ON ORGANIZATIONAL LETTERHEAD
January 13, 2004
Mr. Bob Vickers, President
The Robert J. Vickers Foundation
P.O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Dear Mr. Vickers:
Greetings! The introduction paragraph is purely to connect. . . Either 1) first- or second-generational connections/relationships, 2) geographic connections, and/or 3) field of interest connections/relationships. . .
D.L. Moody once said, "If God is your partner, you better have large plans!" Well, God is our partner AND we have large plans! We have never been more excited about the possibility of reaching the world for Christ and providing discipleship materials to believers than we are today.
Research shows there are now three times more people embracing the faith each year than the population growth rate. Hallelujah! This has never happened in entire history of the church. There is, however, a "downside" to this wonderful news: About 80 percent of the world’s Christians outside the United States have no Christian literature. This means they have no Bibles, no Sunday School materials, no devotional guides, no magazines or anything–making it difficult for them to mature in their faith.
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries began in October 1994 to meet this need. We exist to gather Christian literature from individuals, churches, and publishers in America and distribute free to individuals, churches, Bible schools, and ministries overseas. During the last eight years, more than 12,000 requests from all over the world have been made to us for assistance with literature needs for evangelism and discipleship: the requests grow daily. We are responding to the need as fast as is possible.
In fact, the work of the ministries has taken off like a rocket. By the end of 2002, we had received 3,590,979 pounds and shipped 3,053,836 pounds, more than 1,000,000 pounds in 2002 alone. Almost all literature is now being shipped in 40-foot containers (45,000 pounds each). God enabled us to increase from 13 containers shipped in 2001 to 27 shipped in 2002. This literature has been shipped to 128 countries, on six continents, and in 64 languages. To accomplish this, we utilize 1,750 volunteer gatherers of literature in 49 states. Volunteers do almost all our work allowing us to spend 99% of all monies that come into the ministry to hip literature. During 2002 alone, God gave us 1,700 volunteers, who donated 8,800 hours of service to help meet the need.
We are very excited about what God has done, but we are even more excited about future potential.
We believe God wants to use this ministry to develop tens of thousands of the world’s Christian leaders. Western Christian leaders agree that training the nationals, in their own countries, is the most important thing we can do to reach the world for Christ. Nationals know the language, they know the culture, they can work for a fraction of what it takes to send a missionary, and they don’t get deported at the first sign of trouble.
By providing literature for their Bible schools we are helping to train the nationals. Most Bible schools have very small libraries. The first Bible school that we shipped a library to was in the Philippines and it had only seven books–we sent them 3,000 books. They were elated and immediately began to use the materials to teach everyone English: all the while, sharing the faith to people hungry and thirsty for the Truth. A Christian leader from India reported that most pastors in his country would preach all their lives and never own as simple a book as a Bible concordance. There is no language, apart from English, that has enough Christian books to provide an adequate library.
Therefore, many Bible schools in these and other (non-English) countries are teaching their students English and then seeking books from America, just to have an adequate library. We are supplying many of these schools with entire libraries. We recently provided over 50,000 books to a library in Bulgaria to be used by pastors throughout the country.
INSERT STRATEGIC PLAN/NEED in 1 paragraph
We are strategically positioned. We have created and nurtured relationships such that we have a tremendous amount of literature currently ready and waiting to be shipped. We have a God-given plan and, are currently working the plan. Our staff has accumulated more than 183 years of business and ministry experience, more than 26 years in Christian literature experience, and contacts with many major ministries and non-profit organizations in the USA, and thousands from overseas that have come to us over the last eight years requesting our help.
Only one barrier stands between us accomplishing this initiative. . . funds to ship millions of pounds of Christian literature to the world’s Christians overseas.
The material is gathered, packed, and ready to ship: there are simply no funds to pay for shipping. You can make this initiative become a sustained reality. Financial help is needed to ship containers of literature worldwide. Would you look over the attached proposal and make a decision to grant funds to ship several containers of literature overseas?
