Pre Departure Orientation

(PDO in Chicago, 2011. This was my short term PDO for my first move to Germany)

I am an appointed missionary with The Evangelical Alliance Mission, TEAM for short. TEAM requires missionaries to raise support funds that match their projected budgets. This budget covers benefits (health insurance, retirement, etc), work funds, and my living allowance. I’m not able to move to Germany until I have enough donors to cover 100% of the budget. I am also required to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation week in Chicago before I am able to move. This PDO is a week of training and meetings related to moving and living overseas.

At the end of 2015, my mission coach informed me that there were only going to be 2 PDO opportunities in 2016. He also mentioned that I had to have 60% of my funds committed/promised before I was able to attend. The first PDO would be in February and the second would be in July. After PDO, I would certainly have work to do before being able to leave the country. In scenario 1, I would attend February PDO and spend the next 4 months accomplishing those tasks and finishing my fundraising. This would get me to Germany this summer, if the funds were raised. In scenario 2, I would attend PDO in July, miss English camp in Dresden, and would possibly have to wait until 2017 to move.

TEAM originally gave me two budgets, a low budget and a high budget. They suggested that I raise enough funds to live off of the high budget. When I learned of my PDO deadline of 60% by January 15th (for February PDO), I had 40% of my lowest budget figure raised/promised. Getting to 60% of my highest budget seemed unlikely. God is good though and brought in several friends who joined my support team. By January 11th, I had reached 68% of my lowest budget and 49% of my highest budget. Not knowing which budget would be considered for my PDO clearance; I prayed that God would work things out.

After a lot of discussion with my mission coach and the TEAM finance department, I learned that I was able to adjust my own budget. I was not previously aware that I could do that. So, I spent time carefully adding figures based on what I knew of Germany. Emails went back and forth between Jeff (Dresden missionary), Carl (mission coach), and Kristen (TEAM accountant) for a few days. Jeff was able to help me sculpt my budget. Being the ministry leader in Dresden, he also approved the adjusted budget. This brought me to EXACTLY 60% on February 13th.

Praise God for His provision! I am so stoked that progress is being made and that I’m within months of being able to move. I’m so anxious and excited about getting started.

What now?

I still have 40% of my monthly funding to raise. I also have to raise $20,000 to cover moving and language school costs. Monthly support that comes in will chip away at that expense, but it could take a year to raise $20,000 that way. Therefore, I still have a lot of people to speak to about financial support.

I am confident that God will arrange things perfectly in His timing.