Frequently Asked Questions
When will I get my donor statement?
You will receive a donor statement acknowledging your contribution(s) at the end of each quarter as well as a cumulative year end donor statement in January showing your contributions for the entire year.
How do I update my banking information for my monthly Electronic Funds Transfer (ie. EFT/ACH) payment?
To change your bank information you will need to mail, fax, or email a voided check from your new bank account to our Gospelink office with a note requesting us to change your current information. We must receive your request at least 10 days prior to the 15th or 28th which would correspond with when the funds are regularly pulled from your account.
How do I cancel my monthly Electronic Funds Transfer (ie. EFT/ACH) payment amount?
To terminate your Electronic Funds Transfer payment to Gospelink, please mail, fax, or emailyour request to us. We must receive your request at least 10 days prior to the 15th or 28th which would correspond with when the funds are regularly pulled from your account. Please be clear whether you are simply stopping your Electronic Funds Transfer or if you are also dropping your support to Gospelink.
What are the distinct elements of the Gospelink sponsorship program?
With full conviction in the power of the Gospel (Romans 1:16), God’s method of sending preachers (Romans 10:14,15), and belief that God does not show partiality to any particular nationality (Acts 10:34,35), Gospelink has embraced the following key distinctive:
- We partner with national preachers as they reach their regions for Christ
- We believe that God has called and trained national preachers who can be effective, faithful, and fruitful servants of God
- We adhere to high levels of accountability, including the following:
- Thorough application process
- Individual quarterly reports from every sponsored preacher
- Face to face accountability every three months between each national preacher and their regional director
- Annual accountability trips to each nation by Gospelink USA staff
- We “link” individual sponsors with individual preachers making for a personal connection between the two
- We coordinate two-way communication between the sponsors and preachers through quarterly correspondence
What exactly is a “national preacher”?
A national preacher is a man who has been called by God to be a missionary in and around his own country or surrounding countries. All of the national preachers we work with are non-Americans.
What is the application and approval process for new preachers?
A preacher may only receive an application for sponsorship consideration from one of our regional or national directors. This ensures that every preacher that we consider for sponsorship is known by our leadership team. Once an application is filled out by a preacher our leadership team looks for several things:
1) Agreement with doctrinal statement
2) Evaluation of Bible education background (2 years preferred)
3) Evaluation of past ministry experience (2 years preferred with at least one new church already started)
4) Commitment to regular evangelism, discipleship, and church planting.
5) Commitment to work a minimum of 40 hours a week in the ministry.
6) Commitment to fill out a quarterly report for Gospelink and his sponsors.
7) Approval of application by local and international leadership teams.
Which preachers have the greatest need?
All of the national preachers approved for sponsorship have a great need to be sponsored. We would encourage you to pray and ask God to lead you in which preacher to sponsor. We are partnering with preachers in Africa, Asia, and the former Soviet Union. If you have a greater interest in one of those parts of the world you might want to partner with a preacher there. If you simply want to sponsor any preacher then we will pick one for you that has been waiting the longest. All preachers need the same level of support and all preachers are required to communicate with you on a quarterly basis. See here for the preachers online which currently need assistance.
Can I ask to sponsor a preacher from a certain nation?
Yes you can! We currently have work going on in 11 nations around the world (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine, India and Vietnam). See here for some of the preachers from these countries which need assistance.
How long is the sponsorship commitment?
When someone signs up to sponsor a Gospelink preacher it is an open ended agreement. We hope that our sponsors will get to know their preacher through letter writing, possibly visiting their preacher in his nation, and by reading the quarterly report he will be sending. It is our desire to see sponsors continue to sponsor their preacher as long he remains in a full-time church planting ministry and as long as the sponsor is able to do so and desires to do so.
What do I need to do to terminate my sponsorship?
If you need to terminate your sponsorship, please email us or send us a letter to inform us. Please try to give us as much forewarning as possible (three months is preferable), so that we can try to find a new sponsor for the preacher. We would appreciate knowing why you are dropping your sponsorship. We want to make sure that we have not failed you in our commitment to partner effectively with the national preachers.
Why don’t these countries support their own missionaries?
They do. Every church takes up an offering when they meet and most of this goes to support the local pastor and the ministries of the church. The challenge is that only about 30% of the congregation earns an income, and so most pastors only receive $20.00 to $50.00 monthly from their church. This is not enough to meet their needs and therefore they need to do something else to supplement their income. This means they cannot work full-time in the ministry. This also means that very few families will serve in full-time ministry because to do so means a life of poverty and difficulty. When assistance can be obtained through Gospelink for a church planting preacher he is freed up to concentrate on his ministry instead of being concerned about how he is going to feed his family.
