot of details to it & make it sound pretty realistic, which it should be & it is! It's not just a lot of religious jargon & hype. You can say, "You are not only investing now to help the World with its terrible problems, but you are investing in a cause much greater than just this present one, because the Next World is going to be coming soon. Right now we are being trained how to help people & how to run the World the way it should be run; & we are going to continue doing that in the Next Era, which, according to the Bible is coming very soon, within just the next few years, we believe." This gives people a vision of something more than just the present. It gets them past just thinking, "Sure, you've got a lot of little kids & you want them to grow up & help, that's fine." It gets them out of the narrow confines of everyday life & the routine they're in & helps them to see how these extraordinary soon-coming events relate to their personal lives.
       18. People you're asking to donate in a big way don't want to hear that the World is going to end in just a few years & everything is going to go down the drain. Why should they give you thousands of Dollars to pour into something that is going to be eradicated in a few years? But the Endtime isn't just the Endtime. It is a time which will immediately precede a whole new Beginning! We don't have to talk only about the Endtime so much. We need to talk about the New Beginning! The Endtime is just incidental to the New World that is coming! That's the message we need to get across! We need to tell them of the New World that's coming & the part they can have in it!
       19. This may sound pretty crazy to some people, & they may dismiss you as fanatics, but if they see that you're doing a good work & helping to change the World, they may support you anyway even if they don't agree with your Endtime beliefs or like the idea of investing in the leadership of the Next World. And if you keep asking & keep seeking & keep knocking, & being faithful to give out the Message, the Lord has promised that He is going to provide & bless you. Praise the Lord!
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How to Handle the Controversy Surrounding the Family!
       You might wonder how & when to inform people about the persecution & bad publicity the Family has suffered. The question often comes up about whether we should avoid these controversial points when approaching new contacts for help, or whether we should tell them right off the bat. This question might be especially difficult to answer when you meet people who seem to be absolutely enthralled with you, but with whom it doesn't seem to have clicked that you are The Family! Well, maybe they know you are a group by that name, having seen your brochures & promotional materials which bear that name, but possibly they don't realize who the Family really is & what we stand for & what the AC media say about us & the accusations that have been levelled against us & how many enemies we have, etc., etc. So they look at your shining faces, hear about your ministry for the Lord, look at your lovely young people, & they are amazed at the wonderful work you're doing & very eager to be a part of it & help you all they can!
       "Wow, this is great!" you think. So what do you do? Do you just let it ride & hope for the best, that when a person like this finally finds out "the full story", they won't be moved?--Or do you go ahead & "pop the balloon" right from the start? It's a difficult decision, because on the one hand, you want to have a chance to get to know them, witness to them & win them, without having to immediately delve into heavy controversial issues. But on the other hand, when you're with a very busy top business person, you know you may not have another opportunity to see them face-to-face for a long while. So this is a dilemma.
       What you should do depends on your general situation, your personal leading & who you're talking to. If you are presently involved in a raging media war, or have suffered some major persecution in your field fairly recently, then you probably don't have much choice. People will most likely already know--at least the side of the story that they've heard in the news. But if there has not been such persecution or bad publicity on your field, or if it was quite a long time ago, then you may have more leeway in deciding when to talk about controversial issues.
       There is no hard-&-fast rule that says you have to tell every single person all the "bad news" of the accusations against us, the bad publicity & our persecution battles when you first talk to them. But generally it's good to lay the cards on the table fairly early on in your relationship with people, so they understand who we are & where we stand on major issues.
       A lot can depend on how you present the news. For example, you don't necessarily have to bring up in your first meeting that because of our radical sexual beliefs of the Law of Love, many people persecute us.--This might "blow away" your contact before you get a chance to witness to him further! But you could explain that, "Because we're a very active small religious group, & some of our beliefs are non-traditional & even somewhat controversial, many staunchly anti-religious or anti-Christian people, & even some Christians, fight us in an attempt to stop our Work. One of their favourite tactics is to label us as a `cult' & spread ridiculous sensational lies about us through the tabloid media (and, as we all know, sensationalism sells papers).
