Saturday, January 30, 2010

And we're off!

They say patience is a virtue. One that I have to pray for constantly. In 7 months I'll be moving to Monterrey, Mexico to join STINT (short term international) staff with Back2Back Ministries. All of the interviewing and applications are done, I recently went to Mexico to visit with the current staff and talk more about what my role as a STINT staff would look like, and I've spent much time praying and talking with "my tribe" about the journey ahead. I've now entered the very illusive support-raising phase of the journey. I think this is the part that scares me the most. I've done major moves before (I'm currently living in my 5th state), and so the move to Mexico isn't feeling scary right now. I've been involved with Back2Back for 10 years, and I feel very comfortable with the ministry, children, and the staff in Mexico. I adore the Mexican people, their culture, and their weather. I don't know much Spanish, but I have time to learn. The support-raising, that's scary stuff! I shared this fear with my lifegroup ladies this week and asked for prayer for my own humility and increased confidence in God's power.

Jenny and the other ladies quickly reminded me about when Clear River Church needed money for our new building this last February. Our church at the time was around 250 people, and at least 60% of them were college students. The rest of us were made up of young professionals and younger families. We had outgrown our rental space and needed to find a permanent facility. After a year of searching, we found a building in the downtown area that was PERFECT. We needed to raise $70,000 to re-finish the inside and to buy equipment since we had been renting our old space. I had serious doubts that we could raise the money, given our church's demographic. Most of my friends can't pay me when I babysit their kids, how in the world can we come up with $70,000?! Wasn't I humbled when in one month, we collected $102,000! The most amazing part to me was that the largest contribution from one person was around $5,000. There wasn't anyone who dropped a ton of cash into the basket, it was a lot of people faithfully giving what they could. What I need is people to faithfully give what they can, not just one huge donor to pay my way (although it would be nice and I wouldn't oppose it). I was also reminded of the growth that's occurred since we've moved into our new building. We were at almost 400 people last Sunday, 39 people were baptized last year, we've been able to start Bag-Hunger, we've added full time and part time staff, and we've almost doubled our lifegroups. Not only did we experience financial growth and fullness, but we have experienced spiritual growth and fullness. That's what I need to be praying for. Not just the money to come in, but for spiritual filling and growth in the process. And so we're off on the fundraising journey...