Category Archives: Ministry Partner Development

A day of family

After a solid 8 hours of sleep, I woke up at 4:30…yeah, still too early, but I’m adjusting. The plan for the day was to go get some shopping done (I remembered all about tax this time) and then head back over to Jupmode to do some more work for them. Then I would return home to meet my niece, Sabrina, for the first time. I was a wee bit excited, to say the least.

When they arrived, Sabrina had the gall to be sleeping, so I had to wait patiently to hold her. In the mean time we exchanged some Christmas gifts since my brother and parent’s gift to me was a bit time sensitive. My brother had told me to keep Saturday the 29th open, but wouldn’t tell me why. I found out why, I was going to go to an Ohio State football game with my brother including going to a “Skull session” and having brunch with my cousin who attends OSU before hand. Again…I was stinking excited!

Holding Sabrina for the first time felt good, even though she was a wee bit fussy. I enjoyed every second of holding her and even got her to smile at me for a while. These are the things that can be tough when you live so far away. You miss a lot. Sabrina is 3 months old and it was the first time I got to hold her. You better believe I will be soaking up as much Sabrina time as possible whenever I can!

To end the night Ray, Ben and I all went to my cousin’s high school football game where I got to see my aunt, two cousins and my goddaughter. Family time is very important for me, so yesterday was a good day.

As you are reading this I am on my way to Columbus for the Buckeye game…O-H!

On Sunday I will be at Church if the Cross in Toledo for their Missions Sunday and I’d love to see some of you there! 

You will do better in Toledo

Waking up at 3:30 in the morning really allows you to get some stuff done before the rest of the world wakes up. . .but it also means you are up at 3:30 in the morning!

So the day didn’t start out the best, but the rest of the day ended up being pretty great until I crashed at the early hour of 8:30 PM. 

After the rest of the house woke up my mom and I went to the gym for a good workout. The rest of the morning was full of some errands including getting a Sim card for my phone and my jet-lagged brain had a hard time with paying. I totally forgot about tax so when I handed the cashier “enough” money to pay for the item, she looked at me and said, “The card cost that much, but either tax it’s. . .” Oh yeah, tax, I kind of forgot about that. 

In the afternoon I got to work for my friend who has his own screen-printing business. I asked him if he needed some extra help so I can earn some money in order to get back and he gladly accepted my help. I had a great time working for Jupmode and am very appreciative of the opportunity. 

After getting back to my mom’s house I had another good surprise in the form of another sizable donation from a friend and neighbor. Day one was a full day and another great one.

God has blessed this trip so far and i can’t wait to see what He has planned for the rest of my time here. 

4 Countries, 3 Airports, 2 States and 1 HMA begins

Yesterday morning I left Germany, via France and the Netherlands on my way to Perrysburg via Detroit. Traveling back to the US always results in a long day, especially when you start your day 6 hours ahead of the people with whom you end your day, but overall it was a pleasant trip. I even got an empty seat next to me, which is always a bonus! 

Walking out of the airport and seeing family is great. As I was approaching the van, my mom was headed into the airport and she didn’t see me. I know, it’s tough to imagine, but there was a giant SUV that was blocking her view of me, so it’s justified. I yelled for her, she turned and rushed I’ve to give me a hug, the kind that only moms know how to give. 

After an easy and uneventful drive we arrived at my mom and Ray’s place. It was dinner time, though my belly and brain didn’t quite comprehend that. It was 12 AM according to my body’s clock,  after all. 

After relaxing a bit and fighting sleep, my aunt came over and provided one of the first major praises for this trip. She told me they were going to make a sizable donation and also provide a rental car for me when I go to North Carolina and Maryland. I was flabbergasted (I love that word and wish people would use it more often). Both of those are huge answers to prayer and ended a pretty eventful first night back in the US. 

My apology for apologizing

During my six weeks back in the US I met with individuals, groups and churches and told them about what I, eDOT, EuroTeam TEFL and GEM do. I wanted people to get excited about what I am excited about. I told the same stories over and over again, I explained the details of what the heck an instructional designer actually does and then towards the end I asked if people would like to join my ministry partner team prayerfully and/or financially. All of this was fine, nothing was done horribly wrong, except one thing…I apologized.

