I pondered what I should write for an update, and I pondered, and I pondered, and Christmas and New Year’s just ran right past me. The year 2018 was a full year, but, to me, it seems to have disappeared rather quickly. It seriously feels like Christmas 2017 was last month. I read an article that theorized that transitions and new events slow down the perception of time, while routines cause it to accelerate. The past year was the first in a few years that I have had, essentially, the same basic schedule. Maybe that’s why I feel like I’ve got chronological whiplash. Surely many of you feel the same way. And so, I find myself on the cusp of another progression in life. The details here are as definitive as they’re ever going to be.
Over the next few weeks I will be finalizing the process to adopt a boy from foster care. I have referred to him as Miles in my communication with some of you, and he is 13. I have had many long conversations with him spanning several months, and he has held firm to his desire that I would adopt him and take him to Niger. That is what we plan to do. He will finish this school year, and then we would move to Niger around June or July. I plan to homeschool him in Niger for at least the first year that we are there.
My activities in Niger would be very similar to what they were before. I would teach at Bible schools, mentor new Christians, assist with the evangelism efforts of a Christian non-profit, and help host visiting teams. Pray for the security situation of Niger as it has taken a negative turn recently. Open travel has been restricted to the area of Niamey, the capital city.
It is not lost on me that I have been in Oklahoma longer than I intended and longer than perhaps I communicated. Several people have expressed surprise to know that I am still here. Reviewing my past letters and posts, I see that I have been ‘gearing up’ to return to Niger for many, many months. So, I’d like to reiterate that the plans I am discussing here are definitive, and I apologize if I misled anyone.
I have officially begun fund raising, but my efforts have not yet become very intense. When I left Niger in October of 2015 my missions account was very healthy. Of course, it had been something that I had been working on for about three years. I remember when I returned to Niger in the summer of 2012 having my funds channeled through Friends of Faith as opposed to the larger system of Assemblies of God World Missions. I floated blissfully along during that first year as an essentially independent missionary and came back home to find that I had $700 in my account. At that point, it seemed my experiment had failed, but a friend wrote a heartfelt post on social media, several people donated, and what could have been the end of my missionary career turned out to be simply a minor bump in the road. Two years later, my finances had become a source of strength. Currently, I am trying to reassemble my donors and construct an account that is as healthy as the one I left.
It is a new year; perhaps this is an opportune time to add an item to your charitable giving. If you have donated to me in the past, I would ask you to consider reinstating that donation. If you’ve not supported me financially, would you pray about a monthly commitment or a one-time offering? You can make a contribution by clicking on ‘Support Jeremy’ in the upper right hand corner of any page of the website or by clicking on ‘Give’ from the homepage. At the bottom of that page is a yellow donate button which will take you to PayPal. You can donate without being a PayPal member yourself, and you can do that multiple times. However, if you would like to establish monthly automatic payments, you would need to have a PayPal account. You can also give by check, and you can do that by following the instructions on the ‘Give’ page.
My strategy, which did work last time but barely, is to piece together finances and then go as soon as a baseline budget has been met. The idea is that contributions would increase as it becomes obvious that I have committed several years to Niger. The biggest difference this time, of course, is that I am not alone and have an extra mouth to feed (he actually doesn’t eat much, I eat more than he does). By the time the summer rolls around, my budget will be about right at that baseline target. However, there are certain possibilities that, if they occurred, would cause major financial holes. So, I need help. My monthly budget is $1700. I will also need a standing balance of about $10,000 – the bulk of which would go to airfare, a vehicle, and upfront payment for a few months of housing rent.
Thanks for reading and thanks for your help.