Eben Tabelisma has been a trusted friend for many years. His passion for reaching the world for Christ has birthed this wonderful strategy of “a buck a day.” I am grateful for the wisdom he has provided for our outreach to the campuses of the world.
Cofounder, Every Nation
Author, God’s Not Dead
The concept of “a buck a day” began on March 28, 2018, when God placed the vision of funding a global harvest of souls on my heart.
Missionaries encounter many challenges as they cross cultural boundaries to share the gospel. Their work requires embracing diversity, learning new languages, adjusting to unfamiliar ways of living, and becoming a vital part of any community where they are present, all for the sake of sharing the love of Christ.
What saddens my heart is to see missionaries pull out of their ministry assignments because of the lack of consistency in their financial support.
At A Buck a Day, we aim to help provide sustainability in funding the work of these missionaries.
Why “A Buck”? Because we are all about Building Up Christ’s Kingdom. How? By financially helping missions organizations train and send missionaries who will serve amongst unreached people groups.
the rest of the story . . .
Initially, I wasn’t sure if this was really from God; telling Him that this was such a big goal that I wasn’t qualified to do. During the next few days, I continued asking God for clarity regarding this vision. I was given no answer. I told myself that this was maybe a crazy idea, so I stopped thinking about it.
Eben’s dad, “The Tithing Pastor,” in front of the last church he helped build in the Philippines.
My exposure to fundraising began during my growing years as the son of a Methodist pastor in the Philippines. My dad served the denomination for 41 years. During his years of service, he was called “Pastor Ikapu” a.k.a. “The Tithing Pastor.” With each ministry assignment, he would help rebuild and renovate church buildings and parsonages that were falling apart.
I don’t know how he was able to accomplish this, but he always reminded me to “never be afraid to ask for money if this is for His kingdom.” In fact, on his last assignment before he retired, he built a church building for five years without having a budget in place.
The way he was able to raise funds for that building was unique. Whoever he met, no matter their status, he would ask them how they could contribute to the church building or parsonage campaign he was working on. If the person was a businessman who sold hollow blocks, cement bags, or other building materials, my dad would always end up bringing these home after their conversation. Whether it was a person who sold meat in the market, a carpenter, an electrician, or a plumber, he would ask them if they could contribute their products and time to help build the church building. My dad’s boldness and unwavering faith toward God allowed him to accomplish his mission, and in turn, inspired others to give their time and financial resources.
My most recent experience with fundraising was when I turned 50. Six months before my birthday, I told my wife that I wanted to celebrate it differently and got this idea to volunteer 50 hours of my time with Nashville Rescue Mission, an organization that helps the homeless in Nashville, Tennessee. Additionally, I raised money for them by asking family and friends to donate instead of giving gifts for my birthday.
My experience in serving and raising funds for Nashville Rescue Mission was humbling. It gave me a better perspective on how a little act of sharing your time and financial resources can touch many lives. I was able to achieve the hours and the financial goal exactly on the day of my birthday. Accomplishing this goal gave me a broader perspective in the area of giving: you can touch other people’s lives by sharing what you have and being willing to step out of your comfort zone.
Eben with a Nashville Rescue Mission employee after completing 50 hours of volunteer work on his 50th birthday.
With this experience and my limited knowledge in fundraising, I asked God how I could participate in “the funding of a global harvest of souls.”
During my devotions on June 1, 2018, sixty-five days after I received this vision, God revealed to me an exciting concept: “a buck a day to reach every nation.” It’s a simple idea, but I believe it will make a motivating difference, primarily in the lives of those serving in the ministry. Why a buck? Because it is affordable. The concept is straightforward. It provides sustainability. And with faith like a mustard seed, anyone will be able to participate in building up Christ’s kingdom.
I shared this idea with multiple leaders at Every Nation, where I previously served as their controller in the finance department. They all gave affirmation that this concept has potential, is achievable, and could be used as a tool to fund a global harvest of souls.
I have seen so many willing workers give up the dream of being part of reaping a plentiful harvest because their finances could not keep up with the vision God put in their hearts. I want to come alongside them by sharing this tool that they can use to encourage anyone to take part in building up Christ’s kingdom and that it does not have to be a burden. It’s as simple and affordable as giving a buck a day to reach every nation.
With that, I started the journey of forming “A Buck a Day.”
Cofounder, A Buck a Day