I hate asking for money. Hate it.
Growing up, we didn’t have an abundance of it, but my parents would never be caught asking for more.
When I joined a women’s team on a service project to Burkina-Faso, West Africa, I physically recoiled when the leader informed us that we were required to fundraise support for at least a third of the cost to go. My first reaction was a quick, “Can I just pay the whole thing, myself?” (I was working then and enjoying the fruits of a loyal client base in a healthy real-estate market.)
Alas, nope. We weren’t allowed. The Director of World Impact (who later became a mentor and true spiritual mother to me) gently imparted to me our church’s long-held value of soliciting both monetary and prayer support from each participant’s sphere of influence, thereby making the project a true community effort. She also gently reminded me that it wasn’t really about me… who was I to deny another person the tremendous blessing of being a part of the mission? On the other hand, it was about me… about my humbling myself. About setting aside my pride and asking for help. About being vulnerable, and honest, and bringing down my trusty walls of self-protection.
Not only did God provide all of the funds needed to for me to serve in Africa, He went above and beyond. The support letters I wrote and distributed prompted conversations of eternal significance that I never dreamed possible. My real-estate office happily covered the cost of postage for the gigantic stack of letters. Contributions poured in from all avenues of acquaintance. Our church family covered us with faithful prayer support and even delivered meals to my family for the three weeks I was overseas. Once I was fully funded, they did not stop giving but instead took up the cause of my teammates who had not yet met their goals. They eagerly packed our suitcases with donations of reader glasses, chocolate chips, pickles, peanut butter, books & magazines, and beauty products to distribute overseas. Several friends offered to watch my girls and helped shuttle them around for their various activities that fell during Husband’s work day in my absence. One friend had custom t-shirts crafted for my girls with a heart on a pink Africa positioned over Burkina-Faso!
You’d think that I would have learned my lesson in trusting in God’s faithful provision after being witness to such gestures, yet with each fundraiser we have undertaken for this adoption I’ve similarly struggled with humbling myself and asking for help. I have NO PROBLEM receiving support letters from other adoptive families, but winced at the prospect of sending our own. Instead, with each fundraiser we considered, I made sure that there was something tangible that participants would get out of the deal- be it a chance at a photography session or American Girl doll, or tshirts, chinese lanterns, or Noonday accessories…
… And then we were selected to be the Give1Save1 featured family. In sharing our video we were blatantly requesting $1 donations (though several of you stinkers were crazy-generous and ignored that guideline) with nothing to offer in return. As I shared our video online I could hardly even type out the words “donate” and instead focused on the “sharing” of our video.
Despite my insecurity, we have again been enormously blessed, with donations totaling $1,015 in one week.
Ironically, (I do believe our Father in Heaven has a fantastic sense of humor…) Give1Save1 has been our most successful fundraiser.
Our posts were shared at least 55 times on social media (this is kind of hard to track precisely) and the video and updates had over 805 hits!
We are overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for the support and encouragement you all have offered this week. Witnessing our “community” (near and far) rally together on behalf of our son has reminded us, yet again, that it’s not about us- it is, instead, a small glimpse of God’s much bigger picture. We sincerely thank you for being a part of this story.
Without further ado, the winner of the Noonday bracelet is: Kari Lovely!
The winner of the Rodan & Fields microdermabrasion cream is: Laura Walker!
(How fun is it that both winners are adoptive moms?! Purely coincidental, the rafflecopter is 100% unbiased and automated.)