Millions of Christians are crying unto God day and night for what Americans throw in the trash – Christian literature. Donated literature is available in abundance. Volunteerism is at an all-time high. All that is needed are the funds to keep the literature moving.
Please consider the following proposal as a creative way of making that happen. I am eager to discuss it with you and stand ready to provide any additional information that will assist you in your decision-making. I am immediately available to address any questions you have concerning this project. Please feel free to call me at (660) 747-6390 or (660) 111-2222. Thank you very much for what you do for The Kingdom. May God richly bless you.
Rev. Matthew A. Hodkins, Founder and President
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries
Mission and Project Statement:
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries exists to provide literature to Christians worldwide. During 2003, we will ship 40, mostly 40-foot containers of Christian literature to 16 different countries. With each container holding approximately 45,000 pounds, this represents discipleship materials to well over 15,000 people.
There is a saying, "Give a man a fish, and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime." We have adapted this saying, "Teach a man the Word of God and you have helped him for a day." [Reason: A man will forget 90% of what he only hears, in about 24 hours.] "Give a man a Bible and you have helped him for a lifetime." [Reason: When a man can read and reread the Word of God daily, he will remember and obey what he reads.] In addition to the Sunday school literature that can be used to carry on their work of evangelism, the Bibles are love letters from God for their instruction; the books will be used to set up lending libraries in churches and Bible schools.
Our target market is every person overseas who has been born again. Over the last eight years we have received more (#______) requests for literature from individual Christians, churches, Bible schools and ministries in 128 countries who are requesting our assistance in providing Christian literature and have been able to meet the needs of many. This list gets larger with every passing day. Many of these requests come from 3rd world countries where one Bible could cost up to a month’s salary. Sadly, we are unable to help most of these. INSERT NUMBERS!
The overwhelming majority of the people are doing a "good work" in their communities. Some are even working nationwide. Many are working with little or no salary. All could do a considerable greater work, with the use of Christian literature.
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries is a 501 (c)(3), not-for-profit organization founded and incorporated in the State of Missouri in 1998. We are governed by a 17-member Board of Directors. (See Page __.)
Rev. Matthew A. Hodkins, Founder/President (660) 747-6390, Office
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries (660) 111-2222, Cell
P.O. Box 1225 Email: RevMatt@MAH.com
Warrensburg, MO 64093 Website: www.MAH.org
Financial Request and Purpose:
The 2003 container shipment goal will cost roughly $160,000. We are asking for a grant of $_______ that will be used to ship approximately (#________) containers. Container shipping is very cost effective – 5 to 10 cents a pound. By comparison, the United States Postal Service’s least expensive prices are M-bags and cost $1.00 a pound (surface rate). Small boxes can run as high as $3.30 a pound. Other types of shipping, such as UPS or FedEx are prohibitive for this type shipping.
The remaining shipping needs will be generated by those who are members of the 50,000 Club (individuals and churches who contribute $1,000 yearly for shipping costs), churches who contribute $1.00 a pound for the literature they donate and other grants. TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED: $____________________
Evaluation and Accountability:
The progress and effectiveness of Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries will be determined by ongoing analysis and oversight of staff, Advisors, and Board of Directors. Because we are committed to integrity, we are willing to complete any reasonable evaluative measure that you request.
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries
The Need and Statement of the Problem:
American Christians and churches want a place to give/send their used and leftover unused literature. Many have prayed for years for such a ministry because they feel guilty about throwing materials away.