Now, my parents raised me right and taught me to apologize when I did something wrong. The problem here, is I didn’t do anything wrong. I was apologizing because I was asking for money. I apologized because I know that being asked over and over again to donate money to one cause or another can be super annoying. I apologized because, well, I felt uncomfortable asking.

Here’s the problem and the reason for this apology: I had nothing to apologize for, but by doing so, I didn’t properly invite people to join in and participate in the ministry to which God has called me, where my talents are being used, where, only by the grace of God, people may hear about Christ and choose to follow Him. I was contacted by someone I respect who called me out on this and told me to never apologize when inviting people to help reach others for Christ. I failed, and for this I apologize.

My plan is to properly invite people into my ministry partner team, where they can truly feel and see their impact in Europe. It won’t stop at the invitation though. Through this blog, my newsletters and any conversation you all have with me about my ministry, I will strive to inform you on my work here in Germany. You all deserve better, and my hope is to help you understand just how valuable you all are to me, the ministry and those that come across the curriculum I design.

I’m sorry and I hope you all will feel like more of a team from now on and will better understand how important you truly are.

The toughest blog I’ve ever written

I’ve been writing on this blog on and off for the past 2.5 years and I’ve never had a blog that is as hard as this one to write. It’s not that the words won’t come out, or that it is physically hard for me to write this blog, but this blog is tough for a completely different reasons.

So why is this blog hard to write? It’s one of the more vulnerable posts that I’ve written, but that’s still not even the issue. I’m asking for help, that’s why. Normally I have a hard time asking for help from people unless it is something that I literally cannot do alone. Asking for a ride to the airport is no problem for me, but asking for someone to come help me move a large piece of furniture might make me try it myself first. Then once I get started trying on my own, don’t even bother asking me to help…I can be a bit stubborn.

Today though, I must come to you all for help. I must lower my normal defenses to present my struggle and ask for you to stand up next to me and partner with me. As you may or may not be aware, I will be making a trip back to the US this August and September in order to find more ministry partners and meet with existing ones as well. I thought I would be fine until then…but I’m not.

Let me break down the numbers a bit for you:

$5400 – My monthly support need

$5100 – My monthly pledged support

$4400 – My monthly average support received

$1000 – Need

 

As you can tell, each month that goes by I am short by around $1000 and this quickly drains any reserves that were built up over the last two years or so.

This blog isn’t to guilt people into supporting me but it is to help explain the need and to ask for help. The good thing is, help can come in a variety of ways that I will lay out for you below.

Current Ministry Partners:

  • Pray, pray and then pray some more
  • Prayerfully consider raising your current pledged amount by $5-10 a month
  • Share this with a friend
  • Invite me to share with a Bible study, church, your friends, etc. when I am back in Aug/Sept

Everyone else:

  • You can pray too!
  • Prayerfully consider joining my ministry partner team (either e-mail me or go to my support page for more info)
  • Invite me to share with a Bible study, church, your friends, etc. when I am back in Aug/Sept
  • Share this with a friend

I know God will take care of my needs, but it is not without effort on my part. I appreciate all of you who have read this far whether you feel led to help in one way or another.

Thank you.

How you can help me get from here to there, one last time!

Last year I wrote two blogs about helping me reach Germany by the end of March. Well, I was granted permission to buy my one-way ticket (such a weird experience by the way) and so I did, for April 22nd. I’m actually leaving. This has been a long time in the making, but I rarely doubted that it would happen. I did wonder how it was going to happen, and still today I am wondering that very thing.

333

While I was able to buy  my ticket, I am still not done finding people to partner with me in the ministry God has called me to. I need to be at 100% of my monthly commitments before I can go. I am currently only 7% away from that, just under $350. That’s nothing for our amazing God! In the next three weeks I need to find  new partners who are willing to join with me and old partners who choose to increase their monthly commitments. In 3 weeks my commitments need to increase by $333. That’s $111 a week starting today.

What I wanted to do today, in addition to updating my current progress, is explain what it means to support a missionary monthly and give you an idea of how you could help me get to and stay in Germany through your support.