Do sponsorships cause national preachers to become too dependent on their sponsors for support?
No, not at all. All missionaries serving full-time in ministry, regardless of nationality, are dependent upon supporters to accomplish their work. If supporters have to discontinue their assistance, all missionaries have to go back to other jobs to provide for their families. Sponsorships simply allow these national preachers to do ministry full-time.
What is your strategy for growth to new nations and new regions of the world?
We receive invitations every year to go into new nations. We wished we could go into new nations and regions more quickly but we want to grow slowly and purposefully. We want to move into nations that truly need the help, and we also want to make sure we have the personnel on hand to visit these nations every year to train our leaders, solve problems, and do some vision casting. At this time we want to continue to expand our reach in Africa and Asia, and we will be concentrating our efforts to these two regions of the world.
How much of the sponsorship support I send goes directly to the preacher, orphan, or student?
Per the structure breakdown, each sponsorship amount is divided as follows:
Ministry Sponsorship - $28.00 for the preacher and $7.00 for accountability expenses
Outreach Sponsorship - $20.00 for the preacher and $5.00 for accountability expenses
Training Sponsorship - $12.00 for the preacher and $3.00 for accountability expenses
Orphan Sponsorship - $24.00 for the orphan and $6.00 for accountability expenses
Student Sponsorship - $40.00 for the student and $10.00 for accountability expenses
All sponsorship funds designated for your preacher in excess of the regular monthly amount will be used for his family and ministry needs in their entirety. Extra orphan gifts will be sent to their family for additional orphan needs, and extra student gifts will be used to help with the student’s overall educational needs.
How often does my preacher receive the funds I send?
Funds are sent out on a quarterly basis. The funds will generally be distributed in the following manner:
Funds received from January – March will be sent overseas in April
Funds received from April – June will be sent overseas in July
Funds received from July – September will be sent overseas in October
Funds received from October – December will be sent overseas in January
Can I send in extra financial gifts for my preacher?
Absolutely! It is a wonderful blessing when sponsors send in extra financial gifts to help with the needs of their preacher. Make sure and designate your gifts as extra funds for your preacher, and we will make sure he gets that additional support.
If I want to send in an extra financial gift for Christmas, when does it have to be sent to Gospelink in order for my preacher to receive the funds by Christmas?
In order for your preacher to get an extra Christmas gift in time for Christmas, you need to send it in by September 30. Make sure and designate your gift as a Christmas gift, and we will send it to him in time for Christmas. Christmas gifts received after September 30 will be sent in January with the next quarter’s funds.
If the preacher mentions specific needs in his report, how do I know what an appropriate amount would be to send him for his needs?
We have a list of items that many of our preachers would like to have on this website. Please check there first for an item your preacher might need. If you don’t find it listed under our current need items then you might want to write your pastor a letter and ask him how much he needs for this item. We understand that getting an answer back may take 5 to 6 months, so if you want a more immediate answer to your question you may contact our office. We will seek to give you an informed answer, but please understand we cannot give you an exact figure as prices change with inflation and demand regularly.
How do I send extra funds to my preacher if I make my donations through the monthly Electronic Funds Transfer (ie. EFT/ACH) method?
In order to do this, simply mail a check to us with an attached note designating it for your preacher and telling us how you want the gift to be used, or give online marking the appropriate designation. Make sure and include the preacher’s name and six digit identification number on your note. Your extra funds will be sent to your preacher along with his regular monthly financial support at quarter end.
How often do I get new sponsorship vouchers?
We send out new vouchers every quarter according to the following schedule:
In December we will send your January – March vouchers
In March we will send your April – June vouchers
In June we will send your July - September vouchers
In September we will send your October - December vouchers
I have lost or misplaced my vouchers, how can I get more?
You can print out a generic voucher by downloading it here (remember to write in your preacher name, identification name, and sponsorship type on the voucher!), or you can contact us and we would be happy to send you more.
Can I give an entire annual sponsorship amount at one time?
You sure can. Sponsors can give monthly, quarterly, or annually. If you give for future quarters, we will simply set the funds aside in the current quarter and send them in those future quarters.
If I give once a year, do you send out a reminder letter when my support to my preacher is about to run out?
Yes, we do.
I do not need the monthly vouchers or envelopes that your send me every quarter, how may I request that you quit sending these to me?
We will not send out quarterly vouchers and envelopes to those who give monthly through Electronic Funds Transfer(ie. EFT/ACH) or who give annually with their gift covering that particular quarter. If there are other reasons you do not want to receive the quarterly vouchers such as making your payments through a recurring bill payment arrangement or for some another reason, please contact us. We will note our records according to your request. If you give only once for the entire quarter, please disregard the other two envelopes you receive from us each quarter. As we do not know ahead of time who will give monthly and who will give quarterly, it is not possible to distinguish who should only get one return envelope.
