My German Shepherd, Hannah, loves me. When I come home each evening she is anxious to see me and she dances around me. One reason for this is that I take care of her every need. For example, I feed her every day. She does not worry about having food because I purchase large bags of it in advance of when she will need it. She will not have a ‘case of the nerves’ or get ulcers worrying over my care for her.
Well, our Lord takes better care of me than I do of Hannah, but for some reason I do not stay as calm as she does. As of today, my nerves are not too bad and I do not feel ulcers coming along, but there is a problem.
The economy in the U.S. and Canada is having problems. Quite a few supporters of RITE are in more difficult financial situations then they were a year ago and that is having an effect on RITE. RITE cannot go out and earn money, nor can it save by spending less on non-essential things because none of its expenses are non-essential. We pay rent on an apartment for the professors who teach and we pay rent for our classroom space and dormitory space. We pay student stipends, utilities, cook, food and a salary our administrator and our second translator. Since we have two men teaching at a time, we need two translators.
Since we cannot cut back on expenses, we have to either raise more from present donors or continue looking for additional donors, which we are always doing. Right after the three hurricanes, including Katrina, hit the coast of the U.S. our giving just about stopped, we had to drop eleven students and that was very difficult. We pray we will never have to do that again.
We pay each student a stipend which is necessary. In Ukraine, most pastors do not get a salary from their churches so they have to work to support themselves and their families. Since our students are in classes two weeks a month, ten months a year from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. they cannot work, or if they do, it is part-time work when they are not in classes. We have lost quite a few very good students over the years because they could not live on our stipends.
If everyone who reads this newsletter could help even a little, then this economic crisis will pass and we can continue educating students in the Scriptures from a Reformed perspective.
Please remember that what we teach is preached and taught in churches for years to come. Thank you very much for reading this article and for your prayer and consideration.
Merle Messer, Cell 601-573-8973 (24/7) firstname.lastname@example.org