So what does it mean to support any missionary monthly? Well, it means you give a certain amount of money to a missionary on a monthly basis for as long as they are a missionary. At least, theoretically, that is how it works. That doesn’t mean that if you lose a job, have a kid or have some unexpected major expenses that you have to keep supporting the missionary when you can’t afford to feed your kids, but what it does mean is you will do your best to provide the agreed amount for as long as you feel called to give.

On my support me page I go into more detail on how exactly you can start supporting me monthly or with a special gift (both tax-deductible), so I don’t want to go into too much detail about that, but I would like to point out some ways that you could help me reach my goal of 100% by my departure date so I can be in Germany on April 23rd.

The main way to partner with me is to do it monthly. This doesn’t mean that you have to give a huge amount every month. Any amount helps. I have people giving between $5/month and $200/month with some churches doing more. A monthly pledge should be beyond what you give to your church for your tithe and it is whatever you feel called to give. No pledge is too small! Don’t forget whatever you give is also tax-deductible too!

A way I like to think about monthly pledges is by how much it is per paycheck. For instance:

If you are single and give $50/month (1% for me) then each paycheck you would be giving $25. That’s a dinner at a nice place or two at an average priced place.

If you are a two-paycheck family (four/month) then $50/month would only be $12.50 per paycheck!

A third way is to ask friends/family (that I don’t know or haven’t talked to) if I can contact them personally or inviting them to a dessert/coffee night where I present to a small group. You could also get me connected with your pastor, church or bible study. You could also share this post on facebook/twitter/linkedin or any other social site to get more people to learn about what God has called me to do.

Another way you could help is by giving a special monetary gift. This doesn’t help me get my monthly support level higher, but it does get me closer to completing my launch fund which will get me to Germany and cover the one-time expenses (like buying a kitchen, ask me more about that!).

No matter what though, supporting any missionary should be something you pray about and feel led to partner with them in the ministry they have been called to do. God calls some to go and some to send. He has called me to go so He has called my team to send me! If you feel that you are being called to join my team please let me know by commenting below or e-mailing me at jacob.coon@gemission.org. If you want to learn more about my ministry before making a decision use that contact information and we can set up a time to sit down and talk.

Fundraiser, Colorado and training, oh my!

So obviously I have been a wee bit absent on my blog the last couple weeks, but it’s for good reason I promise. As most of you know I had a fundraiser on February 2nd and then left just a week later for training in Colorado for this past week and four more weeks to come. I wanted to provide everyone with an update on both things and then hopefully next week I will be able to get back on at least a somewhat regular schedule of 2-3 blogs/week.

Fundraiser

After a ridiculous amount of preparation by myself and so many other people the fundraiser day finally came. When I woke up I saw the snow falling and I h ave to admit, I was doubtful that many people would come. It was coming down pretty hard and the roads were terrible, but my hope was in God, so no matter the turn out I was confident the event would be a success. Before the event even started I knew God was blessing me, my ministry and the fundraiser. There were over a dozen people who came just to help me set up, and boy did I need them. As the event continued, all but 2 of the chili’s showed up, but there were still 10 very good offerings available. All of the chili’s were awesome and we even had some rice and beans there too! The winner was my Uncle Mike and it wasn’t even close. His chili was my favorite as it was most people’s. Throughout the event Chris McConaughy and two of his amazing friends played music, we had items for raffle, a corn-hole tournament and a whole bunch of silent auction items. Over 70 people came and helped make the event a fun and encouraging event for me. Financially it was a success too, and it raised a total of around 12% of my launch fund bringing me to about 85% of my launch fund and 85% of my monthly support as well. With just a little more, I could be in Germany soon and this event was a huge part of that.

Thank you to all of those that helped, attended and otherwise made that day so awesome.

 

Training

This past Monday I left Ohio for Palmer Lake, CO to attend training at Mission Training International (MTI). The first two weeks of training is all about language learning and the last three weeks will be about the culture. All of my previous thoughts about what this training would encapsulate were apparently wrong. I thought I would be learning how to specifically learn sounds that are in German that are not in English and maybe then learn some German too. Boy was I wrong, but it is so much better than what I had ever thought it might be. I haven’t learned any more German than I knew before i came here, but I have learned some about phonics, some Russian and some Jeh (a tribal language in Vietnam). When I told my mom about this, she asked me why I would be learning a tribal language from Vietnam and Russian. I, at first, had wondered the same thing, but MTI has told us many times that what we are donig is learning techniques and tools to help us with our language learning. What better way to do this than with a language that few, if any, of us will ever use (Jeh). The fact that we can understand some Jeh after only a small amount of time of it being introduced to us that lets me know I can learn German!

