Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Help is On the Way!!!

Office work!!!!

Grab a handful of confetti and toss it in the air because help is on the way! A new North
Mary Faith
American missionary, Mary Faith Yoder, is going to be moving to Honduras to join the Sowers4Pastors team. S4P could not be happier about it. This is particularly good news for Trish.

Throughout the early years of the ministry, Trish was focused on running a household and being a homeschooling mom. Her plate was full but she also did things like writing the newsletters and teaching Sunday school lessons. She describes herself as a minor player in the ministry during that time. The fact that so many of her children are now involved in full-time mission work would indicate she wasn’t really a minor player at all, but you get her point. She wasn’t involved in much of the day-to-day operations of Sowers4Pastors back then. 

Just at the point when she wasn’t homeschooling a whole passel of kids, the sponsorship program came into being. When it first started, Trish really, really didn’t want to be the person in charge of maintaining all of the record-keeping. She had hoped to move into a more creative aspect of the ministry. Alas, Trish ended up being the person to step into the role of chief runner of the website. It was not her dream job but she has done it faithfully since 2018. 

Trish pointed out that during these years she has learned “how to do a lot of things that you only learn through trial and error.” She became an expert at contacting customer support for the website. She learned how to do surprisingly tricky mundane tasks such as changing a donor’s email address on the website. (There are more steps to this than you might imagine!) She can manipulate the site to make it run specific reports - also surprisingly tricky! She became the go-to person on staff for that sort of thing. 

Trish's not-ready-for-Instagram
workspace in Florida
Trish said, “People come to you because you’re the person who has already spent the time figuring out how to do things. That’s fine, since it saves time for everyone. But what happens if someday I can’t do it anymore? It’s not that I’m retiring. I’m not out of the picture! But we want to know that if something should happen to me there will be someone else who knows how to complete all of those tasks. Mary Faith is the person coming in to learn how to do this.”

Finding people who are dedicated to being behind-the-scenes support staff isn’t an easy task. As Trish said, “Office work doesn’t make for great selfies on Instagram.”

Mary Faith came down to Honduras last year for a month to see if this was something she felt called to pursue. During that time, she learned a lot about using the system. Everyone believes she will get up to speed quickly. She’s coming for another short-term visit soon - and at a perfect time, as it’s the season when all of the sponsorship kids’ profiles are updated. This is the time of year when it becomes impossible for Trish to keep up with all of the updates and her regular work. There are tight deadlines for the profile updates because churches in the States set up sponsorship Sundays to encourage new sponsors to sign up, and all of that church's children need to be updated by that set date. It’s a big load of work on a tight schedule. 

Sowers4Pastors website donation page
(click photo for better viewing)
Unlike the Honduran staff who work on salary, the goal is for North American missionaries to raise their own support. (If you're curious about why we handle things this way, click here for a blog post about that!) Raising support is what Mary Faith is working on now, so that she can move to Honduras and work with Sowers4Pastors full time! Please consider helping her, through prayers and financial support. In the past some of the potential North American staff members didn’t work out. Sometimes people would visit with a team and expect that daily tasks during non-team times would still involve fun things like playing games with small children all the time. Mary Faith is well aware that the bulk of her responsibilities will be more like customer service tasks with a smattering of accounting thrown in for good measure. She is up for the job! Helping to support Mary Faith through prayers and donations is one very tangible way to support the ongoing work of Sowers4Pastors. (Mary Faith has been added to the list of donation categories on the website, to make it easy to donate toward her support).

- posted by Christi

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