Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Networking with European Missionaries For Greater Effectiveness

Have you ever been excited over a new product that dramatically changed your life or made it easier?  If not, imagine perhaps how life changed after the invention of indoor plumbing or electricity!  Troy remembers the early days of seeing joy on the faces of missionaries as they would discover an easier way of life after being introduced to his software tools.  Yet, even now 18 years later, he continues to come across organizations unaware of it, and has the privilege to introduce these missionaries to these life changing tools.  It really puts a smile on his face!

This happened in April as he was in Burbach, Germany for the 2018 Mission Partners Network Forum, in which 26 European missionary organizations from 23 countries were represented.  These dedicated leaders came ready to roll up their sleeves, solving problems like struggling finances and low staff morale. 

Troy’s software was a major highlight, mentioned throughout as a foundational and necessary tool for missionaries to be fully funded.  In addition to leading three workshops, Troy met nonstop with individuals to answer their questions on how they can implement his software in their organization.  He came home excited about helping these missionaries.

Pray for these missionaries who are working to implement these tools which will have a tremendous impact on their ministries.  Also, please continue to pray as Troy works on features and enhancements to his software.  A big focus right now is the new “Give Site” which will enable online giving for many small and mid-size organizations who currently are without adequate resources to implement this on their own.

Thank you for praying and giving to help make our ministry possible!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Our software was a big hit in Malta!

Receiving a standing ovation can really make your day!  That’s what happened to me (Troy) on the island of Malta last month.  This was the result of months of hard work, so it really felt good.  So what led to this outpouring of encouragement?

You may recall that last year I worked closely with Agape Europe to make their fund development conference in Spain a success.  I improved several key aspects of my software to help missionaries in Europe to be more effective at raising funds for ministry.  This partnership worked out so well that they asked me to be a part of their next conference.  I gladly accepted.

The conference in Spain last year was about helping their missionaries raising funds to pay for their salary.  But Malta was more about working in teams to raise funds for ministry projects, such as raising funds to pay for food and supplies to be handed out to homeless people as they do street ministry.

My challenge was to improve for my software to support a new paradigm of raising funds.  Advance copies of the training manuals were sent to me so I could really make my software fit perfectly with the new techniques.  I finally finished my work on Christmas Eve, releasing a new version of my software with strategic enhancements needed for team fund development.

At the conference in Malta, the attendees were really being stretched as they learned all new concepts and techniques.  It was a lot to learn!  On the night we did a demonstration of my software, we showed how some of the challenging things they were learning could be reduced down to a button click in the software.  That’s when they gave the standing ovation.  They felt so encouraged that we would help them with their new challenges in ministry.  What a joy when you can use your gifts to serve others!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Working Together To Fulfill the Great Commission!

I recently returned from a conference held in Tulsa called CLIMB.  CLIMB had a strategic focus on helping mission group leaders better equip their staff in the area of fundraising.  The big idea of this conference was to bring together the collective wisdom and experience of dozens of missions agencies to work together to tackle the area of fundraising.  Missionaries are often sidelined due to lack of funding, so this is an extremely vital area to help increase the health and effectiveness of missionaries.

I was invited to participate in this conference by leading a workshop focused on the importance of using software to help missionaries to be more effective at this complex part of their ministry.  I really enjoyed the opportunities this gave me to help others in an area so close to my heart.  Even more encouraging was getting to know others just like me who are also providing software to help missionaries in this area.  We really hit it off, and I look forward to working together with them in the future, coordinating our efforts to help fulfill the Great Commission through the specific way God has called us to serve.

I took every chance I had to let others know that the reason I’m able to give my software away for free is because we have a wonderful, generous team of prayer and financial supporters making this possible!  Tammy and I are not the only missionaries that truly appreciate your investment in our ministry!

Working together to help fulfill the Great Commission!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Open Doors to Help More Missionaries!

The Lord has opened so many doors for us that we must give Him the glory, and praise Him for his hand on our ministry.