I’ve got so much to do this weekend so I’m going to leave it at that for today, but I will try to be more regular updating my blog next week.

How you can help me get from here to there, updated!

Back in June I wrote a blog about wanting to get to 80% supported before my Alaska trip in July so that I could register for pre-field training in September. That didn’t happen, but what did happen since then is I was able to sign up for the next available training in February. Beyond raising the final 23% pre-field training is the last hurdle that I have to get over. That means with your help I could be moving to Germany in late March after the training is over.

That means that before I go to training I need to get to 90% of my monthly support raised so I can buy my plane ticket. Then i need to be to 100% before I can leave and I am hoping to do that around March 25th.  I am hoping to get to 90% before the end of the year and 100% before I even leave for training. Let me break that down a little. I am currently at 77% so in order to get to 90% of the $5000/month that I need, I have to find partners to provide the $650/month. That means I have 45 days to get the $650 in commitment, about $100/month raised per week. Then between January 1 and February 11 I would need to get commitments covering the last 10% which would be $500 or just under the $100/month raised per week.

What I wanted to do today is explain what it means to support a missionary monthly and give you an idea of how you could help me get to and stay in Germany through your support.

So what does it mean to support any missionary monthly? Well, it means you give a certain amount of money to a missionary on a monthly basis for as long as they are a missionary. At least, theoretically, that is how it works. That doesn’t mean that if you lose a job, have a kid or have some unexpected major expenses that you have to keep supporting the missionary when you can’t afford to feed your kids, but what it does mean is you will do your best to provide the agreed amount for as long as you feel called to give.

On my support me page I go into more detail on how exactly you can start supporting me monthly or with a special gift (both tax-deductible), so I don’t want to go into too much detail about that, but I would like to point out some ways that you could help me reach my goal of 90% and 100% so I could be in Germany by the end of March.

The main to partner with me is to do it monthly. This doesn’t mean that you have to give a huge amount every month. Any amount helps. I have people giving between $5/month and $200/month with some churches doing more. A monthly pledge should be beyond what you give to your church for your tithe and it is whatever you feel called to give. No pledge is too small! Don’t forget whatever you give is also tax-deductible too!

A way I like to think about monthly pledges is by how much it is per paycheck. For instance:

If you are single and give $50/month (1%) then each paycheck you would be giving $25. That’s a dinner at a nice place or two at an average priced place.

If you are a two-paycheck family (four/month) then $50/month would only be $12.50 per paycheck!

A third way is to ask friends/family (that I don’t know or haven’t talked to) if I can contact them personally or inviting them to a dessert/coffee night where I present to a small group. You could also get me connected with your pastor, church or bible study. You could also share this post on facebook/twitter/linkedin or any other social site to get more people to learn about what God has called me to do.

Another way you could help is by giving a special monetary gift. This doesn’t help me get my monthly support level higher, but it does get me closer to completing my launch fund which will get me to Germany and cover the one-time expenses (like buying a kitchen, ask me more about that!).

I will also be having a fundraiser in mid-January (stay tuned for details) and am looking for donations for a silent auction and for lots of people to come. Let me know if you can help!

No matter what though, supporting any missionary should be something you pray about and feel led to partner with them in the ministry they have been called to do. God calls some to go and some to send. He has called me to go so He has called my team to send me! If you feel that you are being called to join my team please let me know by commenting below or e-mailing me at jacob.coon@gemission.org. If you want to learn more about my ministry before making a decision use that contact information and we can set up a time to sit down and talk.

Indiegogo crowd-funding project

Tomorrow at  4 PM I will be launching a crowd-funding project to help raise a good chunk of my launch fund on indiegogo.com. This blog is to help people understand how crowd-funding works and to increase awareness as well.

You can find additional help on indiegogo’s website if you click on the titles below but I will highlight some of their thoughts to try to help alleviate any concerns people might have.

