Why the title? Why the large amount of money and what for?
We have to raise $22,000 before our time as missionaries are up (on the first of August of this year). Which gives us about 4 months.
When we were first told this number we sort of freaked out and thought, “how are we EVER going to raise that much money!?!?!” It honestly seemed impossible (and some days still does) and too “out of reach”.
But, one of our incredible bosses, Lana, reminded us that we (and by “we”, we mean YOU and God) have raised more than that and that by breaking it down by month, it is around $5,500 per month that we have to raise until August 1st.
This gave us some hope.
But truly, it was when Richard and I sat down and remembered….when we remembered God’s faithfulness in our lives (not just with support raising, but in every area and detail of our lives), remembered his goodness to us, and all the ways that he has led us and walked with us and put incredible people like you, in our lives….that we truly, truly felt at peace and felt at peace to reach out, one more time, to you, our beautiful partners.
- Some of our monthly supporters have been asking, “when should we stop supporting you?”:
- August 1st will be our last, official day as missionaries, so if you can and feel called to support us until then, that would be a HUGE help.
- We have also been asked by monthly supporters and one-time supporters if they can “give an extra gift or give again?”
- The answer is a resounding “YES!”. Again, if you can and feel called to, you can definitely give again or give an additional gift on top of your monthly support.
We have faith friends, that we can do this, but only by your support, partnership, and prayers, and by the Lord’s grace and guidance.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We will keep you all updated on our goal of reaching $22,000 before August 1st!
Here are some helpful links for donating:
Our donation site: click here
Our donation blog page: click here
Richard and Elizabeth Santana
Sorry for the long silence!
I decided to take a break from social media for a while so I could really refocus and “unplug” (such an overused word but SO appropriate!) and just take. a. break.
It was really nice.
Well, a lot of changes and planning has happened and we are super excited to say that:
WE ARE GOING TO ECUADOR IN MAY!!!!
Now, just hold on a second…
…we will be coming back in late August (like we mentioned in this post) to continue fundraising, but we are so excited that we can get started and join in on the different ministries and projects in Ecuador, start ministering as Merge staff and working with different teams coming down, start re-connecting and connecting with our friends and co-workers, and be able to start looking around for a place to rent…which we are all super excited about, but…going to Ecuador also means that:
we get to see our family and friends!!!!!!
It truly is such a blessing to be able to live and do ministry as short-term missionaries in another country where we have family and friends…familia y amigos….conocidos! (as they say!)
We are pretty excited! and I would say that they are too!
(I, Elizabeth, haven’t seen them in over a year!)
So, as soon as we have our plane tickets purchased, we will get some dates up on the sidebar so you can journey with us during our summer in Ecuador and see where we will be and what groups, ministries, churches we will be partnering with at different times. We will also be updating here during the summer as well!
In other news:
We are still around 30% funded so we are still looking for supporters so please, partner with us today:
Click here: SUPPORT to go to our online giving site.
Anyway, that is our short, but exciting update for today and we will have more details later on for you!
We will also be updating this here blog/online journal AND we will be sending out our FIRST newsletter coming up soon, so stay tuned! 🙂 and give us your emails!
peace and joy,
p.s. here are photos of us jumping. why did I post these photos of us jumping, you may ask….well, other than the fact that jumping over streams is an activity that I think EVERYBODY needs to try at some point in their life, (it is also a past-time of ours, more like a…hobby?)…..it is really significant of the journey we are on right now. steps and leaps of unknowns, in faith.
Hello! and Hola!
We have just about 30% of our funds raised now.
And we are hoping to have at least 80% by the first week of April.
We need to raise 67,746 dollars in 1 1/2 months.
Let’s just say we have been learning a lot about faith lately.
Because we are the new trip facilitators in Ecuador, we are required to be there this summer, starting June.
Now, the ECC has graciously made an exception for us and has told us that we can leave in June for Ecuador to facilitate the teams coming during the summer months, but, if we do not have 80% of our funds by then, after the summer is over and all the teams have left, we have to return to the USA to continue fundraising.
