Friday, April 28, 2006

Are Funds Spent Raising a Voice "Administrative" Expenses?

When Richard Wurmbrand was released from prison and allowed to leave Romania for the West, it wasn't long until he learned that many (even Christians!) did not believe that the followers of Jesus were being persecuted behind the Iron Curtain of communism. With $100 in his pocket and an old typewriter, he produced his first newsletter and sent it out to raise a voice for those who did not have one. He believed that this was a vital means of serving the Persecuted Church. He did not conceive of it as being administration or fundraising. It was a response to the cries of his brothers and sisters who begged him not to let the Church and world forget that they were there.

Forty years later, The Voice of the Martyrs continues this ministry through our monthly newsletter, websites, email news service, videos, news reports, and public speakers. This is a fundamental part of who we are; we are The Voice of the Martyrs. Our mission is not only that of providing practical assistance; it is hearing their cries and making sure that they are not ignored or forgotten, to raise awareness, to muster prayer on their behalf and to share their stories of the faithfulness of God. This is what the Persecuted Church asks us to do, which is why our fifth purpose is to emphasize the fellowship of all believers by informing the world of atrocities committed against Christians and remembering their courage and faith.

Travel expenses, salaries for our communications staff, newsletter costs, website expenses - in many ways, these are not administration costs; these are ministry costs. They are central to the ministry that we have been called to. We understand that many people would like all of their gifts to go to assisting the persecuted overseas. But we also need to appreciate that it is the earnest and expressed desire of persecuted Christians that we meet that we speak on their behalf as effectively as we can. If you have been a supporter of VOMC for long, you know that we do not spend money on fundraising. Hence, our actual administration costs are really very low. The challenge is how to reflect that on an auditor's report for the government. They do not always understand that. We also face the notion that many have that all expenses spent in Canada by missions like ours are "administrative" in nature and not ministry-oriented. That may be true for some ministries, but not ours. An expense incurred in being a voice for today's Christian martyrs is central to who we are and why Richard Wurmbrand started this ministry in the first place. It is money that we know persecuted Christians want us to spend.

We thank you for the trust that many of you have shown us over the years in donating to The Voice of the Martyrs. We would be happy to discuss this matter with any of you, should you wish to contact us. Please remember us in your prayers as we seek to serve the Persecuted Church by the grace of God.

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