       "This negative publicity has sometimes brought pressure on government officials to investigate our Work in a number of countries, even going so far as to conduct raids on our peaceful missionary communities. Through these investigations we have been found innocent of the allegations made against us by the media, & allowed to carry on our Work & mission. So as you can see, we have suffered a lot of persecution, but that has strengthened our resolve to continue our Work of encouraging people & helping them to find peace & happiness through the message of God's Love!"
       Of course, along with some explanation about the persecution we've received & why, you would also want to share plenty of good news about your wonderful accomplishments for the Lord & all the good you're doing for the community or country. If you're talking to businessmen or officials, you hopefully would be able to give them the full story about our controversial Message little by little, but if you're talking to lawyers, it is usually advisable to tell them most everything right from the start.
       One Family fund raiser commented, "I usually carry the milky & meaty Statement summaries with me when I go out. If new contacts have not heard about us before, I give them the milky cover letter, but if they have heard about us I give them the meaty cover letter. We have made a point to eventually send all our contacts the meaty cover letter & Statements. People have accepted it & we didn't get so many inquiries; plus, it opened up a whole new avenue of communication with them.
       "I also find that it helps to give new contacts an Endtime Poster or the `Know the Future' tract right from the start. Once they understand that message, they can more easily understand that we are being persecuted because of our Message, not just because of our past. This has worked very well for us."
       Of course, we can understand that it's sometimes a battle to talk about the controversial issues with new contacts, because you're trying to win people, win supporters, & naturally you don't want to "blow them away". But when you think about it, if you don't tell them, if they are serious about helping you, they will probably inquire about you beforehand, at which time they'll find out all the nitty gritty details (with plenty of horrible embellishments) from our enemies' lies. So it seems beneficial that at some point you go ahead & inform potential supporters about the more controversial points of our lifestyle & beliefs. Better they find out from us than from our enemies! You can even use it as a springboard to witness to them & as an appeal for support!
       Phoebe (formerly Marie Rousse) in Europe learned a lesson along this. She reported: "I called a man I had met who owns luxury apartments in London. He was very cold on the phone. He told me that he had found out more about our `cult', & that he wanted me to take note that he was not at all interested in our projects. He repeated that emphatically, & that was the end of the conversation.
       "When we had followed up on him, we had explained quite a bit about the Family & our Work to him, except for the controversial/persecution side of things. Not that we had decided not to, but we hadn't specifically decided to do it either, as it was our first in-depth meeting. I remember also that he had made a couple of comments about `sects', which made me hesitate to address the subject. He was very interested in our activities, & when we shared with him the fund raising vision, it seemed that he had the potential to help. It is very possible that it is because of his desire to help that he did some research to find out more about us.
       "I guess he found out all the negative stuff through newspaper articles, or acquaintances, or worse yet, through the Cult Information Centre (CIC). The lesson for me is that we will have to be aboveboard about those things right away, on our first meeting, as if they do consider helping, they will do some research into us, & will find out anyway; & it will be a lot better if they find out from us, with the benefit of our explanation & literature, etc. It doesn't seem we can think in terms of a `gradual' presentation, as these people are so busy that we might not have so much time or so many appointments with them.
       "Having found out on his own `who we really are' probably also made him doubt our sincerity, since we hadn't brought up the subject ourselves! Maybe he would still have rejected us if we had personally addressed the controversial issues with him, but at least, in his eyes, we would have been sincere & not trying to hide or conceal anything. I am going to write this man a letter & send him some material explaining the persecution, to give him our side of the story anyway.
       "Another lesson is that we can't be afraid of being rejected, because we surely will be quite a few times before we find the real sheep who will receive us!"