If I am late in sending in my support, is there a way I can give my support through my credit card?
You can always make a sponsorship donation amount on a credit card. However, the quarterly deadlines still apply. Make sure you get your support in by the end of the quarter so that your preacher, orphan, or student gets the funds which they need!
If my preacher has died, can I continue giving funds to help his widow and orphan(s)?
Our hearts are always saddened when we hear of one of the national preachers passing on to glory, but we rest in the truth of Psalm 116:15 which says that “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”. We would love to support the preacher’s widow and orphan(s) indefinitely, however, we are unfortunately not able to do that. Gospelink will send all funds designated for the preacher to his widow for the quarter of his death. With the support of the preacher’s sponsors and others, we will send funds to the widow for the next two quarters. After that, we will entrust them to the care of a relative or others involved in their local church.
How do I send letters to my preacher?
The national preachers love to hear from their sponsors! Send your letter directly to our home office with the preacher’s name and six digit identification number placed directly on the correspondence, and we will be happy to forward it on to him when we send him his sponsorship funds at the end of each quarter.
May I send pictures and cards to my preacher?
Yes, pictures and cards are just fine.
May I send books, clothing, or gifts to my preacher?
We understand that many sponsors would like to send gifts to their preacher. We encourage you to send a financial gift to your preacher, and he will receive 100% of it. We do not permit or encourage the sending of actual physical gifts of any kind. We wish we could accommodate this, but it is not feasible. Sending books, clothing, electronics to developing nations is expensive, and they often don’t reach their intended destination. Also, we do not have the space or the personnel at the home office to handle this.
May I communicate directly with my preacher?
We always encourage you to communicate with your preacher. However all communication must be sent to the Gospelink office and is not allowed to be sent directly to the preacher. This is because we want to maintain the highest level of accountability possible, and we want to make sure your letter gets into the actual hands of your preacher via our leadership structure. Also, many of the preachers do not speak English, so your letter will need to be translated in order for him to understand what you are communicating.
Should I include personal contact information in my letter to the preacher?
We would discourage you from doing this as this could lead to someone communicating with you outside of the accountability structure of Gospelink. This could lead to unwanted solicitation of funds, misunderstandings, etc…
Is there any way I can send correspondence for my preacher via email?
Sure. Feel free to email a letter for your preacher to our report coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will print out your letter and forward the printed copy to your preacher when we send our correspondence at quarter end. As few of Gospelink’s preachers have email addresses, this is the best way for us to handle emails for them.
How often will I receive a personal update from the individual which I sponsor?
Each time a sponsored preacher, orphan, or student receives their funds, they write a personal update for their sponsor. Since the funds are distributed quarterly, they will complete their reports each quarter.
How long does it take for me to get my quarterly preacher report?
Due to the challenges of getting the funds and reports out to these individuals in some very remote parts of the world, as well as the time involved in many countries with the translation process, it can take up to four months after quarter end to get the reports into the hands of the sponsor.
I haven’t received a report from my preacher in over three months. Why not?
There could be many reasons why your report has been delayed. We periodically have mailing problems with the international postal system. Our reports have been known to get hung up for over a month in some post office between our home office and Africa. At other times, due to social unrest and turmoil in various countries the reports have been delayed in getting out to preachers or back in from the preachers. As soon as we get the reports back in our home office in the USA, we get them out to the sponsors as quickly as possible.
Can you email my report to me?
Email is an incredible tool, but it also presents its challenges. We email as much information as possible between our national directors overseas and our home office. It is difficult to get preacher reports prepared electronically initially because the countries we work in do not have an adequate technological infrastructure to accommodate this. While we can email electronic reports to sponsors, we have the additional challenge of keeping up with current email addresses for sponsors which have numerous active and dormant email addresses. Because of this, we have chosen, for now, to mail all the reports out to the sponsors.
How do I resolve a question that I have about what my preacher wrote in his report?
Gospelink reads many of the reports which we receive before sending them out to the sponsors. Due to the volume of reports, however, we are unable to read all the reports. We endeavor to follow up on questions which we have, but you also might have a question about what he wrote. We would encourage you initially to jot him a note asking for clarification about what he wrote (perhaps even make a copy of what you questioned in his report). Yes, it might take a while to get a response back from him, so if you need a more timely response, please contact us. We will do our best to determine an answer to your question.
What should I do if I receive the wrong report?
Oops. Sorry about that. After a while, staples sometimes cling to more papers than they should or labels get mistakenly switched around. If this occurs, please contact us to resolve this matter and to make sure that the report is sent to the correct sponsor. This does not happen very often, so we apologize if it has happened to you.