My family and I have gone back and forth as to whether or not we would seek support for our ministry in Zambia. Our initial desire was to find ways to fund the work that did not involve public appeals. However, we have already heard from many people who intend to help whether we ask or not, and, in fact, have already received support from some! Moreover, we have been advised by many that giving people an opportunity to participate in this way will be a blessing to us, to the work in Zambia, and to the cause of global Christianity on the whole. So here is your opportunity to get involved!
First, we want you to know that anything you contribute to this effort will go to and through GfBC and/or ACU. Second, be aware that our family plans to invest in this endeavor as well. For example, we plan to use the proceeds of the sale of our house and our vehicles to offset the cost of the transition, and I plan to return to the US four times a year for ten to fourteen-day preaching tours to help 1) offset the cost of our salary, and 2) help raise awareness and support for ACU. We are also looking into other ‘tentmaking’ possibilities while we are there (Acts 18:3). In other words, we are not asking anyone else to do something we are refusing to do ourselves. We do not wish to be a burden to anyone (2 Cor 11:9; 12:14; 1 Thess 2:9; 2 Thess 3:8).
How Much Will it Cost?
We expect the transition to Zambia to cost between $100,000.00 and $130,000.00 (see breakdown below). We plan to use the proceeds from the sale of our home and vehicles to cover much of that (since those figures include purchasing vehicles in Zambia). (1) This does not include the cost of our home in Zambia, as we have yet to decide which direction we will go on that front. (2) Beyond that, we are still in the process of discovering how much it will cost us to live in Zambia. Ironically, while Zambia is very much “third world” in so many respects, the cost of living for a family the size of ours will be quite high in the Capitol city of Lusaka.
How Can You Get Involved?
Our desire is to encourage participation on at least three levels:
First, we want to see local churches to make a long-term investment in the work. This is not about the Baucham family. This is about an incredible work being done in south-central Africa! Consider making ACU a part of your missions budget. Consider sending your pastors/leaders to the Annual Reformed Conference which takes place at the end of August each year (over 1300 in attendance in 2014). Add us to your prayer list and pray for us regularly. God is doing amazing things on the African continent, and Zambia is at the epicenter.
Second, we encourage organizations to consider making a significant one-time investment. There are numerous organizations in the United States with literally millions of dollars to invest in worthy projects. We want to encourage those organizations to consider the work of ACU. With a need for faculty, facilities, and more, ACU could use an infusion of funds. Those funds would serve to advance the vision and mission of a distinctly Christian university and seminary; a school committed to teaching and promoting biblical worldview throughout every department and course. This is a unique opportunity; one you would do well to consider. Can your organization fund a building on campus? Endow a chair? Provide an endowed scholarship?
Third, we invite individuals to pray and give as they are able. Whether it is committing to pray for the work of ACU, helping the Baucham family put ‘boots on the ground’ at the end of next summer, assisting ACU in spreading it’s vision, or helping fill the library with books, we know that there are individuals out there with both the means and the inclination to support this work. We encourage you to do so.
And don’t think for a moment that the Zambians are merely sitting back waiting to see what Christians in the US will do. The commitment on their end is significant! They do not have the resources we enjoy on this side of the Atlantic, but their commitment to this work over the past five years has gone above and beyond their own expectations. This is not about Americans doing what Africans won’t; this is a vibrant gospel partnership with the potential to impact Africa and the world in significant ways.
Please consider prayerfully how you can get involved with this work. Whether as a church, an organization, or as an individual, this is a tremendous opportunity for you to participate in global Christian ministry. And know that your participation in both prayer and financial support is appreciated!