Our hope and prayer is that we would have (at least) 80% of our funds in before then so we do not have to return and can stay in Ecuador and start life and ministry there.
That means, starting now until April, (when the director of Merge Ministries is going to buy our tickets to Ecuador, which we are hoping he will not have to do and that we can use the funds we raised to buy the tickets instead, like we have budgeted and planned for) we need to raise $67,746 to reach our goal of 80%….
It seems a bit crazy. That is a TON of money, in a very short amount of time, BUT…..as I said, we have been learning a lot about faith through this whole process and we know that God is the giver and sustainer of faith, we just need to take our part, act, say yes, open the door, sign up, step out and THAT is when we start to see God reality, God initiative, and God provisions happening.
I love what is says in Luke 12:29-34:
“What I’m trying to do here is get you to relax, not be so preoccupied with getting so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Don’t be afraid of missing out. You’re my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the very kingdom itself. Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bank robbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”
Of course, we aren’t going to do anything without praying and seeking the Lord and talking with our close friends and family, much like the process of saying yes to God’s calling us to Ecuador in the first place. But we know that He started it, and we know He is faithful in every step we have taken thus far, and every step we will continue to take.
So, we are asking YOU to take that step of faith with us, however you can. We know without a shadow of a doubt (although sometimes the shadow seems REALLY large and REALLY dark), that God is greater then $67,746. And that this whole process of fundraising is neither us sitting back, letting God do all the “work” nor us thinking that WE are the ones gathering in the funds…..it’s a partnership; He’s so relational, so close, and so intimate with every detail of our lives and yours.
We pray together: “Father God, we believe, help us with our unbelief! Strengthen us and sustain us as only you can. Show us today, in this moment, how you are working and moving and how we can join you in what you are already doing! Amen!”
Please click the link below to donate online:
Or go to our “Partner With Us” page to see the others ways you can support and partner with us!
We are SO excited to be sharing with you guys the…….
What is The Four Peaks Challenge?
The four mountains/peaks represent the four tallest mountains in Ecuador, which are: Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Cayambe, and Antisana.
Our hope and goal with The Four Peaks Challenge is really to make very clear our budget need, how we can get there, and the best ways to do that.
We’ve had a lot of people confused about how much support we need to raise and if we do indeed need to raise it all ourselves…..so, we decided to put forth The Four Peaks Challenge; a simple, clear, easy, yet VERY important way of partnering alongside us financially.
How it works?
We will start with the smallest “peak” (10 supporters giving 100 dollars a month for two years) and work our way to the tallest “peak” (90 supporters giving 10 dollars a month for two years).
We wanted to give our supporters different ways they can support us financially, thus the different mountains with different amounts.
Of course we do NOT want to limit people and what they feel called to give, but since so many people have asked us for the best ways they can partner with us financially and how to go about doing that, well, here it is!
Some people have asked if they can just give a one time donation, of course you can!
If you do wish to give a one time gift in one of the mountain categories, we have the totals below.
Remember: it is MONTHLY for a TWO-YEAR commitment. OR you can give a one-time gift equal to that amount:
One person giving $100/month for two years: $2,400
One person giving $50/month for two years: $1,200
One person giving $25/month for two years: $600
One person giving $10/month for two years: $240
Each week we will be sending out an update on our current mountain and how far away we are from the peak (or, how many more supporters we still need to reach our goal for that category). Once we reach the peak, we start on the next mountain! And by the time we’ve reached them all, we will have raised the amount of money needed to pack our bags and leave the United States and head to Ecuador to start ministry and life over there! So exciting!
We will also start sending out our monthly newsletter, which will also have information and updates about The Four Peaks Challenge.
So here we go!
Our total thus far that we need to fundraise is: $117, 600.
Starting next Monday we will begin with mount Antisana (10 supporters giving 100 dollars a month for two years). We are hoping within three weeks time we will be able to “scale” the mountain and reach the peak/goal of having 10 supporters giving 100 dollars a month for two years and then we will start the next mountain!
So please join us as we begin The Four Peaks Challenge! starting this coming Monday!
See ya at the top!