Fall 2012 CCM Newsletter

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WORK CREWS 2013

Upcoming trips: February 8-18, 2013, August 2013

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This past year, in spite of the difficulties in scheduling brought about by Jeanie’s cancer treatment, we still were blessed by two work crews to Colombia. We say the building progress steadily in the camp expansion program. We were forced to slow down as we ran out of funding and designated funds were not coming in. But with the work crews, we were able to move the project forward. The second cabin has about half of the stucco on and for $2,000 or a bit less we could finish it up. In the meantime, work has stopped at the camp expansion and will be waiting for the next work crew to head to Colombia and kick things into high gear again.

Next year we are planning at least three work crews, maybe four. One February 8-18, 2013 that will focus on building and getting the construction projects moving again for next year. We hope to get the walls up and the roof on the new dorm project. We would like to get the second cabin stuccoed so that a work crew could finish the wiring and paint the entire cabin inside and out. That would have both building nearing a point where they could be used in a pinch. Then, at Easter time we will have a deaf camp work crew, headed up by DeWayne Liebrandt. That crew will provide services such as game activity and child care for the deaf camp. This past year we had more than 120 deaf campers and we really benefited from those who went down to help. After that camp was over, the crew remained and did some important work on the cabins and the infrastructure at the camp. We expect to do the same this year, where the work crew will work with the deaf camp for a week and then stay to do some construction work after the camp is over.

Then in July we plan on having another work crew down that will bring teen-agers in for a construction project and to work with the school. That camp will focus on the interests of young people and we will have them sharing with the young people at our Christians school. While one church is heading that up, there may well be room for some teens from other churches as well.

Finally, in early August we are considering a fourth work crew from churches that will focus on finishing up the construction projects for next year. This fourth work crew will depend on the interest expressed by our churches and will depend on the number of people interested in coming down at that time of the year. If one church would like to bring a group, that would be a possibility and the other option would be people from several different churches forming a group and coming down.

The work in Colombia is exciting and the country is safe now as they have done an excellent job in controlling the drug traffickers and in driving the guerrillas far away from any populated area of the country. At the same time God is doing many exciting things with the churches and with the camp expansion. Why not plan on being a part of this exciting work and seeing all that God is doing there. Make your plans now to come down on one of those work crews!

If you would like to travel to Colombia on a work crew or support our Camp Expansion Project fill out the coupon on the back and send it in.
We also appreciate your prayers!

TRAVEL FUND

As with all missionaries, the recession has meant we have seen significant reductions in our levels of support, specifically in undesignated general fund income. Because of this we have curtailed many of our programs in order to keep our expenditures in line with our income. We understand that many churches have also experienced lower offerings and so have been forced to reduce their missionary outreach as well. We take these difficult times as a needed re-evaluation of all of our programs and as an impetus to reduce or eliminate the less essential programs in our overall missionary ministry.

We have virtually eliminated our college scholarships, through which we helped children of the church who come from poor families to be able to achieve their dream of a college education. It is with sadness that I inform dreamy eyed young high school graduates that they will not be able to study but must work at some menial labor job for minimum wage. But we have no choice as we cannot expend funds that we do not have, no matter how worthy the project. At this time, we are continuing to help students who were nearing graduation when the recession hit and so are now finishing their studies.

We have virtually eliminated our Bible college program as the costs associated with accredited study meant an obligatory expenditure for a limited number of students. We are now once again focusing on our internal leadership training program, which has no accreditation but is available to every person in the church who choses to better themselves for leadership in the local congregation. While we do value the college level leadership training, we simply did not have the funds available to continue with this program at the levels we had worked at in preceding years.

Travel expenses were also an area where we had to cut back. I was traveling all over Colombia to teach and train leaders but each trip was costing hundreds of dollars. So This year, for the first time ever, I will make no trips to anywhere for teaching and training but will work only in our traditional primary area of ministry; the Bogotá/Villavicencio area of central Colombia.

But there are some expenses that simply cannot be cut. I do need to travel to and from Colombia and I do need to travel from Bogotá to Villavicencio when I am working in Colombia. Even these trips cost a significant amount of money in today’s economy and with the current levels of fuel costs. Three years ago I was averaging about $600 for each round trip to Colombia. On my last several trips to Colombia, tickets have averaged double that amount. Gasoline in Colombia is now averaging about $6 US dollars per gallon. That means the forty five mile round trip to Villavicencio, with tolls and gasoline, costs me over $100!

We simply need to increase our levels of support if we are to continue doing effective ministry in Colombia. Our travel fund is now over $3,000 in the red and each trip I make only makes matters worse. As the economy slowly improves, we are praying for an improvement in the support base that makes our ministry in Colombia possible. In the meantime, if you or your Sunday school class or church are blessed and able to increase your monthly support or make any special, one-time offerings to our designated funds, such as our travel fund or benevolent fund, that will help up in a significant way to continue sharing the great things that God is doing in Colombia

If you would like to support the Travel Fund send it in with your donation.

If you would like to make a donation to the Colombian Christian Mission please use the donate now button on the right or send in your check to:
Colombian Christian Mission
PO Box 95
Rittman, OH 44270-0095

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