Tomorrow starts my new support raising training. I went through training last year and it was helpful in how I see support raising in Biblical terms, but as for my own personal self… well I stood in the way most of the time. I’m human and I’m not perfect, but as an introvert it is really hard for me to step outside of my comfort zone and reach out to people and ask them for money. At times I have felt like I am begging for money, but lets be honest the amount I have to raise for one year is a lot of money, but it is the amount it cost to live here in the states for about a year at the minimum.
I will be support raising with a guy who I have quite a few things in common with. He was a Campus Outreach Director for about 20 years in GA and now works for Tailored Fundraising. I am super excited to work with him for a while and learn as much as I can from him and apply my lessons! I have made it my goal and my prayer request to not stand in the way of the Father’s path for my life! I am terrified to ask people to partner with me, but He has been faithful so far in gathering a hand full of one-time supporters, whom I never would have thought would support me, to bring me to about 5% of where I need to be in being fully funded.
The amount I have to raise will raise a little, but really I need about $2200 a month for 12 months. Raising this money is hard for me. I am by nature and the way I was created to be an Introvert and to not be good at a lot of things involving people, but who is really good about asking for money? right… Well I hate asking people for money even more challenging people for an amount of money to give monthly. I do need monthly supporters that is the only way that I will meet my goals. I personally want to be fully funded by May or June of 2016. I will be leaving at the end of July to start my training and the journey in which I will go to teach in China for 11 months!
I have a lot of challenges ahead of me, but I know that nothing is too big or too small for the Lord to handle and He has chosen me, an introvert and a person with a lot of struggles with a lot of different areas to serve him in a way that I never thought I would be serving him. Let me tell you a little about
Two years ago, I came home from Florida where I had heard the campus outreach team that had went to tutor for 7 weeks in China with ELIC talk about their experiences and the way their lives had been molded through just a short time there. I had never heard of ELIC until that summer. Then we had a conference where we had a speaker talk to us about being GOers and Senders and who we were called to be. At that conference I felt a burden put on my heart. I informed my servant leader-who is on my support team now- that I felt this burden and that I was interested after talking to a couple women who had just gotten back from serving in China with the team. She knew I couldn’t go right away, but I knew I felt the burden and wasn’t sure what would come of it.
I went home and told my parents that I felt a burden for the nations and specifically for Asia and more specifically China! As a father does, my dad asked me to wait 6 more months before I made any haste decisions. Of course it was only my junior year of college and I had 2-3 years left of college and wasn’t sure when I would be graduating. I let it go and kept lifting it up to the Father and asking Him what he wanted me to do with this burden he had given me. I was still new to my faith and was being led by a wonderful woman who had been used to pull me to my knees only months before.
As I kept lifting this burden up to the Father, the amazing woman I just said was leading me started applying for the one year program to teach in China and her twin sister was as well. These two women are my closest and dearest women in my life and I was so excited to see what would come out of their lives through just stepping out on faith and applying. They of course went and are now back for their second year. New Years Conference rolled around and as I almost didn’t go, I went and met with the representative from ELIC who went a little more into detail about the program and the organization itself. I fell more in love with it at that point and filled out the initial information to get more information. Right… I fill out information to get information? That’s how things work these days.
A couple weeks after getting home from the conference, I received an email and with commentary on Isaiah 6:8 at the bottom I read it and re-read it. As I was finishing my heart felt burdened and weighted, but before I knew it… well I was clicking on the link to start the initial application process. Before I knew it I was in full application mode within a couple weeks and interviewing and waiting for the beginning of my senior year to start so that I could find out where the Father was leading me.
Obviously ELIC said YES and I said YES. I knew that Father was saying YES! He’d put such a burden on me for over a year at that point that I was so thrilled. I loved being around Asians and their culture. I had a roommate sophomore year for a semester who was from Taiwan. I loved talking with her and hearing about her life and her family. That was also the same semester I came to my faith and was able to share with her my changes and love and compassion that changed in me, but I wasn’t able to see her come to know faith like me. I still lift her up though.
Now a year has passed since that Initial conversation of the commitment. I feel burdened still and want to teach more than ever, but I have challenges to overcome. I raised about 5% of my support in one year! 😦 Not a lot but of course I don’t have about 20 years to raise the money and make that little of percent each year.
I will be talking with people I’ve known my whole life who haven’t heard about my faith and who don’t know who I am today and what challenges I have faced. In a small town and community it is hard to feel supported when so many expect that you should live here the rest of your life. I’m a wandering soul stuck in sand at the moment. I have been attending a fellowship and getting to know people who I’ve known for a long time, but not been able to have a relationship with because I haven’t lived here for quite some time. It is so hard for me, but I am excited to see where these new relationships lead and where the Father leads me through trusting him and allowing Him to pave the way and not trusting and leaning on my own understanding!
Lift me up as I start running toward the Father’s road to serving Him in China. I know with Him as the leader and the guide and me just following behind his light, nothing can stand in my way even if I tried. I do not want to stand in the way of the Father’s wonders He has prepared for my life! I only wish I could see the end and the bigger picture, but what fun would that be?