Posts Tagged With: fundraising

Fundraising Thoughts

funds 06-21-14

Funds Raised or Pledged as of June 21, 2014

As we come to the critical point of making the decision whether or not we can begin the applications and paperwork for an August departure as planned, fundraising has been on my mind quite a bit. We have travelled a lot of new ground for us in the last several months—both literally and figuratively—as we have shared the vision God has given us and sought to find partners in its fulfillment. It has been wonderful to meet new people and make friends who are supportive and encouraging of our mission. However, stopping to look at the cold, hard numbers can sometime be rather discouraging; they seem to grow so slowly sometimes. Even so, God has been faithful in many expected and unexpected ways and we have inched our way to over 77% of the needed support! Which means we still need to find another 23% in barely two months time. Two months that have many other things that need to be done if we are to leave on time. (To break that down for the detail-oriented people, that means we need to raise an additional $1,600/month for our first 3-year term.)

Recently, I have been following a short Fundraising Bible Reading plan from the YouVersion Bible App. It has encouraged me that in the two Old Testament passages, so many gifts were given that they had more than enough. Moses even had to tell the people to stop giving! I have also found encouragement in Paul’s “appeal letter” in II Corinthians 8-9.

As you consider giving (or if you have already pledged) to our mission, please take these words from 2 Corinthians 9:12-15 to heart:

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Another thing that keeps going through my head lately is the lyrics from a couple of the songs Daisy danced to at her ballet recital this past weekend:

When you take that first step into the unknown
You know that He won’t let you go
So what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities, they try to alter you
But you know you’re made for more, so don’t be afraid to move
Your faith is all it takes, and you can walk on the water, too
(“Walk on the Water” by Britt Nicole)  Lyrics  Video

I’m stepping out to take a chance.
And if I fly or if I fall it’s in Your hands.
You’re the maker of my dreams,
And You’ll make a way with me.
So I’m stepping out, I’m stepping out
To take a chance
(“Stepping Out” by Group 1 Crew)   Lyrics  Video

Please join with us in praying and believing for the remaining funds to come in before it is time for us to leave. Thank you.

Here’s an encouraging blog post if you’ve got so many obligations at the moment you don’t feel you can give.

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A Brief Update

Weekday life continues to go about the same: school, homeschool co-op, and a few other activities. Weekends have been for traveling. We visited a different church each of the five Sundays in March and the first Sunday of April! Each of those visits were opportunities for wonderful connections and sharing. The last week of March, we had been planning to go to our home church, and we were all looking forward to it. However, at the last minute, we were invited to speak at a Missions Conference nearby. Although we were disappointed to miss our church family once again, we were truly blessed by the conference. 

A family at New Bremen Church

We really enjoyed our time visiting with a family from the New Bremen Mennonite Church–especially the chance to get up close and personal with their alpacas.

Clarence Center Church

Visiting a church near Buffalo, NY

We continue to work on logistical matters as well. The past few weeks I have been working to figure out visa requirements for our time of language study in Costa Rica. There are several documents we need to obtain and/or have certified for that process. Some of that we can do now and some can’t be done until we are released to do it by EMM—-once we are at 75% to 80% of the funds required.

The fundraising has been going well. If you have been checking for the non-existent blog posts, you may have noticed that, even though they have not been appearing, the thermometer in the sidebar has been going up (unlike the one outside, but that’s another topic!). We are now just about halfway there. Praise the Lord!! If you would like to become a partner with us, you may do that from this page (links in the side bar—you can pledge online or print it out and mail it in). You can also sign up to receive our monthly prayer and quarterly newsletters.