After a year of unexpected legal negotiations since leaving the staff of Cru in 2014, a few months ago the Lord opened the door for Cru to grant us the rights to our software.  That was a quick celebration, because it meant that all of a sudden I was responsible for software depended on by 12,000 missionaries and 500 mission organizations, and in my absence the software had become out of date, not working with the latest versions of Windows or Mac.  After many weeks of long hours, and a few all-nighters, I was finally able to truly celebrate a grand reopening.

In the midst of this time of reconstructing my website and software tools, the Lord opened another door for us to help missionaries in Europe.  I was invited to Spain in April for a conference held by Campus Crusade for Christ in Europe.  My software played a central role as this conference was all about helping missionaries in the area of fund development, which is exactly what my software helps missionaries do more effectively. 

Two key features my software needed in time for this conference were for it to better support missionaries that raise support in more than one currency, and for it to help those who write newsletters in more than one language.  With God’s help, I was able to introduce these two features before boarding the plane! 

Missionaries in Europe learning more about
“TntConnect”, our software to help them be more
effective at raising the funds for their ministry.
I believe there are thousands more missionaries that can benefit from the tools our ministry provides, but I need to work harder to market and promote them outside of the circles I’ve already reached out to in the past.  God also opened more doors after my conference in Spain to help more missionaries.  I was able to meet with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Germany, just prior to their European-wide staff conference, as they’re looking at adopting my software more.  I also met with some ministries in the Netherlands and the UK to demonstrate how my software can help their missionaries.

Teaching a missionary from Cyprus how
to get started with TntConnect, so she
can be more effective in her ministry.
This month, I’ll be in Canada helping Navigators missionaries take advantage of our software, and I’ll also be in Colorado the week after that to help Converge Worldwide missionaries.  Praise the Lord for all the open doors He’s given us.  Please pray for His hand to continue to guide us and direct us.

Helping Child Evangelism Fellowship
missionaries in Germany be more effective.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Official Transition of TntWare!

I'm pleased to announce the official transition of TntWare!  Cru has given me the rights to all of TntWare, so I can continue to serve missionaries and organizations with tools to help them be more effective in support raising and fund development.  I've been waiting for more than year for this to happen.  I'm so relieved and happy with how it turned out, and now I can continue to push forward with what God has called me to do.  Please pray for me as I work to get everything ready for TntWare's grand reopening!

Here is the announcement made by Cru earlier today:

TntMPD is now part of
Global Service Network

In December 2014, Troy Wolbrink — the creator of TntMPD and founder of  TntWare — transitioned from serving on staff with Cru to relaunch TntWare as an independent ministry under Global Service Network (GSN).

Cru and Troy have reached a licensing agreement so that Troy can continue to develop TntMPD and the TntWare tools and serve the body of Christ.  We believe this is the best way to allow TntMPD to continue to be a blessing to the 500+ organizations and 12,000 people who rely on TntMPD and other TntWare services. As a missionary with GSN, Troy intends to continue providing TntMPD free of charge.

What does this mean for you as a TntMPD user? You can keep using TntMPD and benefit from the development and support you have previously received.

We are committed to building capacity so that our staff and partner organizations have the resources they need to be effective in ministry. I am confident that entrusting Troy and Global Service Network with the responsibility to serve in this way is an important step in demonstrating a kingdom minded perspective. It is going to take all of us working together to help fulfill the Great Commission using the skills God has given us.

Erik Butz

VP, Global Operations

Cru / Campus Crusade for Christ

Friday, February 5, 2016

Christmas Across America

This past fall, I (Tammy) began to think about how fun it would be to host some type of Christmas outreach just for all the young children who recently moved into our neighborhood.  I discovered a great resource developed by Child Evangelism Fellowship called Christmas Across America.  The kit is designed with everything needed to host a fun Christmas party with the goal of introducing kids to Jesus Christ.

When I brought up the idea to the pre-teen and teen girls in my weekly Bible club, they were very excited about it, and even began brainstorming ideas of how we could pull this off.  I was excited that they took ownership of the idea, and was thrilled that they would have this opportunity to participate.

