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Furlough Resources . . .

July 22, 2015

Every missionary knows that furloughs can be a lot of work to prepare for. Where are you going to stay? What vehicle will you drive? How are you going to be able to afford the extra expenses that come with returning to your home culture?

Here are some of my favorite resources that can help take some of the stress out of furlough planning:

* Candle in the Window

This is a Christian hospitality network that is FREE for missionaries to join. Christians around the world open their homes to other believers. This can be especially helpful if you are traveling around lots and need to find a place to spend a night or two. Rather than booking a room at a hotel, login to this Christian network and see if there is someone you can stay with for FREE.

* Missionary Housing & Retreat Centers

This is a list that I have put together that includes a wide assortment of housing facilities, including guest houses, inns, furlough homes, camp grounds, retreat centers, and mission compounds. Most of the locations listed either provide discounts for people in full-time ministry or provide housing exclusively for ministry workers, a few locations are actually free for people in full-time ministry. The list is compiled by U.S. State, to make it easy to find a place near the locations you plan to visit.

* Missionary Closet

Did you know that there is an organization collects supplies for missionaries on furlough? So before you go out and buy all new toiletries, household products, or office supplies, first check out their website and see if maybe you could get free supplies from the missionary closet!

* Furlough Vehicles

This page has a list of organizations that help to provide vehicles for missionaries during their furlough or deputation time in the US. If you need a vehicle, you might consider checking out what these organizations have to offer.

* MegaBus

Did you know that it is possible to travel from one state in the US to another state across the country for only $1 ?? That’s right! Only ONE dollar! If you know your travel dates 4 months in advance you can be the first to book your ticket on the megabus and pay only 1 dollar. The price of the fare increases with each ticket purchased, so the sooner you book the ticket the cheaper it will be. This can be a very affordable way to travel between cities in the US. Much more affordable than paying for gas in your vehicle.

* MailChimp

Need help sending out emails, updates, or newsletters to your support group? MailChimp is a FREE service that takes the hassle out of sending emails to large mailing lists. Just compile and send out one email to one address and MailChimp will take care of sending that same email out to everyone on your mailing list.

* TntMPD

As you raise support and get people to sign up to receive your updates and prayer letters, do you have a good system for keeping track of all your donor records? This program, tntMPD, is a GREAT program specifically designed for missionaries. It helps keep track of names, addresses, and donor information. Keeps track of financial gifts. Helps you keep records of who you have thanked, or who you need to contact within your support base. It can even synchronize with your contacts in MailChimp to keep your mailing list up to date and accurate at all times. And the best part of all is that this program is completely FREE!

* BMC Letter Service . . . Do you need to send out an actual postal mailing to a huge mailing list? Not a problem! Give a digital copy of your newsletter to BMC Letter Service and they will print it, put it in an envelope, add the address and postage, and mail it out for you! No more licking envelopes or spending days on a huge mailing project! Get it done quickly and efficiently by using a mailing service. Another similar service is:

* Print for Missionaries

Does part of your furlough preparation include printing out new brochures or prayer cards? Print for Missionaries can help you get the job done . . . create professional resources printed for your ministry use.