Each year about 350 Canadian volunteers, led by volunteer team leaders, travel to and serve in seven different countries.
EMAS runs with two full-time staff and one contract staff person.
Our Board members serve voluntarily. They minimize the cost of running EMAS by donating their time and use of their own personal resources to attend meetings.
The logistics of deploying volunteers and their supplies to various locations in Africa, Asia, and South America is done by the team leaders and their assistants. Some teams travel more than once a year. The largest teams have more than 60 volunteers on each mission and many teams have participants from three or four different provinces. Tiring and expensive as it may be, the annual cycle of planning, mobilizing, evaluating and operating is exhilarating and rewarding for our volunteers. Reinforcing the Canadian spirit of volunteerism with Christ-like benevolence, significant amounts of dollars and hours of work happen behind the scenes, away from the public eye.
Because of this, we have never tried to quantify the pre-trip cost, for example, to organize and move a surgical crew of 60 people with all their supplies for a three-week mission to China.
Missions are costly, but our people are generous. The necessary costs to move personnel and supplies to the field for each successive trip have always been met. The most critical need however, is to increase our ability to serve and connect more people with Jesus.
Where does EMAS Canada’s money come from?
EMAS Canada, like other similar organizations, delegates mission fundraising to our volunteers.
The budget of each mission is raised by the volunteers who also do the mission’s work. Nearly every team member uses their own funds to provide for their expenses while on mission, and the teams are responsible for funding their projects. Various churches across Canada support team members from their congregations, but even fewer support the mission through unrestricted grants.
This works well because team leaders form strong funding partnerships with their friends and churches to facilitate annual missions. It also gives the teams freedom to lead their missions within their budgets and with board approval.
The downside however, is that it leaves no money for growth as the majority of funds are bound to existing projects.
God has proven His faithfulness for 70 years; having sustained us through some difficult years in which our financial survival was in doubt. Among the expressions of God’s sustaining grace have been the prudence with which the board has managed resources and the ongoing generosity of our volunteers and donors. About a year ago, we introduced a policy assigning 10% of all revenue for shared operational costs within Canada. This will guarantee survival as long as we have enough volunteers to keep EMAS going.
Our past budgets helped us survive through annual mission. To thrive, we must trust God for funding based on our Vision of His future for us: what He wants us to be and do.
With less than 7.5% of the revenue as non-obligatory and unrestricted, EMAS relies heavily on its teams and projects for its existence because most of our income is based on what we are doing at present: the current year’s missions.
Vision based funding is a change of focus where we begin to engage current donors and form new funding partnerships based on what God is showing us about our corporate future, a future in which more and more people worldwide are brought in contact with Him for His redemptive purpose. The change may be far-reaching.
The privilege of a partnership with Jesus in His redemptive work is a powerful motivation for generosity and innovation; we have not fully explored its limitless potential for development, no one ever does.
Once a paralyzed man entered Jesus’ presence, through a hole in the roof. It was the vision of his future as a healed man that led his four friends to bold action: mobilizing resources, overcoming obstacles while collaborating on the mission of getting their needy friend to Jesus. It is the confidence in Jesus’ ability to respond that activates mission; in the short-term and for lasting and ever increasing impact. A reading of the biographies of Hudson Taylor, Charles T. Studd, and Dawson Trotman give ample proof of this. Likewise, our confidence that Jesus working through Christ-centered healthcare teams proclaiming God’s love to all the world through healing and teaching will respond to human suffering; should inspire courage in resource mobilization. Confidence in the ability of Jesus to do certain things is what makes our vision more than a mere dream—it is the revelation of God’s purpose for us. It puts in us an indomitable spirit, causing us to identify with and to reach out for God’s high calling of partnership with Him in His redemptive work.
All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
A physician and surgeon in his native Kenya, Peter has a passion for Christ-centred healthcare and has a wealth of experience both hosting and sending short-term mission teams.