We were support raising missionaries for a year, when we first left the good o’l US of A and went to Haiti. About a year later, when we signed on with Living Water, we no longer had to raise our own support. And let me tell you, it has been pretty nice. It’s not easy asking people for money, period. This is especially true for Brandon, who has always been financially minded, he is an accounting major after all. When we first started dating at 19 years old, I found out he had a Roth Ira since he was 16. This girl was working at a retail store, incurring debt on my very first credit card, so I could wear the latest cute clothes! It wasn’t until months later I admitted to him I didn’t even know what a Roth Ira was. Poor guy-he should have ran! Yes, yes, we both have come a long way since then. All that to say, when you are financially independent,and have been your whole life, it’s not easy to ask others to give you money to live.
For that matter, it’s not easy for most people to ask for money. And that is why I am sharing the following with you. Because when we were support raising, we were blown away at how many of our family members, friends, and then even total strangers started supporting us financially that first year. It was pretty cool to see the Lord burden people’s hearts for us, to give to us so that we could do what we knew He asked us to do. And through it, He was showing us what it was like to be a part of the BODY of christ. Where each person is needed, each role is important. That the body cannot function without all the members doing what they are supposed to be doing. Cannot function. Won’t work. Sure, limp along perhaps. But thrive? Be all that God intended? We all know it to be true, but God showed us in a very real way, just exactly what he meant by that. Some are to go. Some are to give. Some are to pray. Some are to support in other ways. Some are visit. Some are to stay in touch and encourage. Some don’t even know yet, and God is working on that too! And without one of those aspects, the body cannot do what God intended. We each need to play our part, and ask the Lord what part is it that we are supposed to be doing.
Don’t get me wrong, we do still need people to give to Living Water!! Afterall, even though we are paid a salary, it does come solely from people giving out of the generosity of their hearts. The difference being? We don’t have to spend the extra time, effort, and energy it takes to raise support. A full time job-trust me, I know, it was mostly my role at the time! It also means when we go back home to visit family, we don’t need to spend lots of time going out and asking for more support. And we are so thankful for this season in our lives. We don’t know if one day we’ll have to support raise again, but for now we are enjoying the Lord faithfully providing through continued donations to Living Water International.
My point? We met some pretty amazing people in Haiti. The Lord was so faithful in quickly providing a deep knit community of believers when we moved to Cap Haitian. I’m sure you can remember me posting about them. Well, one couple, Hunter and Jillian, are support raising missionaries. And they need a little help raising support. You see, they moved to Haiti about three years ago, and took over running an orphanage that was about to close due to lack of love and care. They had visited this orphanage many times over the years, and when they found out it was closing they prayed and prayed asking the Lord if they were supposed to do something about it. They had only been married a short time, and thought there was no way they were supposed to go. It was bad timing. They were just kids themselves, and just beginning careers. They loved the kids so much, and felt a burden for Haiti, but couldn’t imagine moving there. But God told them to GO, and they obeyed.
Now, a few years later, the Lord has faithfully continued to show them His plan. And the next step in their journey was opening a place called Emmas House. What is that you may wonder? I quote, “A home to transition young adults from Cap Haitien Children’s Home to independent living. To provide life skills, professional skills, and education to afford them the opportunity to be faithful, strong, knowledgeable, followers of Christ and able to spread the gospel in Haiti.”
So, if you are looking for someone to support, look no further. If you are looking for a cause that is completely worth it, you have found one. If you are looking for people who love Jesus and are doing their best to follow him, raise their two adopted Haitian children, and be a role model and example to young teenagers in Haiti, they are your couple. We know them. We love them. We trust them completely. They are honest, and do what they say. They are human, and not afraid to admit to their mistakes. They trust the Lord, obey the Lord, and serve the Lord whole heartedly.
The following is copied and pasted from her blog, Jillian’s Missionary Confessions. Feel free to go to her blog and check it out for yourself. http://jilliansmissionaryconfessions.com (Or there is a link on our blog under “Friends in Haiti”)
PLEASE NOTE: If God does not have your name on this, don’t sweat it. It’s not for you. But if you feel a burden to give to them, do it. If the Lord is asking you to pray for them, do it. If He’s asking you to simply read her blog and encourage her, do it. I’m just passing along information, do with it what you like!
Directly from the mouth of Jillian: (by the way, she is a funny, honest, give it to you real writer-something you must enjoy a little if you put up with reading my blog!)
Yeah, I’m not really sure how the word “fun” sneaked into the word “fundraising” but that’s just me. As a kid, I was never one to enjoy the annual fundraising sales at school- selling wrapping paper or cookie dough. I always sold the lowest amount of Girl Scout cookies in my troop.
Now, however, I have ended up in a job where I have had to learn the ins and outs of fundraising. (Go figure.) And here is what I have learned: Fundraising can be fun when you are passionate about what you are fundraising for, what you are asking people to partner with, and what you are asking others to support.
In other words, I am all about fundraising for Emmaus House! If you have been following my blog, the Emmaus House Facebook page, our Amazon WishList, or have received our newsletters you know that I don’t hesitate to ask for financial support on behalf of Emmaus House. I love our Emmaus Youth, I love what Emmaus House stands for in Haiti, and I love watching the Lord bless our work. And I thank all of you who have stepped up every time to help us meet our many needs along the way! Ya’ll are awesome!
