This section is for Forwarding SecretariesAbout Bridging the Gap
Description of a Forwarding Agent
Poem to all Forwarding Agents
Three Ideas That Work
Electronic Forwarding Agents
Alternatives to Health Insurance
Those New Telephone Area Codes
The Power of Attorney
Faxing From E-Mail
Affordable Accounting Software
"I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the Lord." Ezekiel 22:30
Bridging the Gap is an all volunteer publication. Launched in 1993, it provides a support group for Forwarding Agents or Forwarding Secretaries. It is published quarterly by: Golden Achievers Christian Mission, 406 Parkside Drive, Troy, Illinois 62249-1322. You may send a free fax right now to Bridging the Gap at 1-618-451-6932.
A forwarding agent is a consecrated Christian, dedicated to missions, who is an extension of the missionary. He/she wears many hats. These include bookkeeper, secretary, P.R. person. speaker, explainer, travel agent, and the list goes on. A forwarding agent is responsible for all of the missionary's needs.
The forwarding agent is also responsible to the supporters, providing information from the field. Thus we become "The Bridge" between the foreign missionary and the supporters. We have the privilege of maintaining this two-way bridge in good repair.
- From the first edition of Bridging the Gap
"Love is in the little things,"
So we are often told,
But little acts done far away
Are amplified many-fold.
And though it is a thankless job,
So often behind the scenes,
The care and love with which it's done
Supersede all its ways and means.
For when you are so far from home,
And far from those you hold dear,
It helps to know someone is there,
To comfort, help, and cheer.
Though you are very far from home,
There's work there that has to be done.
And work is exactly what it is
I guarantee, it's no fun.
But they're always there and always say,
"What can we do for you?"
They're willing to be put upon,
Which shows their love is true.
Mail the newsletter; send us that;
Pay for that long distance call.
"Tell everyone 'Hi' and 'We're all right,"'
Then, through the tears, "that's all. "
No one could measure what they do,
Or even assess their worth.
But every missionary knows full well
They're the most valuable people on earth.
1. Looking for a new audience to whom you can present your missionary's work? A receptive, eager, encouraging group? Then look no farther than the Senior Citizen groups of the church. The program director is always looking for new and interesting programs; but since he is on a low budget, don't expect much more than mileage reimbursement. However, the exposure is fantastic.
In addition, senior saints are traveling a great deal these days and are enthusiastic to learn more about distant countries. As a Forwarding Agent your presentation. if given in the form of a travelogue. or other interesting format. will be of interest to a wide variety of senior groups outside the church also. Try it...you'll like it!
2. Have you ever seriously considered visiting the mission field for which you are a Forwarding Agent? If not, then plan to do so. Airlines are so competitive that you can fly out of the country almost as cheaply as across country. What a trip such as this will do for you personally! There is nothing like a firsthand report to get your missionary's efforts for the Lord across. Even if you never speak to a group, the experience will make the work you do so much more meaningful. Prayers then become three dimensional because you've been on the field!
3. Remember the old saying..."the way to a man's heart is through his stomach"? Well, why "
not reach the hearts of congregations through their stomachs with an International Food Fair? What better way to present the work of a number of mission fields than through individual booths with foods to sample? This could be a one-evening event or a weekend endeavor; but which ever way it is presented people do not soon forget what they have experienced through the senses. To reach an even wider audience, this could be done at a church bazaar or food tasting event in the fall or winter. Food could be sold by the serving or item. Include informational pamphlets about the appropriate mission field with each dish. All of this can be done in "good taste" and get the message across.
- From the first edition of Bridging the Gap
Travel PS: For low priced airline ticketing, submit the travel plans to Travel Bids Conference at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is constantly monitored by travel agents and if you information is complete and your phone number is there, expect the phone to start ringing with bids within a hour or so. -Charles Dailey
When I tell people that my wife and I are "forwarding agents" for a missionary in the Philippines, they immediately ask, "What's a `forwarding agent?'!" I can usually answer that to their satisfaction by saying that we serve as the Business Manager for our missionary.
As with most forwarding agents the tasks can be all or some of the following activities: handling funds, banking and receipting all gifts, putting newsletters together, working with printers, labeling and mailing newsletters, keeping mailing lists up to date -- and, oh yes, forwarding any letters and packages received on to the missionary half way around the globe.
I have recently accepted another "forwarding" assignment, this one more truly a "forwarding" task. A missionary friend in an African country, who works with a four-family team, finds that their electronic mail costs have really been oppressive. E-mail costs are quite economical here in the United States, but the team is spending about $250 USD per month on sending and receiving e-mail. I doesn't cost me any more, either in monetary costs or "connect time" usage, to send the same message to fifty different e-addresses as to just one. For some reason, it does cost my African friends a bundle to send each message. Well, my friend asked me if I would be willing to forward his e-newsletter on to about fifty parties he communicates with through e-mail. I quickly agreed to do that. Now he only has to send one newsletter, and I take it from there.
This is one of the reasons some missionaries are slow to give out their e-addresses. If their address is put on a number of e-mailing lists, no matter how Christian or good the list, they are suddenly swamped with unrequested e-mail they can hardly afford to pull in.
I wonder if more such networking and forwarding can be done to assist the marvelous missionary force working so hard for our Lord.
