When I came back from Prague I meant to write about the drastic effect of the falling dollar on missionaries serving overseas. To give some perspective, the first time we went to Prague (November 2006) the exchange rate was 24 Czech crowns to the dollar. Now it’s about 15, which means the dollar is about 30% weaker than it was 18 months ago, which means everything costs about 30% more if you’re being paid in dollars.
Anyway, I now no longer need to write this because Sunday the Charlotte Observer beat me to it, profiling none other than my future boss Phil Davis, pastor of Faith Community Church in Prague. Read the article, and be sure to look at the pictures— the Davises are a good-looking bunch.
For those of us in the States, a few action items to think about:
- Pray (regularly!) for the dollar to regain its strength. This is affecting lots of missionaries all over the world, and they’d rather be focusing on ministry than trying to build their support back up.
- If you have missionaries you regularly support, consider trying to raise your monthly pledge to help with their added costs. Where could you trim from your budget to help them out? Think of it as a move of wartime efficiency to get the troops in the field what they need.
- If you’re not regularly supporting any missionaries, this would be a great time to start, as nearly all of them are feeling the crunch.
Our God is sovereign over all things, including currency exchange rates. Let’s pray that he will work quickly on behalf of his workers in the fields.
6 thoughts on “The Weakened Dollar and Missionaries”
I cited your blog on my other blog. Thanks for this great article.
Another aspect that is accompanying the falling dollar (at least here in Brazil) is rising prices. Fuel for our car jumped 8% from last month, while the dollar took yet another drubbing.
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Pray (regularly!) for the dollar to regain its strength…
Are you sure it’s appropriate to pray in such US-centric terms? What would the wider economic impact on those countries (and the churches within those countries) be if the dollar “regains its strength”? What will the impact be on mission workers from countries other than the US?
What you’re really praying for here is not just for the dollar to regain its strength, but for the currencies of other countries – countries which generally have far more fragile and underdeveloped economies – to lose strength in relation to the dollar. I’d suggest a rethink may be in order.
Thanks for the reminder.
I made a few mission trips to Germany and noticed the difference in exchange rates between the trips and wondered what that impact would be for missionaries.
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