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Dear Advocates’ Friend,
This is the first time that someone other than Sam Ericsson is making an Advocates’ appeal. As the chairman and vice chairman of Advocates’ Board we want to share an emergency need with you.
Serving on the Board of Advocates, we know that this ministry is like no other. Twelve years ago Sam resigned from Christian Legal Society to pursue a new passion. He wanted to encourage Christian lawyers globally to help the Church after the collapse of communism and to address a new threat later called “the clash of civilizations.” Sam’s strategy was to find local advocates – the “innkeepers” in Christ’s Good Samaritan parable – who have the licenses, languages, contacts and commitment to get the job done and link them together in promoting religious freedom.
The network now links thousands of lawyers in 135 nations. In 1991 there were two nations – the U.S. and Canada – with Christian lawyer groups proactively engaged in the public square. Today there are 70 nations with active or emerging groups. Every continent has a weekly e-mail Prayer Calendar that shares prayer needs, activities and other news. Last year 300 lawyers and judges around the globe gave their time, talent and treasure to advance Advocates’ mission. Gideon rallied his band of 300 and Sam has rallied his. (The global leadership and staff roster is on the backside.)
You will no doubt agree that Advocates’ mission is as vital today as it was in 1991. However, the ministry is now facing a crisis. During the past three years the U.S. economy has suffered the greatest erosion of wealth ever. Some foundations that have supported Advocates over the years have seen their assets drop in value by as much as 75%. As a result, foundation support so far this year is down 80% from two years ago. As Board members we have witnessed the incredible results of Sam’s “lean and keen” approach. He is lean on budget and keen on focus. Due to the lack of funds, however, Sam has had to reduce his full-time staff by half – from six to three. Our nine overseas staff on four continents are not affected. A global staff of only 12 is small, but it has a nice biblical ring to it! Cutting expenses is part of the answer, but we need to raise income at this time.
Sam often shares His-Stories of God using available people. What is generally not known is that since 1991 Sam and his wife, Bobby, have reinvested most of his income back into Advocates. As a practical matter, they have been Advocates’ banker and landlord for 12 years. We believe that the principle that “a laborer is worthy of his hire” should apply to Sam as well as his staff.
We are grateful for your support for this unique ministry that God has raised up “for such a time as this.” We know that a generous gift at this critical time would be encouraging to Sam and his staff.
In His Service,
Lynn Buzzard Sam Casey
Chairman Vice Chairman
P.S. You may also want to help sponsor an advocate to attend one of the 2003 regional conferences.