Hi! My name is Brent Strange, I’m a GCE Board member and have held the title of Marketing & Communications Director for a few years now. My wife, Jacqui, has been the Short Term Teams Coordinator for about year now. Usually I’m here writing about the wonderful achievements and stories that are occurring in the fields of Mesoamerica. But today it’s been placed upon my heart to share a few things about the consistent struggles I see happening with GCE. Hold onto your seats because I’m going to be very transparent and vulnerable and trust that you will appreciate that.
As most of you know, we a small non-profit organization competing with other non-profits for your prayers and donations. We are fully aware of the things that these other ministries are doing, because they do a great job sharing details with their donor base. They have expensive catalogs, quarterly updates, fund-raisers and beautiful annual reports. But we have been different, we have simply not been able to produce those kinds of marketing materials because we are committed to using the limited resources God has entrusted to us to use primarily on the field in Mesoamerica. As our website states, 94% of the money you give goes to our work on the ground. Because of this, in some ways we feel stuck – unable to provide the level of communication that we would like to for those who pray for and support us.
We rely on two sources of income in GCE: donations and short-term mission trips. Dr. Gomez and his son Hugo Jr. love to host teams from North America and desire to give those teams a truly “hands on” and safe experience that enables them to join what God is doing through GCE in a meaningful way. But, because of how taxing these trips are on Dr. Hugo and our GCE staff, they can only host about 12 teams a year. Hosting a larger number of teams is simply too much strain on Dr. Gomez and his family. This puts a heavier reliance on the need for donations, which continues to shrink.
From a marketing perspective it has been a huge desire to convey stories from the field to our donors/potential donors. These stories help people to see the great work being done in Mesoamerica, which can translate into prayer and donations. But it’s super hard doing that from America and relying on the Gomez family, missionaries, and volunteers to convey the info after their extra-long days doing the work. For example, imagine trying to write compelling stories with the following hurdles:
That’s just the tip of the iceberg my friends. So again, from a marketing and communications perspective, these challenges have limited GCE in sharing fantastic information about how God is moving in people’s lives throughout Mesoamerica.
As mentioned before, I’m being transparent and felt it right to share a few of the struggles behind the scenes. Those things we put a lot of time, thought and prayer into – without a lot of success. Continuing with that transparency, I want to share our needs – a cry for help. I care deeply for this organization and I see it fit that we need to continue Dr. Hugo’s vision for Mesoamerica. So, I’m personally asking for the following things.
Thank you for you time, consideration and prayers. May God bless and walk with you in 2020!