When the day came, we had nine children come to the party ages 4 to 10, with three more that trickled in the last minute!  Thanks to the warm climate here in Florida, we were able to host the outreach right here in our front yard.  My team of 7 helpers from our Bible club helped with many of the activities.

One mom came with her 5 year old daughter.  She told me that she was very happy that someone in the neighborhood would have an event like this.  She mentioned that she  hadn’t been to church since she was 16.  I was so glad that she stayed for the entire party so she could also hear the gospel message.  I was that happy God opened the door to get to know her a little bit, and I’m praying for some next steps to show her Christ’s love.

The highlight of the day happened at the end of the party after I taught the Bible lesson.  A 9 year old boy made the decision to invite Christ into his life!  His family does not attend church, so will you join us in praying that they will respond to our invitation to come with us?  Please pray that God provides an opportunity to follow up with him, and to have more conversations about his new faith!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Closing Thoughts for 2015

Proverbs 16:9 says, “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”  For all the plans we had starting off the year, the Lord had others.  We were not anticipating Tammy’s open heart surgery.  Nor were we expecting a long delay in getting the rights to the software needed for Troy's ministry (but we are getting close).  This has been a year of waiting, thinking, planning, praying and seeking the Lord.

Tammy has had her aortic valve replaced successfully, and she continues to get healthier and stronger each month.  What a blessing that we have the stress of anticipating that big surgery behind us!  Tammy’s kids Bible Club has been going strong since the start of the school year.  We continue to see God’s hand in using it to grow and spiritually develop these kids.

Troy has connected with dozens of ministry leaders looking to help their missionaries be more effective while they raise support to fund their ministry.  We’ve been able to help many ministries fully integrate with Troy’s software, including Converge Worldwide, Lutheran Bible Translators and Ratio Christi.  This represents more than 200 church planters, Christian apologists, and Bible translators who are now better equipped in the administrative side of ministry, so they can be more focused on their calling.

The Lord has given us a great sense of clarity on our marching orders in 2016, and we are seriously looking forward on implementing these ideas!  Our heart continues to be captured with making the most of the gifts God has given us so that we can help flood the nations with Great Commission workers who are spiritually healthy, vision driven and fully funded!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Closing the Operational Gap in Missions

Connecting with a ministry leader
Did you know that there are over 60,000 missionaries in the world today that raise their funds to do missionary work?  God has enabled me to help many of these missionaries with my software (about 12,000).  However, there are still thousands more who would like to use my software but are hampered by the limited resources of their sending organizations.  These small to mid-size organizations often still rely on paper reports to get donor information to their missionaries, thus slowing them down and making them less effective.  Many of these organizations would love to implement a web-based solution to speed up the information flow, but it often feels out of reach given their limited capacity to keep up with the day to day.

This year God has put on my heart some fresh ideas on how to close this gap for many of these organizations.  A big part of my inspiration has come by transitioning from a larger mission agency to a smaller one and feeling these many gaps firsthand.  I’ve also had great conversations with many mission leaders from various organizations this past year, which has given me valuable insights into their needs.  Just recently, I participated in the Missio Nexus here in Orlando and spoke face to face with mission leaders from over 30 organizations.

One of the major themes that keeps coming back is the need to adapt my software and integrate it with QuickBooks.  I’m discovering that QuickBooks is hands down the most common accounting system used by the majority of these smaller ministries.  Having worked under such a large organization for so many years that uses a much more complex accounting system, my eyes had not yet been opened to this need for smaller ministries.  Now, even our own mission agency, Global Service Network, uses QuickBooks.

Integrating my software with QuickBooks will be a big undertaking, but it will provide a big result.  I have enlisted the help of some close friends in ministry to help me figure this out, and in a way that we can easily share what we learned with others.  I wish I had actual results to share with you at this time, but this is a work in process, and we could use your prayers for wisdom and guidance.