How to Contribute

You may contribute to any live campaign by clicking on the “Contribute Now” button. You’ll be able to enter how much you want to contribute, claim your perk, and choose how you want to pay. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit or debit cards, or you can choose to pay via PayPal. All transactions take place in $USD.

Your Information is Secure

 We’re committed to your safety and security. We have safeguards in place to secure the information we collect online, prevent unauthorized access or disclosure, maintain data accuracy, and ensure the appropriate use of information.

How Taxes Work

Unfortunately this project is not tax deductible even though Greater Europe Mission is a non-profit organization. The benefit of donating through this project are the perks.

How Refunds Work

Contributions are nonrefundable. We may refund your contribution if your contribution was accidentally made twice or if the campaign has not raised enough money by its deadline to cover the cost of disbursement. We also refund any contributions made to a Fixed Funding campaign that has not met its goal by its deadline.

The only way this projects ends up being a success is by getting the word out there, that’s where you come in.

How you can help:

  • Chek out the project at http://www.indiegogo.com/jacobcoon after 4 PM July 9th.
  • Ask me any clarifying questions to help make the project even better.
  • Share the project with people by using the tools on the project page, share the project from my facebook page, retweet on twitter or share this blog with your friends and family.
  • Donate through the project for a one-time gift and get a perk.
  • Donate through the project with a one-time gift and then submit a pledge card for monthly support and get two perks.

I would love for you to check out the project and see what perks I am offering, like photo of the month club, peanut butter cookies and others.

How I can get from here to there, with your help

In a recent post I talked about my desire to be at 80% of my monthly support raised so I could go to the September training in North Carolina. My plan (and I stress the word my in this phrase because I am submitting myself to God’s plan) was to be at 80% before I go to Alaska July 19th. That gives me 22 days to reach my goal. I am not sure if this is the plan that God has for me, but I am doing all that I can to reach this goal all the while praying for God to work in my heart and others to achieve His plan.

In the next 22 days I need to have an additional 15% of monthly support raised ($750 more per month). That is just under 1% ($50) per day. What I wanted to do today is explain what it means to support a missionary monthly and give you an idea of how you could help me get to and stay in Germany through your support.

So what does it mean to support any missionary monthly? Well, it means you give a certain amount of money to a missionary on a monthly basis for as long as they are a missionary. At least, theoretically, that is how it works. That doesn’t mean that if you lose a job, have a kid or have some unexpected major expenses that you have to keep supporting the missionary when you can’t afford to feed your kids, but what it does mean is you will do your best to provide the agreed amount for as long as you feel called to give.

On my support me page I go into more detail on how exactly you can start supporting me monthly or with a special gift (both tax-deductible), so I don’t want to go into too much detail about that, but I would like to point out some ways that you could help me reach my goal of 80% and then 100% so I could be in Germany by the end of the year.

One way you could help is by giving a special monetary gift. This doesn’t help me get my monthly support level higher, but it does get me closer to completing my launch fund which will get me to Germany and cover the one-time expenses (like buying a kitchen, ask me more about that!).

Another way is to support me monthly. This doesn’t mean that you have to give a huge amount every month. Any amount helps. I have people giving between $5/month and $200/month with some churches doing more. A monthly pledge should be beyond what you give to your church for your tithe and it is whatever you feel called to give. No pledge is too small.

A way I like to think about monthly pledges is by how much it is per paycheck. For instance:

If you are single and give $50/month (1%) then each paycheck you would be giving $25. That’s a dinner at a nice place or two at an average priced place.

If you are a two-paycheck family (four/month) then $50/month would only be $12.50 per paycheck!

A third way is to ask friends/family (that I don’t know or haven’t talked to) if I can contact them personally or inviting them to a dessert/coffee night where I present to a small group. You could also get me connected with your pastor, church or bible study. You could also share this post on facebook/twitter/linkedin or any other social site to get more people to learn about what God has called me to do.

No matter what though, supporting any missionary should be something you pray about and feel led to partner with them in the ministry they have been called to do. God calls some to go and some to send. He has called me to go so He has called my team to send me! If you feel that you are being called to join my team please let me know by commenting below, e-mailing me at jacob.coon@gemission.org or calling me at 301-848-7353. If you want to learn more about my ministry before making a decision use that contact information and we can set up a time to sit down and talk.