The need for Christian materials around the world is unquestioned. Approximately 80% of the world’s Christians outside of the United States have no solid, Christian literature. This means they have no Bibles, no Sunday School materials, no devotional guides, no magazines or anything–making it difficult for them to mature in their faith. We believe strongly that God’s desire for every believer is that they mature in their faith. However, this is almost impossible without literature. All Christians overseas have one thing in common–the need for Christian literature. Listen to these:
"I supervise 250 churches and six Bible schools in the Philippines. Four of my Bible schools have a small library. Two have no books. The churches have only a handful of books and they have never seen Sunday school literature." Nonilo Shanchez, Missionary Fellowship, Philippines
"Pastors throughout India will preach all their lives and never own a Bible concordance." India
"The average length of library for a Spanish pastor anywhere in Latin America is only seven inches." Hispanic Evangelism Conference
"While in Kenya with the Baptist World Alliance, I met a pastor who walked across two countries to find some Christian books."Roy Edgemon, Lifeway Publishers
Documented records from the Library of Congress show that 85% of all Bibles ever printed have been in English. The problem: Only 9% of the World’s population read English and 6% of that 9% are in the United States. So are nearly all the Bibles ever printed. Our research in 1994 showed that 80% of the world’s Christians–outside the USA–have no Christian literature. This means they have no Bibles.
There are three things in America that are almost unlimited:
1) Christian homes with Christian literature (much of it unused) and a willingness to give to those who need it;
2) Evangelical churches throw away unused literature every quarter. Many feel guilty about destroying it and are searching for ministries who will put it to good use. The same is true of publishers;
3) Millions of Christians willing to help with the shipping costs to get this literature overseas.
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries has a plan, given by the Holy Spirit, to get this literature into the hands of those who need it. We ship Bibles, Christian books, magazines, tapes and tracts almost daily.
We know first-hand the wonderful character of the men and women serving society through Christian ministry overseas. They have specific gifts and talents with a heart to help those in need. We also know their struggle for Christian literature. Our efforts over the last eight years have resulted in more than 5,000 requests for Christian literature from 128 countries.
These groups minister to real people – racial and ethnic minority groups, children and the poor and needy – all with real needs – physical and spiritual. These groups are totally committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and His cause. But they lack Christian literature to do their work. Christendom has sent them out to do a job without providing the tools to do it. We have sent them to reap a harvest where little or no seed has been sown. Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries is targeting these ministries to provide the tools, the seed.
Our plan is to work with every evangelical group that will work with us. We have identified thousands of worthy ministries overseas with whom to work. We provide the literature free and ship it free. All they are responsible for is the custom costs, if any.
From the birth of the Church, God has had only one plan to use His church and His people to redeem His world. But the average local church is ill equipped to make a major difference. Church leadership needs to make a paradigm shift in their thinking.
Many denominations in America are spending most of their income on themselves. Building buildings is one example. One large denomination has, for well over 50 years, spent more on the interest of building fund debts than on their total mission program, both home and foreign. All American churches and ministries spend four billion dollars yearly on buildings. Enough to totally evangelize the world.
The plan God has given us is to develop immediate and long-term solutions to provide their literature needs. By providing books for lending libraries, we are helping to train potential leaders. By doing this, we are being true to God’s Word, which instructs us to, "Teach these great truths to trustworthy men who will, in turn, pass them on to others" (II Tim. 2:2). After shipping literature to the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, we received this letter, "We call you parents, because you are now more than friends to us. You have come to nurture us as parents do their children."
By disciplining the Believer, we advance the kingdom. The immature Christian does little good and in fact keeps people out of the kingdom by his ungodly life. The maturing Christian baffles the world that says in amazement, "I don’t know what this person has, but whatever it is, I want it." Even if he never says a word, the maturing Christian’s life draws people to God. In the Great Commission, Jesus admonishes us to teach others to keep all His commandments. But a person cannot keep commands of which he has no knowledge. Christian literature increases their knowledge.
Our Goals and Measurable Outcomes:
In Addition to shipping large containers of literature overseas we also:
• Provide a website with an order form for use by Christians overseas.
• Work with other literature ministries, filling orders they can’t, sharing literature, helping fill orders too big for one ministry. (As near as we have been able to determine, there are only three other literature ministries that do what we do.
• Provide literature for nationals being supported by stateside ministries. In some cases these are their national representatives overseas.