I’ve found that I’m much more inspired to design solutions when I have firsthand experience with some challenge.  As a missionary who raises my own support, I find great experience in knowing how to best improve the tools which I use personally and provide to other missionaries.  Now I’m so thankful to be a missionary with Global Service Network.  I’m gaining valuable experience with what it’s like to serve with a smaller organization.

Thank you for your continued support of our labor in the Lord.  You are a blessing to us, and to many other missionaries through our efforts.  Please pray for our wisdom and guidance as we serve in ministry.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tammy's Successful Open Heart Surgery!

I am thankful to God for how He’s carried me through many health challenges.  When I was a child, He brought me through cancer, and now as an adult, I praise him for bringing me through open heart surgery!  The surgery was successful, and I now have a mechanical heart valve.

Troy and I thank you for your prayers and support during this challenging and faith-stretching time.  We were reminded about how loved and cared we are by you, the body of Christ!

I went in for surgery on a Tuesday, and all the doctors were saying I’d be home by the following Sunday.  They were only off by about three weeks!  I ended up having some unforeseen complications with fluid and swelling which caused my stay to last longer than expected.  Thankfully that is all mostly in the past, and my recovery is really taking off.  I was recently given the “Okay” to drive, and I’m really enjoying having my freedom again!

After three weeks in the hospital, God brought a “divine appointment” and a great reminder as to who is in control, and one possible reason for my extended stay.  One of my nurses was a Filipino, and she was feeling called to return to the Philippines and do missions work.  We had a great connection, since Troy and I had been there for our ministry years ago.  She was greatly encouraged by our time together, and I think God spoke to her through our visit.

Troy’s ministry continues to press on and bring new opportunities each day.  Each part in the body of Christ has a special role, and Troy’s is very uniquely filling a much needed role as he comes alongside missionaries, churches and mission organizations with the gifts God has given him.

Please pray for Troy as he’s been doing double duty lately (running his ministry and helping me while I recover from surgery).   And please pray for my continued recovery.  Pray also that all of these trials would produce in us perseverance and greater maturity and faith, and that God would use all this to advance His kingdom.  To Him be the glory!
June 30
before heart surgery
July 13
after another procedure
July 28
shopping at Walmart!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Let's flood the nations!

How can we flood the nations with Great Commission workers who are spiritually healthy, vision driven and fully funded?  I was recently challenged by this question from Steve Shadrach, executive director for Center for Mission Mobilization.  He was speaking at the Funding Your Ministry Symposium, hosted by the Navigators.  Just as there are many unreached people groups, there are many unsent people!  Let us ask the God of the harvest how we might help flood the nations with Great Commission workers who are spiritually healthy, vision driven, and fully funded!

What a privilege I had last month to attend the Funding Your Ministry Symposium in Colorado Springs.  Attending this conference were leaders from over 50 different organizations, who represented more than 60,000 missionaries who are funded through a personal support team.  My ministry is all about equipping those missionaries with excellent software tools, so they can stay more organized as they develop a personal support team, and remain more focused on their ministry.

We made a big transition in our ministry last year.  Global Service Network enabled us to restructure our ministry to be much more independent and much more effective.  At the conference, when I shared how my time has been officially freed up to help these leaders adopt my software within their organization, you could see their eyes light up.  There was a pent up demand for my direct, hands-on help.  A big barrier to many ministry organizations adopting my tools was removed!  What an amazing confirmation to God’s leading in our ministry to make this transition last year!

I’m looking forward to following up on all these connections and reporting back on the results.  I’m pretty sure my year just filled up!  Thank you for your vital part in our ministry.  Through your prayers and generous gifts to the Lord on our behalf, we are fully funded Great Commission workers.  You’ve helped enable us to focus on the vision God has called us to of equipping every missionary with excellent tools to help them stay can stay more organized as they develop a personal support team, to help them remain more focused on sharing the Good News of Christ.

