September 24, 2014

A Gift Economy

People often come into the Well and wonder how we are doing everything that we are doing. While the reality is that it takes the blood, sweat, and tears of a missionary community, the real question people commonly have is a financial one. The answer to this is not unlike the one above, we exist by the commitments of those who make personal sacrifice for the sake of this mission. We are completely community supported. People like you, who value the existence of this oasis of hospitality, make pledges to partner with us financially. Some give out of their poverty and others give out of their abundance. This is how it works in the community of Jesus. 

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. -Acts 2:44-45

The monthly gifts of our partners range from just a few dollars per month to pledges that have commas in them. We trust the community to do what they can and we trust Jesus to move his people toward mercy and the grace of giving. We receive gratefully and use every penny we get to share abundantly with those who come to our doors seeking that mercy and grace. 

God has been faithful and we have been able to give and grow aggressively. Sometimes provision comes a day or a week after we would have liked it to and this reminds us to look toward Jesus at each step as we pray, as He taught us, for our daily bread. Ours is a gift economy in which we give freely and trust. 

There are many initiatives that we have started and neighbors that we have met which naturally result in a growing need. This means we must constantly move forward in faith and trust Jesus and His people to make the necessary personal sacrifices to meet the needs of our community. Sustainability is always more important to us than growth though the truth is, recovery is the real call. As more broken people and broken systems make themselves known to us the necessity and call of mercy grows with them. Recovery takes resources and our community has a long way to go to see justice and equality in Tampa. Please join us in this struggle. Stand with us, walk with us, sacrifice with us. 

Right now we are, as has been the case, completely leveraged financially. Our monthly expenses are actually pushing just over our monthly pledges by about $1,100. We are sustaining because we have been given some extremely generous one time gifts to balance out the shortfall. This won't last forever and we are in need of at least that amount more in monthly pledges to sustain at our current operating expense which is just over 6,000/mo. This is a very lean operating budget which in reality should be well over 10,000/mo. We are trusting Jesus to provide as He will and operating as simply as possible for as long as He would have us do that. For example, we currently have 5 staff sharing 2,200/mo for their income. Luckily we have the Well to get food from! 

We are living lean and sharing aggressively because we believe Jesus would have his people sacrifice to see the Kingdom come among the poorest and most vulnerable in our city. Would you consider tightening your own belt and sacrificing with us to make sure that this Well never runs dry? 

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:8

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