I has occurred to me that it might be a good idea to share with you some of the things I would like to add to this site, to better serve you. The reason these things haven’t happened yet is simply an issue of funding. So I’m presenting them to you to see what you think.
The first thing I would like to add is a dedicated phone number for this work. Occasionally I talk on the phone to those who have written in. I would like to be able to do that on a regular basis. However, I cannot put my personal phone number on the internet. That means only a very few end up being able to take advantage of this potential.
I feel that being able to talk on the phone is far more effective than dialoging by e-mail. There is SOOOOOO much more I would like to be able to say and communicate, that I just can’t do with the restrictions of writing an e-mail. Also, it would be my preference to be able to pray directly with every person who contacts me. That can’t happen by e-mail. I pray for you all frequently, but it would be better to be able to pray with you — both to be able to be available at the time you need it, and so that you can be encouraged directly. Knowing in a vague way that I do pray is just not the same.
The second thing I would like to add is a toll-free number for that dedicated phone so that those who do not have unlimited long distance service on their phones can freely pick up the phone and give me a call. Part B to this would be to add international toll free service.
The next thing I would like to add to the site is podcasting. I have more material that I want to communicate than there are hours in the day. Literally, I probably have a good two years worth of writing material in my “must write” pile, if I were even able to write full time. But much of it would actually be better communicated — and more easily communicated — verbally by the medium of podcasting.
It has been suggested to me that people would also like video-casting. One thing I would like to be able to do, whether by video or audio (but most preferable would be video for this purpose), is a regular Bible study. I have a huge desire to do a series on Living without Distress, which I know would be a blessing to virtually everyone who regularly reads here. However, knowing the cost restrictions in adding these, I haven’t even looked into them. They may also not be cost prohibitive, but they are so far down the line I haven’t gone that far.
I also plan to add a monthly e-newsletter strictly for supporters of this ministry. If I am able to add podcasting, I have also thought of doing a special monthly podcast just for supporters. Supporters will receive a partners’ newsletter each month by e-mail with material that has not been published on the blog and previews of upcoming articles before the rest of the world sees them.
The fly in the ointment is financial. I am a single mom attempting to survive on child support alone. I am in school full-time, full-time mom (my ex lives out of state and has visitation every other weekend), and the rest of my time, outside of working in church ministry, is consumed in this work. Between writing articles, researching, communicating through the comments, answering e-mail, and helping people on the phone I generally spend hours a day here. This leaves no room for adding a job. This is something I wrestled with God about for quite awhile. But He ultimately affirmed to me that this work is most important.
Needless to say, child support doesn’t cover the bases. LOL! And I am unable to add any of these features I would like have to be able to better help you. However, if several people were willing to give a small amount each month, these would all be possible. None of them are very expensive individually.
Here are some estimates:
Dedicated phone – $35/mo
Toll-free phone number – $25/mo (This depends on call volume; the next higher plan is $50 per month. It also does not include international calls. Plans including international calls are higher. And, yes, people from all around the world contact me through this site.)
Podcasting — approx. $50-$150 at a rough estimate for equipment; the variable is the quality of equipment and I would prefer to use quality equipment to ensure that the sound quality is high. At this point it is still possible to find free hosting for podcasts
Video function — ??? I haven’t researched this one, since it is several steps out
What do you think? Let me know. If you would like to partner with this work, check out the details for making donations.