       Top businessmen admire people with guts & conviction.--That's what it took for them to get where they are, & they know only too well how the media vilifies people. When they see that you're not afraid to bring up the controversy surrounding you, they'll figure you must not have much to hide, & many will respect you for your straightforwardness. However, if you don't tell them about the negative publicity & they find out more about it on their own, the situation could seriously backfire on you & could result in your losing their trust & support.
       If people think you have deceived them they will most likely be very upset! They will be especially furious if they go out on a limb for you, not knowing the full story about you, & then realize that your name is "mud"--and consequently, since they are associated with you, their name is now "mud" also. People really don't take too kindly to that, so it's much better to give them a good explanation from the start about the controversy that surrounds the Family, especially before anyone makes a decision to finance you in a big way or puts their own reputation on the line by sponsoring your Work publicly, or makes a commitment to market your products, etc.
       Actually, the fact that we're such a small group & yet so persecuted & attacked on a worldwide scale will probably help convince some people that we're accomplishing something & we're different from the rest of the churches, Christian groups or charities.--And this could work to your advantage, because top businessmen have many groups pulling on them for their support, so you have to stand out as something different & worthwhile to get their attention. Not only does the opposition we receive show we're accomplishing something, but our extensive long-lasting legal battles also help explain our desperate need for support, as businessmen understand very well that such battles take time & personnel away from our regular missionary work & fund raising activities, & also it takes a lot of money to pay for lawyers, relocate personnel, open new missionary bases, etc. Plus, such battles take away from our normal outreach ministries & therefore affect our Homes' income. All of these points are valid when explaining our needs to people & asking for their support.
       But, if for some reason you didn't bring up the "controversy" when first getting to know someone, don't be afraid that they will get upset & discontinue supporting you when you do feel the time is right to tell them. If you've been prayerful & led of the Lord in ministering to them, He will open their hearts to receive this news at the right time. When finally presenting it to them, you don't have to make it sound like you were deceiving them at first by not telling them, because you weren't--if they would have asked about it, you would have told them.
       You can present it like, "Now that we're getting to know each other, we wanted to explain a few more things about our group worldwide. You may have already read about this in the news, but since you never asked about it, I thought it best to explain it & bring it up." If they ask you why you didn't tell them before, honestly tell them that you felt they would be much better able to understand this once they'd gotten to know us a bit better, & who wants to start off on the negative anyway?--They'll probably relate to this, as most people don't divulge everything about themselves in their first encounter with a stranger.
       Honesty & straightforwardness about the Family is also important with the contacts that you've known for a long time. Sometimes you can have long-time established friends & supporters who don't know about some of the more controversial aspects of the Family, & you might be tempted to not inform them, because you figure, "Everything is going fine! Why rock the boat & risk offending them?" But in the end, you'll probably feel a lot better & your friendship will deepen if you're honest with them.
       On this subject, one of our Family women reported: "We have a contact who is a churchy person. When he found out who we are, he wanted to talk about FFing. He asked if I had ever done it, adding that he didn't like it. I told him that I had done it in the past, although clarifying as an organization we have discontinued this particular method of evangelism. He asked what my husband thought, & I told him that he knew, he agreed with it, & that it had been very fruitful. After this conversation, this contact started helping us more. He appreciated our honesty."
       Another Family Member commented: "We have a contact who's been helping us faithfully for four years, & I felt we owed him the whole story. After I told him what the press & our enemies say about us, he said, `Well, what do you have to say to that?' I gave him some literature explaining our side, which he read through in one sitting. Then he said, `That settles it as far as I'm concerned. What can I help you with?'  Later he said that we could count on his help more than ever."
       (For more on this subject, please see the testimony by Andy & Becky on page 24 about how they stood up for the Family to their mail ministry supporters who had been supporting them as "independent missionaries" for ten years!)
