polska: the fundraising

August 12, 2013

Fundraising is such an interesting element of mission trips.
I almost think it requires more faith to fundraise a trip than it does to GO on the trip.
Our fundraising experience was definitely a bumpy road and a challenge to our faith.

Last year, when just my husband went, he was fully funded with very little effort.
And with this being my very first mission trip (can you believe that??)
that was the example I had to go from.
But this year both of us were trying to get funded
AND costs were up $300 each from last year and it just wasn't happening.
And the thing is, if you don't raise the money, you pay the money.
So we got stressed.
And argued.
And took it out on each other...
"Why'd you spend $100 on groceries this week!?"
"Why don't you make more money!?"
Ok, so we didn't really say those things but we were still ridiculous.
However, at my breaking point I did yell "Fine! I just won't go!"
And its funny, cause as soon as it came out of my mouth,
I realized, that's exactly what the enemy wanted me to do.
Quit. Not go. Not trust God to provide.
As soon as the words came out of my mouth,
I knew there was no way I'd let the enemy get the best of me.

I even had a moment at the post office during the midst of my distrust...

So I go to the post office to overnight the RIGHT document for my passport renewal that's already costing extra to be expedited  after just arguing with my husband (everyday) about the lack of funds we've raised and having to pay for the leftover out of pocket, while trying to still be joyful about this trip I THOUGHT God wanted me to go on and trying not to get annoyed with the scrubby man in front of me who's asking my children tons of personal questions. He overhears where I'm going and why and proceeds to walk to the parking lot with me asking me about our mission, telling me all the languages he speaks where he's been and how wonderful it is that we're going and showing others that "rich americans acutally give a rip." When I confess that we're struggling to trust God to fund us he hands me a 20 and tells me God Bless. Humbled doesn't even begin... Embarrassed. Ashamed. Hopeful. Rejuvenated. Thank you God for the "in flesh" message. We don't get those very often.

Money is a difficult subject for most people.
And if you know me well or have been around this little blog of mine for long,
you know money (or lack there of) has been a huge issue for my family.
Now that we have the money to pay bills and buy food, even a little in savings,
we're terrified its all going to go away again.
And now that we own a home, that savings account is a MUST.
But if you look at what I just wrote, all you see is:
me me me
mine mine mine
our our our
And the thing is, its not our money.
Everything we have has come from the Lord.
Straight from His hands of love and provision.
So once we got over ourselves and realized,
this little nest egg that we're holding onto so tightly (remember the fist?)
that we're terrified to touch cause our roof might leak,
our transmission might blow,
our child might end up in the ER…
is not really ours. It's God's.
And if He wanted us to drain it to pay for this mission trip,
then that's exactly what we would do.
And once we came to the realization that we really were okay with that, if that be His will,
basically when we relinquished our funding and resolved to pay whatever was necessary,
God opened the floodgates.

Every one of our 6 teammates was struggling to get funded.
And we did all have to write checks halfway through to purchase plane tickets.
But by the time we left, our entire team was OVER funded.
And there are some incredible stories of provision on this team.

Even though fundraising sucks.
Even though asking people for money really really sucks.
Even though its terrifying to have to prepare yourself
for the possible emptying of your savings account.
This part...this part makes the trip so so worth it.
When you're traveling halfway across the world,
on someone else's dime, it make you real serious about the mission, real fast.
I guess God thought we all needed a little faith boost before leaving.
And I can't imagine getting on that plane without it.

Mission trips aren't just about the people who get on the plane. They're about the people who send their money, their prayers, their children, their spouses and their love to people they'll probably never meet in this life but hopefully will spend eternity with.

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