December 27, 1997
Health insurance is an ongoing problem for many missionaries and their families. They are insured by one company overseas and then are required to change to a different company while back in the states. As they return to the field, the cycle repeats. Sometimes they have become uninsurable in the process.
Forwarding Secretaries may want to investigate The Christian Brotherhood Newsletter as an alternative to health insurance. It is a medical co-op and very effective. Coverage is total from $200 to $1,000,000. It is worldwide and suitable for missionaries, because the system covers the family both overseas and while in the U.S. While CBN does not have every desirable feature, it is affordable at $90 per month for one person, $180 for two and $270 for the family plan, including $50,000 in death benefits for the chief provider and less for other family members.
I in no way benefit from others signing up. Call CBN directly at 1-800-791-6225. They have over 40,000 enrolled, have been in operation for more than 13 years without a lawsuit and do not advertise.
Late in 1996 we switched the health plan of our missionary from the excellent Christian Brotherhood Newsletter to the newer Samaritan Ministries International. SMI has a well- known board of advisors and is less than half of the cost of CBN. The plans are similar, but not identical. SMI can be reached at 1-309-689-8765. Their address is PO Box 413, Washington, IL 61571-0413.
- Charles Dailey
Because of the growth in new phone connections, the phone companies across America are assigning new area codes in order to bring additional numbers on line. This may present some serious problems to Forwarding Secretaries.
Let me illustrate with my own case. US West changed the area code for Western Washington from 206 to 360. (206 remains in the Seattle area.) The change was rather abrupt. Many in the new 360 area learned that they could not be reached from private switchboards such as in hospital, hotels and business when being called from other parts of the US. The private switchboard operators learned that it could cost up to $8,000 to change their equipment so it could handle an area code that did not have a "0" or a "1" as the center digit. Some have flatly refused to spend the money and still cannot contact our area.
Those who made their livelihood by mail order calls or receiving reservation calls lost business seriously and sued the phone company.
I have had regular communication with Paul Reyman in Zimbabwe via both fax and E-Mail. At the time the phone company began honoring just the new area code for our area, Paul was cut off from dialing to me either by voice or by fax. That remains in effect to this writing (11/95). If it were not for E-Mail, we would be back to the two-week-each-way kind of communications that we once had.
We do not know an answer to the problem. The third world country of Zimbabwe is not apt to upgrade their equipment. We can only hope that as other areas of the country change to the new area codes, the rest of the world will respond. Oregon state (outside of the northwest corner) has already begun the transition to a new area code (541).
If you live in an area that will change to one of the new area codes, I recommend that the distant person try it as soon as it becomes available rather than wait until it is required. This will give a few months to work on some alternate form of communication. It may keep the missionary on the field from being cut off from their base of support.
There are two types of Power of Attorney: limited and full. Each has its stated purposes. The Limited Power of Attorneys allows for limited business or personal transactions. Each party must know what can be done and what is to be expected. The parties must be in agreement concerning the disposition of the matters that will come before them. This agreement must be executed in written form to be legal.
The general use of a Power of Attorney is the limited form. A missionary may have several limited Power of Attorneys on file; each having different responsibilities. The Forwarding Agent may deal with the business portion only,- while another deals with the missionary's private matters or property concerns.
The Full Power of Attorney, as the name implies, gives complete power over the life of the missionary to another individual. The one who holds the full Power of Attorney has the legal right to make life and death decisions, dispose of all property, etc. One must be very sure that the individual who is to hold the full Power of Attorney is in complete agreement and understanding with the individual issuing such an agreement.
This does not have to be a lifetime arrangement, but, very often, will be. I recommend that a five-year Statement of Renewal be signed to help answer any questions that may come up. This also allows the missionary to change from time to time as need arises. The five year review should also be written into the document and will bring clarity concerning new developments.
by Delmer Rhodebeck
There has been a wedding of two communications technologies. It was a big advancement when we could E-Mail to our supporters and provide them with a report from the field that was just minutes old. But some people have fax and not E-Mail. What about them?
Coming down the aisle for the wedding is a new company, Faxaway. Now we can create a one-page document in E-Mail and fax it to an unlimited number of fax machines. We can reach more ropeholders. The Faxaway people take responsibility for seeing the fax reaches its destination. No delivery, no charge.
They will deliver to any fax machine on earth at reasonable rates, but about $.10 is the charge in the U.S. The postage this month on The Reyman Report, our monthly newsletter, is .17 per copy. Add the costs of printing and other costs of generating the letter and we are close to .30 per piece, so .10 looks good by comparison.
We think this is a nice step forward and enables us to keep in close touch with all of the people with fax machines.
It was a nice wedding.
Contact Faxaway on the Internet at:
or call 1-800-906-4329 from inside the US
or 1-206-301-7000 from outside the US
or Fax 1-206-301-7500
by Charles Dailey
In the field of accounting, Cedric Fairweather has developed a donation-ware computer program to keep track of incoming funds and properly receipt them. The year-end or quarterly reports are a cinch to generate. If you like the software after trying it, he asks $.50 per member or whatever you choose to send. Mr. Fairweather is at http://www.churchware.com on the Web or you can E-Mail him at email@example.com. His postal address is 4318 Ocean Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82001-2021. He can be phoned at 307-632-3317 from 7-9 PM.
- Charles Dailey