We Are Living in a Crisis

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Second highest to mortgages in this country is student loan debt when it comes to personal indebtedness. Our country has collectively accrued $1.5 trillion in student loans, higher than both credit cards and auto loans. This is a crisis.

While tuition continues to skyrocket, disproportionate to American wages, private-loan lenders hold their interest rates at astronomical heights. Graduates are incapable of obtaining a career-position without a college-level education. This all results in a trifecta culminating in decades of debilitating loan repayments.

The average student in the Class of 2017 graduated with around $40,000 in student loan debt, compared with $37,172 for the student who graduated in 2016. Among the several consequences, the most notable are that young people in their twenties are not buying homes and they are unable to obtain jobs in their fields.

Individuals burdened by student loan debt aren’t willing to also take on a mortgage, if mortgage lenders even choose to accept them. Also, the workforce is filled with men and women who hold degrees in fields which may have nothing to do with their jobs, simply because they need an income to cover the cost of their high payments.

The latest student loan debt statistics for 2018 show how serious the issue has become – for borrowers across all demographics and age groups.

Student Loan Statistics: Overview

Total Student Loan Debt: $1.52 trillion

Total U.S. Borrowers with Student Loan Debt: 44.2 million

Student Loan Delinquency or Default Rate: 10.7% (90+ days delinquent)

Total Increase in Student Loan Debt in Most Recent Quarter: $29 billion

New Delinquent Balances (30+ days): $32.6 billion

New Delinquent Balances – Seriously Delinquent (90+ days): $31 billion

(Source: As of 1Q 2018, Federal Reserve & New York Federal Reserve)

What this means for the Christian who is called to life among the unreached, is that they are kept from the field.

Missionaries who are equipped with the degrees to be effective in their ministries are tethered to the States for more than a decade, paying off their loans before they can finally make it overseas. That is 10 or more years of a lost generation dying without the chance to hear the Gospel. 

Why not send them without the degree? Sixty percent of unreached people groups live in what are called “closed,” or “creative access” countries. This means, higher education is essential. A doctor, engineer, teacher or business owner will gain access while the name “missionary” will not.

What this means for the Christian who is called to life among the unreached, is that they are kept from the field.

Why not send them with the debt? Most missionary-sending agencies cap the amount of debt one can be sent with at around $15,000. When the national average of total debt for a graduate is more than double this number, the question of how remains unanswered. Even if a missionary goes with debt, on average, within two years they will be forced to come back to raise more finances to make certain their payments are covered.

We are left with a crisis within a crisis. There are capable, educated and trained men and women who are called and ready to share the Gospel among unreached people but they are chained. Meanwhile, their peers surround them, working in roles they didn’t earn an education for and living in homes they can not afford.

At The GO Fund, we believe we can overcome the crisis. Through generous Champions, individuals who give of their resources for the sake of the Gospel, we are eliminating the barrier of student loan debt for qualified missionaries. Click here to learn more about the unreached, or to find out how you can step in the gap between our missionary partners and the lost, learn more about becoming a Ropeholder.

One Week Left

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When five-year-old Ryan and his parents immigrated from South Africa, they gave up everything in pursuit of the American dream and a chance for their family to grow in the land of opportunity.*

More than twenty years have passed, and Ryan will leave again next week with his wife, Victoria, away from the land of opportunity and into east Asia.

The GO Fund staff had the unique opportunity to sit down and spend time with Ryan and Victoria over a meal on their way out of the country. Most relationships with The GO Fund’s partners occur over emails and phone calls, so this trip was a cherished one for the organization’s team.

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The couple knew throughout their relationship that the Lord was leading their lives into full-time ministry and life overseas, although neither knew exactly what it looked like.

As teenagers, the two dated through high school and all four years at university and were married after graduation. Victoria earned her degree in communication disorders and speech therapy and Ryan studied landscape architecture.

In a class called Perspectives, a curriculum focused on unreached people groups and God’s plan of redemption, the couple was affirmed in their call to move their lives overseas. When they found and reached out to The GO Fund’s student debt repayment program, they were only one of six partners to ever apply. Now, after years of training, raising financial support and the birth of their first son, they are finally going. They will move to an area in east Asia where more than 200 unreached people groups are represented.  

Ryan and Victoria are excited about the business opportunities their degrees will provide.

Ryan envisions a small-scale agricultural business with aspects of rural design and soil. As Victoria’s field is highly relational, they both have seen interesting ties between speech therapy and how that will connect them to others.  

As they are sent out, The GO Fund team is honored to link arms with a family whose lives reflect the love of Christ and the urgency of the Gospel.


*Names have been changed for security

God's Heart for You

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When Jack and Laura arrived in Central Asia, they were open to the unknown as they entered two years of language learning and ministry-team building. It all began as they awaited the arrival of their firstborn son.

They gained their bearings. In the early stages of their transition, new sights, sounds and smells became more familiar. Jack and Laura* began to recognize neighborhood faces on frequently-traveled streets that lead to and from home. This was their life, their new normal. Then, they suffered a miscarriage.

In the months that followed, Laura’s hope spiraled downward. “I felt like the only person I had here was [Jack]. My [language] wasn’t there yet. We didn’t know our team leaders well before we came.” She said she wondered in those moments if God even cared about her.

In her darkest hours, Jack spoke truth of the Lord’s promises and character to her. “He never thought less of me and we became closer through it,” she said.

Months later, the couple was ecstatic to learn they were pregnant with their daughter. She was born in October 2017 and they gave her a name which means, ‘life.’

Shortly after she was born, amidst the excitement and the praise for their new joy, Jack began to feel increasing loneliness. The thoughts and feelings which brought him lower came and went but he said the way he felt in their second year of living in this country was significantly worse than their first.

The ever-present reminder that Jack was not in a culture or language he knew, with few friends other than his family, was paired with emotional wounds from his childhood he did not realize would affect him. 

“It’s hard remembering you do have a purpose when the day is menial or tedious,” he said. There were moments he could emotionally engage and be mentally present but then other times he simply could not.

Then, in a conversation with a friend, the couple was reminded of something they were told many months before.

The Lord brought you here not just for Central Asians. He brought you here to draw your heart closer to Him as well.

The trials which bring growth and perseverance only continue and at times are more stressful when living in a completely different context. Hearing friends’ and family’s encouragement from the States filled the couple with hope. Wisdom and love shared from near and far helped Jack and Laura to press through severe struggles, doubts and bouts of loneliness.

Through The GO Fund’s Ropeholder Event, after conversing with friends about who the unreached are and about the unfinished task, participants will have the opportunity to learn ways they can specifically pray for partners like Jack and Laura. Then, they can record themselves as a group and send videos of encouragement to the field workers they prayed for. 

It’s an event that not only brings you closer to understanding God’s heart for the nations, but also his heart for those who have gone out to them.

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 1:4-8

Jack and Laura are now finished with their intensive language program and they continue to grow in their understanding of Central Asian culture. Jack has been working through parts of his past that need healing. Their family joyfully pursues ministry opportunities and have seen the Lord consistently bring people into their path who are seeking truth. They are also expecting the birth of their second child in November.


*Names changed for security