Guest / Limited Access /

Financial turmoil in global markets continues to play havoc with the value of the U.S. dollar, but technology continues to make the transfer of donor dollars to missionaries quicker and easier.

American missionary income in China has dropped 25 percent in recent years because of the dollar's decline against the Chinese yuan, said a missionary leader who requested anonymity. "In 24 years of missionary ministry, I have never seen things as tough as they are now."

"It's a complaint we hear almost every day," says Bill Bray of Christian Aid Mission, which supports indigenous missionaries in 122 nations. "They need more money because of the exchange rate."

Yet the continued global expansion of electronic banking means missionaries no longer have to wait for months while the check clears.

"When we served in Indonesia, we got paid once a quarter," said Elmer Lorenz, chief operations officer for The Evangelical Alliance Mission, which supports more than 600 missionaries. "Getting our money was an arduous process. Today we pay everyone electronically."

The United Methodist Church's Global Ministries has steadily moved in an electronic direction, accelerating the pace three years ago when it eliminated many regional financial executive positions. The Assemblies of God maintains a credit union that enables its missionaries to withdraw salary payments for less than the wire transfer fees at a commercial bank.

In addition, donors are more willing to make electronic payments. Orlando-based Pioneers, which supports nearly 1,000 missionaries, today receives 45 percent of its donations electronically. Financial vice president Johnny Fowler has also seen a spike in giving by credit card, although he prefers electronic funds transfers because they ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this IssueFighting Famine Isn't Enough
Subscriber Access Only Fighting Famine Isn't Enough
Some 2,000 Somalis die of starvation daily. Drought isn't the reason.
RecommendedWhy Married Sex Is Social Justice
Subscriber Access Only
Why Married Sex Is Social Justice
It’s not only a solid biblical model—it’s also good for human flourishing.
TrendingDied: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Jerry B. Jenkins: 'Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul.'
Editor's PickPorn Is More Criticized and More Popular Than Ever
Porn Is More Criticized and More Popular Than Ever
There are so many problems with porn; it’s hard to pick just one.
Christianity Today
Missionary Money: Easier to Give, Worth Less than Ever
hide thisNovember November

In the Magazine

November 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.