An Honest Plea From Abogar’s Founder… A Worker Worth His Keep!!

…the worker is worth his keep!     Matthew 10:10

As a fellow human being, I, Jesse Rivers, have the common needs and responsibilities of life to manage… I need food daily. I need clothing and daily necessities. I need a roof over my head. I need a reliable source of transportation. I need lights, electricity, and the basic needs of a home! I’m looking soon to start a family, and things like wedding, honeymoon, living expenses, and providing for my wife and children are real and necessary things to be considering and preparing for!! A very sad reality about all of this is that it takes money!!

People often steer away from talking about financial things publicly. What causes me to speak about this personal area of my life?! Well, I don’t believe it’s supposed to be so personal. As a missionary, and contracted worker with Abogar International Ministries, I need to fundraise my income each year. I have struggled in doing so, as it seems that many don’t think that my income should be part of the funds donated to Abogar, or some are just more concerned to see that their funds go directly to the children, and possibly don’t see how investing in me, a worker worth his wages, is actually also investing in the children as well!!

This past January some Abogar board members presented me with their proposed budget for my pay of 2017 as a contracted worker… ~$40,000, along with some benefits of vacation and housing. Now, as I have both my bachelors degree and masters degree, have served as CEO of Abogar International Ministries for over five years now, and have been unwaveringly dedicated to fight for precious and needy children for an even longer amount of time, some could argue that this is well below what someone with my education, experience, and investment should make! But what was my response?!? Knowing how hard it’s been to raise our funds, and wanting for a larger majority of our funds going directly to the programs and things that directly help the children, I adamantly suggested that we reduce it to $24,000… almost cutting it in half. And that was exactly what the entire board agreed with and voted to do!!

With all funds that have been specifically donated as ‘Jesse’s Support’ so far this year, we have only been able to have me paid to date successfully through the month of February!! If Jesus says that the worker is worth his keep, should we not believe Him and also have that same commitment and value?!? In the Matthew passage referenced above, Jesus tells His disciples to not bring money nor extra supplies with them as He sends them out to minister; but rather He states that the worker is worth his keep, and should be provided for without having to worry about it! 

Some have suggested to me that I get a ‘real’ job, as if what I do right now is not real. I fight for and work hard to advocate for and see precious children’s lives changed for the glory of God! I have sacrificed doing my life my way (great paying steady income job, big house, white picket fence, great insurance, the bells and whistles of the American dream), the world’s way, or even as many in the church have urged me to get ‘financially stable’ on my own first. However, I have chosen the path of unwavering faith and intentional obedience! God has given me the Great Call of my life; to give it up and lose it fighting for the world to see, know, and choose God’s heart and model for loving and rescuing children who are orphaned, abandoned, abused, and/or living in the streets… insisting on a reformation in what model we use, that we’d return to God’s model from His heart of forever families, forever homes, and educational opportunities!!

Some weeks I put in more than 90 hours, some weeks 75 hours, and then there are a few 55 hour weeks! But this is NOT an 8 to 5 job for a paycheck! This job that I do consumes me and my time, not because it makes me rich or feel good, nor promoted or praised, but because God has raised me up to fight the injustice of a worldwide system that we continue to blindly use, thinking that our immediate investments are significant without recognizing how we perpetuate a failing system that largely does NOT truly change and improve the children’s lives beyond childhood!!! I may die without seeing the fruit of my labor, but I will not die without having labored for a reformation in our thinking and model we use, nor without leaving a harvest of healthy, changed lives in these precious children!!

So, all of this is to give a plea to fellow followers of Jesús Christ! God has confirmed and told me that I am a worker worth my keep, that I am doing exactly what He has created and called me to do.. My plea to you is for you to also know and believe that, AND to invest in me with your faithful monthly support, to free me up even more to invest in the ministry to and life with these dear children!! I don’t care how much you choose to give, but I’d ask you to look to our generous Father and ask Him what you should give!! I’d also suggest maybe splitting your monthly investment, part designated for ‘Jesse’s Support’ and part for ‘General Fund’, to further our direct work with the kids!! In this way you can directly and indirectly invest in the lives of the precious children!!!

To set up a monthly tax-deductible donation, please visit abogarim.org/support/ and choose which option of payment best suits you! Direct deposit and checks allow us to receive all of your funds without any user fee, but we do also use PayPal! Please prayerfully consider if you agree that worker is worth his keep, and help this worker to have his keep!! Thank you and God bless you!!