On a personal note, we have a concern we’d like to share with you and ask for your prayer.  We just learned that Tammy will need open heart surgery in the next few months to replace her aortic valve.  For those who may not know, doctors have been monitoring aortic valve stenosis for almost 10 years.  By God’s grace, we have had peace in this situation knowing all things are in God’s hands.  We plan on cancelling our financial support raising trip this summer so we can be more available for all the various doctor appointments leading up the surgery.  Please join with us in praying as we navigate this process. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spiritual Multiplication in SE Asia

It was bittersweet to say goodbye a couple years ago to friends and co-workers, Bob and Lei, as they followed God’s call to return to the Philippines.  In Orlando, Lei was Tammy’s life coach, and had a special impact on her.  Hearing reports that spiritual multiplication had slowed down in South East Asia, Bob and Lei knew that God was calling them back to this part of the world.  Lei has a great passion for evangelism and discipleship, and she desired to help reignite this passion in the staff there.
Lei recently shared about an evangelism and discipleship training she helped lead.  In 43 years of sharing her faith, Lei had never seen God do what He did that week.  A total of 30 nationals attended the training, and as a result of going out to share their faith that week, 544 people prayed to receive Christ. What’s even more amazing is that many of those new believers were challenged to share Christ with their friends, and an additional 94 prayed to receive Christ! The diagram on the left shows one example of the spiritual multiplication that happened that week. Nora paired up with Lei, and two women accepted Christ into their life.  Those two then shared Christ with their friends who became believers, and then one of those women shared Christ with her friend who accepted Christ.
Bob’s role is similar to Troy’s.  He helps missionaries have more time for ministry.  He serves as the Area Finance Leader for South East Asia, and among other things, he helps the local ministries adopt and make the most of our software tools.

We are so happy to help missionaries like Bob and Lei with our software!  Lei recently shared with us how our software helps them to have more time and be more effective at what they do.  Lei said, “How did I survive as a missionary before this great tool?  I can hardly wait for our SE Asia staff to start using it!  Thanks so much for helping us to make all of this possible.  We appreciate your prayers and financial partnership!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Kids inviting kids to Bible Club!

This past summer, the house across the street went up for sale.  In recent years, God has put some very specific things on my (Tammy’s) heart to pray for regarding the future neighbors that would be moving in.  First, I have prayed for families with children.  (For years, there has been very few, and sometimes no children on our block)  Secondly, I have prayed that one of two things happen:  either that God would bless us with a great Christian family who would be excited about joining us in reaching our neighbors for Christ, OR, that God would bring a family that is open to hearing the good news of Jesus that we could be a blessing to. 

In October, the “For Sale” sign across the street finally went down, and I waited in anticipation to see how God would answer my prayer.  As it turned out, the family who moved in was from Peru and had three boys (a preschooler, a fourth grader, and a teen in high school.)  While Lindsey and Rachel were disappointed that there were no girls in the family, I knew that God had a specific plan to bring this family here, and I looked forward to watching Him work.

I am happy to report that as of three weeks ago, the fourth grade boy, Carlos, began attending our Bible club!  It just so happened that Christian, one of the boys who comes regularly to club, is in his class and they have become best friends.  One day, Christian exclaimed, “Hey, my best friend lives over there!” It was fun to watch as Christian and Rachel walked across the street, and invited him to Bible club.  Carlos came, and had such a good time, that the first thing he did after club was to invite another friend from the neighborhood!  Please pray for these boys who don’t know Jesus (yet!)  Neither of them attends church.  Pray for open doors to share Christ with them and their families.  The story is not over yet, and I look forward to what God will do.

Our transition to Global Service Network is going well, and we are amazed by how God is working.  Just a few days ago, God confirmed a direction that Troy is heading in.  A new technology tool came out a month ago that has the potential to have a huge impact on his ministry, as he helps other mission organizations.  This week, as he was taking notes and strategizing how this tool could provide much needed administrative help to hundreds of missions organizations, the phone rang.  It was a friend from the Navigators, asking Troy if he was planning on offering help in this specific way.  What a confirmation!