Taking a family of four to Zimbabwe for 6+ weeks costs a lot of money.
A lot. Of. Money.
The amount needed for plane tickets alone is enough to almost keep us on the ground. Being the practical woman that I am, I can't help but think of the things such an amount of money could buy. I've held starving children and I'd be lying if I said I didn't struggle with raising so much, knowing what all that money could do. Still, we believe that God sees and cares for those who are suffering. We long for the day when we are finally educated and ready to make a lasting impact on the lives of many living in Africa.
Although we love being in Africa and miss it dearly, this trip is not a vacation. We are not simply scratching an itch called "I've been in America too long...gotta get out soon!". This is a calling. The Bible calls all believers to be missional. Some go and some stay to support those who go. It's the relationship between the two groups that makes missions possible. Missionaries are the bridge between the church back home and the host church, building each other up in love (Eph.4).
We have been completely overwhelmed by the generosity of so many. People we know and love have literally sacrificed their own needs and wants to send us on our way. They believe in the work we are doing and plan to do in the future. They pray with us and for us as we continue to follow God's call. It's so much more than just sending a check. We've got a team of people, a family behind us in this and it makes all the difference.
Raising support challenges me in these ways:
- I am WAY more aware of what I buy throughout the week. After all, if a friend six states away is willing to forgo that cute pair of shoes and instead send me the cash, I'd better be willing to do the same for myself.
- I am WAY more aware of how much/little I give to others. Being the recipient of generosity can really point out how tight your fist really is. It also sparks something inside of you, making you much more eager to give to others.
- The need for perfection sets in. Well, the sinful feeling of needing to come off as a perfect Christian mom, wife, missionary sets in. It's a daily struggle to remember to be myself. After all, most of our supporters know who I really am - sarcastic, goofy me. They love me just the same.
- Trusting God to care for others. As I mentioned above, it's difficult for me to spend so much money for us to do this internship. Heck, for us to move to Africa someday, it will cost us much more! Still, I know that this is an important part of our process of becoming missionaries. God is preparing us now for working with Africans in the future. We believe that investing long term is just as important as meeting immediate needs. There is a time and place for both.
- Learning to say thank you. When you've been given a huge gift, it's difficult to express thanks without sounding flippant, dramatic or shallow. Humility and gratefulness are qualities only God can give. I pray for them daily.
I've added a fundraiser thermometer to the right side of the blog. Pray with us as we hope to reach our goal of $6,300 by the time we purchase plane tickets in early April. We are almost half way there and know that God will provide the rest.