April 22, 2011

Full Support in Four Months?

SEPTEMBER 2011 UPDATE:  Thank you so much for your prayers during the past six months of building our ministry partner team.  Thank you also to those who have already begun partnering with us in this vital work in Lyon.  You are SO appreciated and we pray for you often!

We believe God is at work in US, in our partners, and in those we have yet to meet in Lyon.  We are excited to continue to grow and learn during this process of building our team.  We also believe wholeheartedly that we will begin ministering in Lyon when - and only when - God has prepared the way.  We rest, knowing that His timing is always best, even if it means we will not be heading to France until the summer of 2012.

Pray with us that God would open doors for us to share the great need for a Savior in Lyon to many friends and family here in the states.  Pray also that at least 50% of our ministry partners would join our team by Christmas 2011 so we can begin the next phase of our training with ReachGlobal.

Thank YOU for your faithfulness!

Wow!  What a lofty goal.  Just as Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, we believe completely that – “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Would you take the next few minutes to read this extra-lengthy post and begin praying earnestly that our family could be fully supported by the end of August?

God blessed our time spent with the Lyon City Team and the International Christian Community of Lyon, and confirmed to each in our family that we should be returning to Lyon. 

When can we begin serving?
Raising support for a family of six to live in France, one of the most expensive countries to live in, is beyond overwhelming.  Originally we were praying that God would miraculously provide a team of “senders”, those who would commit to a financially support our ministry on a monthly basis, by December 2011.  However, after our time in Lyon, there is a consensus that it would be best if we could begin serving by the end of August 2011.

Why move in August?
There are two main reasons we believe we should be in Lyon by the end of August.  First, ICCL needs us to begin leading the worship and fulfilling our administrative support roles.  Second, our kids need to begin the school year there in Lyon.

As new missionaries to any overseas field of service, most spend the first year or so in full-time language study before they can begin their specific ministry role.  We feel blessed to be begin ministry as soon as we arrive on the field.  Our main ministry position will be in the worship/music leadership in the church, International Christian Community of Lyon (ICCL).  Since this church plant is an English-speaking ministry, we can begin leading the music ministry within the services and community outreaches while simultaneously learning the French language full-time.  ICCL has been blessed to have someone who has helped in the music ministry in the past two years, but he and his wife are moving to London this summer.  We were called to replace him in this role. The best time transfer this leadership and to keep the growth of this church plant moving forward is to be there by the first of September.

Our kids’ educational needs are the other very important reason to be in Lyon before school begins the first week of September.  Bailey will be a junior next fall and Spencer will be a sophomore.  Easton will be in 8th grade.  The French Baccalaureate and International Baccalaureate (high school programs) are both two-phased approaches.  The French Bac is taught in French; the International Bac is taught in English.  Due to Bailey’s age, she will need to go the English route.  Spencer and Easton can follow the French route.  If they can begin the school year, they will have a better chance at succeeding in this new school format.  If we move later, there is a greater chance that it will be detrimental for Bailey’s future educational needs, as well as for Spencer and Easton in the French Bac program.

The first two years are in preparation for a placement-type of test, which helps to point the students into the best program for their final two years in high school.  The final two-year plan is focused on six subjects and culminates in final exams in each of six subjects.  It is a even more demanding program than the US-based high school diploma.  Since Bailey will be a junior, all the schools we talked with said she really needed to begin the two-year program in September or she’ll have a very difficult time succeeding with the final exams.  Spencer & Easton will be placed in a French immersion program in a bilingual program.  Due to Spencer going into 10th grade, she will also be at a disadvantage with completing the first two-year phase well, especially with the need to learn it in French.  She may need to repeat 10th grade to be able to successfully begin the final two-year program.

Morgan is at an educational crossroads as well.  She'll graduate in June, and is still deciding whether she should go with us for a year, either as a gap year or taking online University classes or even possibly at a French international business school.  She could also go straightaway to University here in the states. 

All of this is quite confusing and overwhelming.  We trust that God has chosen us to make this move at this stage in our family’s lives.  It does, however, come with a price.  The kids understand that their schooling will be more difficult in general with the added pressure of French language acquisition.  As parents, we believe it is important to choose the best schooling option for each of them.  We do not want to have this overseas move cause them to struggle in completing their high school and heading on to university.

How much support do we need to raise?
Our support needs are broken into four main sections – start-up costs, personal expenses, benefits, ministry expenses.  We need to raise $50,000-$60,000 to cover start-up costs and have monthly commitments that total $13,500-$15,000.  These commitments will come from a team of individuals and/or churches that have chosen to financially giving on a monthly or annual basis.

Start-Up Costs:
This includes all travel to the field, shipping of household supplies, relocation funds, vehicle funds, pre-field training (readiness event, vision trip, orientation & candidate school), language up-front costs, conference, computer, rental security & deposit costs, and minimum IMA balance requirements.

Personal Salary & Living Expenses:
This includes a base salary equivalent to an EFCA associate pastor in the U.S., rent allowance, MK education fees, taxes and cost of living adjustment (which is currently figured at 45% increase).

This includes health insurance for the family, retirement fund, and service allocation to the ReachGlobal national office

Ministry Expenses:
This includes allocation to the area office, continuing education, office equipment & supplies, postage, shipping, passports & visas, travel & conferences, telephone, professional fees, prayer letter services, printed materials, technical equipment & services.

How can YOU help?
God has called each of us, as believers, to share in His plan to reach all people groups with the Gospel of Christ for His glory.

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”   Matt. 24:14 (The Message)

Three key roles need to be filled as part of the “Dahlgren Lyon Team” serving in Lyon – Goer, Sender, and Intercessor.  Our family is stepping out in faith as the Goers on the team.   We cannot go without a large, faithful team of Intercessors and Senders

Intercessors –
We are looking for Intercessors who will pray “on the spot” upon receiving email requests, as well as those who have a special heart for prayer and would like to invest in our ministry more intentionally through prayer.

Senders –
We are specifically looking for people to commit to give on a monthly basis ($400, $300, $200, $100, $50) or an on annual basis.  We also need a special team of people who will support us with significant financial gifts toward our start-up costs.

Will you step out in faith as a SENDER on our team to reach the city of Lyon with the life-saving message of Jesus Christ?  We need immediate financial commitments and start-up gifts in order to be in Lyon by the end of August!

How can I become a ‘Sender’?
To commit on a monthly or annual basis, you can complete this form and mail it along with your first monthly gift to EFCA ReachGlobal. 

Checks should be made payable to EFCA ReachGlobal with Dahlgren #1021 written on the memo line.  Mail checks to:

EFCA Donor Services
901 E. 78th St.
Minneapolis, MN  55420-1300

Online giving is also an option... just visit:  Online Giving for the Dahlgren Family

You may also set up automatic monthly donations by contacting the EFCA Donor Services at 800.745.2202

We would like to thank you VERY MUCH for your continued prayers for us during this support team building process and for your commitments to join our team as a sender or intercessor!  As God prompts each of us to share in His Kingdom Plan, we can together give Him all the praise and glory for how He brings together the “Dahlgren Lyon Team” in the next four months!

“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever.  Amen!”  Revelation 7:12 (NIV)

No comments:

Post a Comment