So I get all kinds of crazy ideas in my head and this idea keeps coming back to me often. It has to do with supporting missionaries. So many missionaries are under-supported (not us, Praise the Lord). The average for a missionary to raise support is around 4 years. That is a lot of time. So what is a way that we could raise more money for missionaries; or use the money we have wisely?
What if we supported missionaries the way some of us plan to support ourselves, or our kids going to college, or retirement? With real estate. I have written out a big dream plan using millions of dollars, but let's say that we start out small. One church or a couple churches could buy a foreclosed house or condominium. For a mission trip, church members could go to this house (that is actually in their area) and fix it up. The electricians, plumbers, real estate agents, painters, landlords etc... could all use their gifts and talents to fix up a house and to manage it while renting it out. The money received from renting could go towards supporting missions. So here is what the financial investment looks like: 50-60,000 to buy the home; 5-10,000 for materials to fix it up; free manual labor from church members; the return would be around 700 dollars a month (depending on the real estate prices in the area), so $8400 a year. Well before 10 years, the church would already have reached their initial investment, plus have that real estate value still. The church could have the option to sell the real estate at any time and possibly buy two pieces of property with what they make and do it again.
Churches could also go in on it together. For example, I have several supporting churches in certain towns that could get together and do mission trips together fixing up these houses.
So, I have told this idea to a few people and most of them think it too risky. What are some of you all's initial thoughts?