This past weekend we had the end-of-year program for our homeschool co-op. The kids performed the musical Everyday Heroes. It talked about how God can and does use ordinary people to do extraordinary things, using Gideon, Esther, and Nehemiah as examples. I’m pretty sure the lady who chose this musical was only looking at having enough parts to go around (beyond the Christian theme), but it seemed quite appropriate for our situation as well. I want to assure you that we are a most ordinary family with struggles and sibling rivalry and frustrations and whining and tempers and doubt. And when we look at what God has called us to and the amount of funding required to get there, it definitely seems next to impossible. However, we are learning that if we just follow one step at a time and lean on God, He is faithful and He will do it. One song from the Gideon part of the musical that is on repeat play in my mind had the words, 

He never, never, never, ever, ever, ever,

Thought God could use him.

He never, never, never, ever, ever, ever,

Thought He could.

He never, never, never, ever, ever, ever,

Thought God could use him.

He never, never, never, ever, ever, ever,

Thought He would.

God will fight the battle, if we’ll answer the call.

That about sums it up!

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On the Road Again…

This seems to be the motto for our family lately. Fortunately, for the most part, it has not been accompanied by the oft-associated “Are we there yet?”
January we began fundraising in earnest, spending three of the four Sundays traveling to other churches to share what God is calling us to do. We were truly blessed at each of these churches by amazing connections and encouragement. At almost every place, we encountered people with connections of some type to Guatemala. Some had been there themselves and many had relatives or friends who had been there. Talking with people after each service about our call and hearing about their lives and how God has used/is using them has been inspiring as well. We had a bit of a break during February, only visiting one church, but we will hit the road again in March with all five Sundays away.
Another thing that has kept us on the roads is our medical preparations. We are all required to get physicals and one or two vaccines before leaving. As such, I think we have been to the doctor’s or dentist’s (30 min one way) six times in the last four weeks. However, we now have 2/3 of the physicals complete and a couple rounds of shots done. (Unfortunately, the vaccines needed come in a series, so that will still require several more painful visits…which are always concluded by a chocolate shake, of course!)
We have been working on some educational preparations as well, although these have not involved much travel. All of us have been working to some degree on our Spanish. Ted has passed me up in placement at, though I still have a higher total score than him. 🙂 Daisy is working on that as well and has got several of her friends learning along with her, keeping her challenged. The younger kids enjoy watching Pocoyo videos on youtube and learning as we use different words in everyday conversations. Ted has also been taking some college level classes online for free. He found one on sustainable economic development and is looking into another on Latin American culture. He’s been quite active in the class forum where the discussions have been spirited and energizing.
We have been blessed to see God working as he brings people into our lives we haven’t connected with in a long time and our partner base grows. Although we are in the process of leaving our home here for a while, we have felt not a loss but a gain of support and friendship and connections–some of it in person, but much of it electronically. Our prayer is that this will continue as we leave the country and share God’s love with a people who have suffered greatly at the hands of others.
One additional way each of you can help us that I did not include in my last post is to like our Facebook page (see right column to do this) and invite your friends to like it as well. The more likes and shares we get, the more we can spread our message of providing hope for the K’ekchi’ people. You can also find more pictures and information about our plans on our Facebook page.

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Approval and Exploring

We received the following news in an email today:

Dear Ted and Julie, Congratulations, you have been approved for an assignment with Eastern Mennonite Missions!” 

Although the blog has been quieter the last couple of months, we have been busy playing catch up. We were approved for a short-term assignment in May, but EMM understandably has a longer and more involved process for long-term approval. So when we switched to long-term, we had to backup and complete those extra steps. After completing doctrinal questionnaires, life inventories, and growth plans, we had our final interview this week.
The next step is to establish our budget and form our support team. We saw the first draft of the budget this week and it was a bit overwhelming. But God is faithful!  We will initially be going for a three-year term. The first year we will go to language school in Costa Rica, and then to Guatemala for almost two years before returning for a 3-month visit. We are hoping to be able to raise the money so that we can make it to the start of the August term in Costa Rica next year.
Our language study here has been coming along. Ted, Esther, and I will get a chance to test it out this coming week. We will be joining an EMM employee for an exploratory trip to Guatemala to meet the missionaries that are there now as well as the people that we will be working with in a couple years. We are very excited about this opportunity and would appreciate your prayers for safety and successful connections. 
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