The Dollar’s Decline Is Hurting Missions

Falling buying power is a problem:  The second week of April the big brokerage house Charles Schwab issued the following statement on the strength of the dollar:

We generally look at indices that compare the dollar’s value to the values of a broad range of currencies, weighted according to the value of their trade with the U.S. By most measures the dollar has fallen by about 8% to 10% in both real and nominal terms since late last year.

The drop in the value of the dollar causes some of the inflation in America because imported products cost more.

The devaluation also means that ministries such as the Religious Freedom Coalition must pay more for products in nations we operate in such as Jordan or Iraq.

            The problem with the devaluation is only in certain areas. In Nigeria the cost of food has been stable, but products used in construction have increased.

            Presently we are raising funds for the construction of cement block classrooms to replace a temporary structure made of scrap lumber at the our orphanage. In a special fund-raising letter to Religious Freedom Coalition supporters a couple of weeks ago I stated that Block B classroom construction would cost 29,000,000 Naira or $41,000 USD.

            The $41,000 estimate is based on a special exchange rate we have been getting of 700 Naira for one dollar.  The “official rate” in May was 460 Naira for one dollar. To build Block B for $41,000 we needed the rate to stay at 700 to 1.

            Unfortunately, the decrease in trade in the US dollar is dropping our exchange rate and that means we will need more dollars to obtain the 29,000,000 Naira we need.

            The cost of the building is rising as the value of the dollar decreases.

So far, I have been able to move only $21,000 to start construction at the 700 to 1 rate. The remaining $20,000 has not been raised. Please join me in prayer that the Block B classrooms can be finished before there are additional price increases caused by dollar devaluation.

All of Africa is not hot and steaming. Jos is in the Mountains.

Pictured at top is Block B that needs to be replaced. Below is block A shortly after it was replaced.

In the summer Jos can have extremely high temperatures and sudden massive rainstorms. Yet in the winter months the cold wind blows through the mountain passes. The cement block buildings protect against extreme temperature changes and storms. The entire complex needs to be completed in cement block as soon as possible.

Temporary buildings made of clapboard do not protect from the storms in the summer.

When Block B of the classrooms is completed the most needed construction projects will have been done. Other construction such as an administrative building can be completed next year. The only remaining project for this year is the Block B classrooms.

Please pray with me that the final permanent cement block building can be provided for the educational area.

Please pray that all funds can be transferred to Nigeria before any further dollar devaluations occur. Please pray we can keep our current rate of 700 Naira to the dollar.

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