Something I am not so great at, though, is fundraising for myself. I can ask for money all day for Emmaus House, but when it comes to myself (my own family) I get a little bashful. Perhaps I am just too prideful or embarrassed to say I need help. It is so easy for me to ask for financial help on
behalf of others, but not for my own family. But the truth of the matter remains: We are missionaries. And missionaries don’t get salaries; they rely on support. And how do we missionaries get support? That’s right. We fundraise!
And again, like I said, that is hard for me. Living in America I loved giving to others. Moving to Haiti seemed perfect for me because I could just do that all the time. What I never really realized, though, was that in order to be a missionary, (especially one with a husband and who would eventually decide to adopt two kids along the way) to survive meant I must also receive from other people.
A.K.A. I can’t just fundraise for Emmaus House. I must almost fundraise for my family.
Since living in Haiti, God has always supplied our needs. In other words, we have never gone without. Sure, we have been uncomfortable at times, but what would life as a missionary be without some discomfort? God never said Haiti would be The Four Seasons, now did He? So a little discomfort I can take.
Currently, God has blessed us with a beautiful little house right down the street from EmmausHouse. It was a fixer-upper for sure, but we are enjoying every minute in our little home. Ok yes, the showers still don’t work so we are bathing with buckets. And yes, we never have city power at night so to escape the heat Hunter sleeps on the tile floor, but we love our house nevertheless.
Many people have the misconception that living in Haiti is cheaper than living in America. After all, we are talking about the poorest country in the world. Surely this place in cheap, right? But in reality, life here is really rather expensive. Let me just break down how much Hunter and I have to spend each month on certain items in Haiti…
Rent on our house: $312.50
Food for family: $400
Propane for cooking: $30
Fuel for Generator: $200
Drinking water: $10
Fuel & services for motorcycle: $50
Phone service: $40
Not to mention medical insurance ($285), student loans ($550), monthly prescriptions, education expenses, clothing money, saving up for our two adoptions, and a little bit of cushion money just in case.
We are looking for supporters- individuals, families, or churches to partner along side our family and support us as we live in Haiti and help oversee the work at Emmaus House.
Support can come in all shapes and sizes. From one-time donations, to monthly commitments, to quarterly contributions, to yearly gifts, our family would be grateful for them all.
In order to makes ends meet, our family currently needs to FUNdraise $2,200 a month. That is 22 individuals, families, or churches partnering with us at $100 a month! Easy, right? We already have a portion of our monthly support coming in, but it is not enough to sustain us down here. We have never asked for an increase in support money since we have lived here, even after we took in two children. So now that we have our own house and two little ones, we really need the extra help.
So here is how you can help our family:
1) Commit to support our family monthly. Emmaus House is in the process of obtaining its501c3 status. In the meantime, all donations are accepted under the Northwest church of Christ in Colorado, therefore all donations are tax-deductible. Donations can be made via check (address below) or online on the Northwest’s website or Paypal which is provided on the Emmaus House website or this blog. Simply designate your donation for the Kittrells. For more information on how to become a monthly contributor, email Emmaus House Treasure & board member, Tom Cromie, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Make a one-time donation. Make a one-time donation to help us with a specific need, like our rent for one month, our water for the whole year, our generator’s fuel for six months, or whatever else God lays on your heart. Again, these donations will be tax-deductible and can be made via PayPal or through Northwest church of Christ (directions below).
3) Share our family’s story and mission here in Haiti with your friends and church family. Help us raise the support we need by sharing our story with those you in your community.
4) Join us in prayer. Prayer is so powerful and our God can do BIG things. He will provide everything our family needs to continue working in Haiti for Emmaus House, for that I am certain. Join us in praying that God will supply the supporters we need, and that He will provide for our family in the meantime. Also, join us in praying for our work here in Haiti. Pray that God will protect us and keep us safe. Pray that God will keep us wise and keep our hearts guarded. Pray that our eyes will remain open at all times and that our defenses will be up against the evil one and his lies. Pray that our works will be fruitful and that our lights will shine brightly for His kingdom here in Haiti. And also pray for our family and for our future adoptions. It is going to be a tough and strenuous process once we get started, so we might as well start praying about it now!
Please prayerfully consider how you can help us with our work in Haiti. Your one-time or monthly commitment will be an amazing blessing to our little family. Your support will allow us to continue our ministry at Emmaus House and help our family with our day-to-day needs.
Again, for more information on how begin supporting our family, please email Emmaus House Treasurer, Tom Cromie, at email@example.com for more information.
Northwest church of Christ
5455 W 98th Ave
Broomfield, CO 80020
(MEMO ON CHECK: EMMAUS- KITTRELLS)
- PayPal on Emmaus House Website and my blog
- Northwest church of Christ Website (Follow THESE instructions)
Make sure to designate your donation to the Kittrells
Thanks so much for all your love, prayers, and support. We couldn’t do any of this without you guys!
~ Hunter, Jillian, Nalandson, and Dalencia