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Answering Questions about Finances, Leadership & Our Organizational Structure
       People will often want to know more about your financial policies before agreeing to sponsor you in a big way. The main question is likely to be: "Where does the money go?" Just tell them the truth--simply & directly--explaining that the money will be used locally, that each community is indigenous--self-supporting, self-governing & self-propagating. You can explain that their gifts go to you, to your Home, & that you are a fulltime missionary church. This is important to make clear, because one reason many businesses are hesitant to give to charities is because they're afraid their money will all wind up in the pockets of the people "at the top". Also, you can stress the point that we are very unlike other charities or religious organizations where such a large percentage of the money goes to administration, with very little making it to the missionaries themselves. (However, if you are specifically raising funds which you plan to send in part or in full to WS [EDITED: "more than your tithe"] or to a special project in your Area or elsewhere in the World, then you would need to be honest & explain where the money would go & what it would be used for.) If you feel led, or if you are asked, you can add that your tithe goes to your administrational centre to be distributed to missionaries in poorer fields, special missionary projects, & to produce Gospel literature & witnessing tools such as videos & tapes for your organization.
       One big plus when discussing our financial set-up with donors is that you can explain the Acts 2:44 & 45 principle & our economical way of living. If you are involved in supporting other Homes or projects, you can explain that richer Homes help to support poorer Homes & pioneer projects or Consider the Poor ministries, etc. If you are specifically raising support for another ministry or country, then it's important to explain that to your potential donors. This also helps give them the vision for the overall Work, which opens the door for you to appeal not only for your Home or local situation, but for the whole country or continent. But it's extremely important that if you raise support for anything other than your own Home or needs, that the money actually go to that project. This is covered more in part four of this FSM series, in the section called, "Honesty, Financial Records, & Designated Gifts". (See also ML#2447, "Designated Gifts!--What to Do with Them!")
       (For more on how to explain our financial set-up, please refer to our Statement entitled, "Our Support". That Statement can also be given to potential supporters.)
       You wouldn't necessarily have to get into the details of where each Home is in your country, but if need be, you can tell them the basic areas or cities. Of course, you also wouldn't want to give the legal names of your Shepherds or addresses, etc., but most people are not interested in those details, they're just interested in the generalities & whether you're being up-front & honest with them.
       You can explain that while our Homes are each indigenous, self-governing & self-financing, we have a basic administrational structure on a national & international level, like any organization. You can explain how our leadership structure works--that we work in Teamwork, our Teamworkers are elected by the Home Members, & on a national & continental level some of our missionaries act as administrators who coordinate communications & inter-Home efforts & projects.
       You could explain that the founder of the Family, Father David, along with his wife, Maria, have written many letters of counsel & direction, which each Home is free to implement as they see fit within the fundamental beliefs & guidelines of the Family. It's important to bring out that Father David always encouraged us to make our own decisions locally & look to the Lord for our direct leadership. Of course, people would probably be very interested to know that now that Dad has graduated, Maria, his wife, is at the top of our leadership structure, but that she too works in teamwork with a rather large group of co-workers--not only those in her immediate Home, but also the other top leaders of the different fields, who she communicates & counsels with regularly.
       It would probably be very interesting to your supporters to know that the Shepherds & leaders in the Family are just normal people like everyone else. They live in the same kind of communities as everyone else & they're missionaries themselves. You can explain that everyone in our Family has their own ministry & talents. Some are in administration, others in home care, others in child training, others in fund raising, etc. But everyone is a missionary. If you happen to be a Home or Area Shepherd, then you can explain to them from personal experience how it works, what you do, & what it's like.
       If people ask questions & you don't know the answers, just simply tell them you don't know. And if they ask questions & you do know the answers, if it's not something that's going to jeopardize the security of the Work, then go ahead & answer their questions to the best of your ability, because you'll have a hard time winning people's trust if it looks like you're being evasive & secretive. Sometimes people ask questions out of mere curiosity, or sometimes they're just testing you to see if you'll be open & honest with them.
       God bless you & give you great faith & wisdom in your witnessing, ministering & fund raising.