• Piggyback with ministries shipping containers of equipment, medical & clothing overseas, by providing literature to finish filling the container.
• Provide literature for those going on short-term mission trips.
To help achieve these goals, God has already provided an expanded warehouse, forklift, pallet scale, stretch wrap machine and an increasing number of volunteers. Although it is fairly easy to evaluate our outcome in the number of people saved: 10,000 people were saved as the result of 20,000 Bibles sent to Uganda; 5,000 people were saved after the distribution of Christian literature to 50,000 police in Nigeria and; 250 were saved as a result of providing 3,000 pounds of Spanish literature to a short-term medical group going to Honduras. However, as has been said, it is almost impossible to evaluate the spiritual growth of an individual. For this, we must simply trust the Lord.
By the end of 2002 we had received 3,590,979 pounds and shipped 3,053,836 pounds, over 1,000,000 pounds in 2002 alone. Almost all literature is now being shipped in 40-foot containers (45,000 pounds each). God enabled us to increase from 13 containers shipped in 2001 to 27 shipped in 2002. This literature has been shipped to 128 countries, on six continents, in 64 languages.
To accomplish this, God has given us 1,750 gatherers of literature in 49 states. Volunteers do almost all our work. During 2002 alone, God gave us 1,700 volunteers, who donated 8,800 hours of service.
Our Budget and Request
As detailed in the Program budget on Page ___, the cost of this initiative is $__________. Of this amount $160,000 has been designated as shipping cost. Most of this amount will be used to ship 40 containers.
Shipping by large containers is the best way because:
They are very cost effective: From .05 cents to .10 cents per pound
United States Post Service is very expensive. The least expensive rate is $1.00 per pound
A large percent of our literature is shipped to West African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo, etc. We have been told by Africans that as little as 1/4th of that which we ship through the postal service is ever delivered, because of the poor postal system in that part of the world. One hundred percent of that which is shipped by container is delivered.
Matthew A. Hodkins Ministries has been operating successfully on a worldwide level since 1994, printing and gathering Christian literature and shipping it around the world to help mature men and women into the person God designed them to be. Christian leaders in African countries say that an average of 20 people will read every piece of literature we can send them. If this is true, and if it is true worldwide, the ongoing ministry has impacted 1,440,566,480 people for Christ. We have shipped 72,028,324 pieces of literature. If you multiply this number by 20, you will have the total touched.
There truly is a crisis of Christian literature overseas, and this at a time when more people are being saved than ever in history. These believers need literature to help them grow and mature in their faith. As these leaders are changed into the image of Christ, their families will be changed, the Church will be changed, their communities will be changed, their nations will be changed and ultimately the World. We are ready and able to continue this most worthwhile ministry. We have an excellent staff mobilized, trained and who are proven leaders. However, financial partnering is needed.
More Christian literature is being published in the USA than ever in history. Hundreds of millions of pounds each year is either being recycled back into paper or put in the city dump. This makes us debtors to the rest of the Christian world. We have an inventory of over 500,000 pounds of literature and could ship containers almost at a moments notice.
Evaluation and Assessment:
• We are committed to integrity – personal, professional, and financial.
• We are incorporated under the laws of the State of Alabama.
• We have a Board of Directors.
• We are a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit ministry.
• We have an annual audit that is open to the public.
• We are a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.
• We are members of the Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agencies.
• We report to Dun & Bradstreet.
• We report to Wall Watchers.
• Our finances are disbursed: 98% for ministry, 1% for administration and 1% for fund-raising.
Therefore, constant oversight, monitoring, and accountability take place. In addition to monitoring our finances, we seek to evaluate the effectiveness of our literature distribution. We can determine, to some degree, how many people are being saved.
However, our main thrust is discipleship. It is almost impossible to determine effectiveness. How do you report that so and so has more of the Fruit of the Spirit this year than last year. At this point, it is necessary that we trust God, who said, "My word will never return void."