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Closing Prayer by Mama
       "Help our people to have faith! Help them to get out there! Help them to have faith for You to open the doors & send the finances in that they need, Lord. They've got to have money to do the job & to do their ministries. So please give them the faith to ask You & to seek, Lord, for supporters & donors & kings who can help them with their food & their rent & their transportation, all these things that they need to be able to get out on the field & witness! Even if they could just find one donor who could support them while they can minister to him, it would be worth it. So please help them to do it, Lord!
       "Help them to get desperate, help them to really believe & have the faith to take that step & ask, & You said we will receive, & seek, & You said we'd find, & knock, & You said the door would be opened!--Matthew 7:7,8. So help them, Lord, to look in the right places & we know You will open the doors! We know You will if we ask it! We don't know why they're not asking, but help them to! Help them to start right now & to do it, in Jesus' name! Thank You Lord!" ("New Ways to Reach Japan", ML#2406:27,28)
* * *

A Fruitful Mail Ministry Weathers the Storm!
From Andy & Becky, Japan:
       We have had a fruitful mail ministry for over 10 years, & most of our supporters were met when we were raising funds to go to South America in 1981. During those days, we usually presented ourselves as "independent missionaries", & it was on this basis that we had continued to minister to those on our mailing list. As you can imagine, we've grown quite close to many of these dear supporters who've been writing us & sending us generous gifts monthly for over 10 years! However, in light of the heightening of Family persecution worldwide, we felt the Lord wanted us to stand up as the Family & give these ones the full Message of the Endtime for their sakes. So we made a commitment to tell them that we were the Family & start giving them a meatier witness, even if it meant losing all of them as supporters.
       Our first step was to send them the Outlook magazine which features the Waco story & related GP material from WS, along with our own personal newsletter, stating what we felt about the Waco tragedy & some of our own more personal experiences with persecution & media coverage. We challenged our friends to stand up for their fellow Christians, even if they don't share all the same doctrines or minor beliefs. The response was tremendous, & all but one person said they very much agreed with everything we said. We removed from our mailing list the one person who was antagonistic towards our stance (whom we'd never met). Most people gave larger gifts than normal, many who rarely write did so with fervent support & comments, & some people who'd never given anything sent their first gift!
       By the time of our next newsletter, the Family had been jailed in Argentina, so we let our friends know that had we been in Argentina instead of Japan, we could have been jailed & our children put in institutions because the fellowship of missionaries to which we belong, The Family, had been unjustly & criminally persecuted in Argentina. We sent the Dirty War tract, & the postcard for them to send to the Argentine government. Our newsletter was twice its normal length, & we quoted much of Mama's letter to her parents, which explains why we are persecuted. The response was very encouraging, except for one elderly great-aunt who said she didn't want to support a "cult", but still sent her monthly gift! We will end with some of the precious responses we've received:

       "I have signed & sent on the postcard & pray for the release of The Family. It's true the persecution seems unbearable at times. Where you are it's obvious persecution & plain for all to see. Where we are it's disguised so cleverly that we know only the Devil himself could have planned it this way. The media in this country is fully controlled (in my belief) by the Enemy. They are so deceived they don't even know how expertly they are doing his work. It helps greatly to know how the story ends (thank You Jesus) & some days it's my only comfort. I am in a warm house & in no real physical danger, I despair so much for the children of the persecuted missionaries & their parents who are separated from them. I pray for their safety & yours."

       "We did get the letter concerning missionaries in Argentina & we are going to do what we can. Thanks for the info. We praise God that He showed Himself mighty on your behalf. Glory to God!"

       "Your last letter on Christian persecution & The Family did not offend or surprise this little family. We understand the times & the wickedness. We also know like you that He, our God, is with His kids. We have had to deal with the persecution on a smaller scale in many areas & it is very real. We will continue to pray for your safety. God bless you!"

       "There are organizations that are intent on destroying every Christian voice in America.... I sent the postcard on to Argentina & am writing the U.S. Mission to the United Nations to see what they are doing to free the missionaries."

Copyright 1996 The Family