Last November, I heard our pastor share about the mission fields that the church has been an active part of. We were still fairly new members to our church here in TX and I was feeling like the world was too huge for me to know where to begin acting on faith. I was incredibly overwhelmed.
He shared about how the church had raised over $1 million and what they had done with it last year. When he moved to what people actually DID with the money I began to realize that I could become involved. When I realized that I could be involved, it was immediately on my heart to serve with my son.
After some prayer and sharing with him what was moving my heart, I told him he could have a couple of days to think about whether he’d want to join me on a family mission trip to Guatemala but without hesitation, he said “yes, I’d love that.”
We’ve traveled a LOT together over the past decade. Heck, he’s been traveling since he was six weeks old, his first international trip when he was six or seven to the London, Paris, Kiev and Odessa. Since then, many trips around the country, a couple of cruises and even this past Thanksgiving to Mexico.
I noticed that an interesting thing began to happen to both of us in our recent travels. We both began to get antsy on our trips. We wanted to go and do and see and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. But we didn’t know exactly what that was until this mission trip opportunity came along.
Before we could get excited about the trip, we needed to gear up for the fundraising.
I thought saying “yes” to God and yes to the mission field meant going to our savings account and pulling out the money. It’s what I’d anticipated and prepared for. It was what I’d experienced before.
And it is what I did for our deposits after our applications were approved.
I wrote the check for $400 and was told by both the Missions Director our Mission Team Leader that God had something more in store for us through fundraising for the remaining $4350 and that I ought not do that again.
So, I had to say yes to fundraising.
And I didn’t want to y’all. As soon as I heard it from both of them in different conversations, I began to wonder if we’d said yes to God or to our wanderlust and began backpedaling in my heart. But, what they also said directed my purpose and focus. That fundraising wasn’t just about asking for the money (and being humbled – which happened) but it was also about giving others the opportunity to give, to experience a mission trip they may not be able to go on at this time and even plant seeds for others who may be watching and consider doing something like this in the future.
Turns out, getting into fundraising was about a change in my heart, mindset and energy and gratefully, He got me there.
We created donation profile page through the church/Managed Missions, prayed and waited until after the first of the year to share it. Not only did we share it, we attempted to connect with our Facebook friends through homemade videos that we presented together. The videos included challenges of things we’d do to encourage them to give by a certain deadline.
The first video was posted on January 4th with the hopes of $100 donors who would help us raise $975 by January by February 1st. This first GOAL REACHED on January 22nd.
How? Well, we flat ironed my son’s hair and he had to wear it that way all day. He was SUCH a trooper.
There were even attempts at man buns and videos of him reflecting on the woman who thought he was a woman. Still laughing about those.
We began our next phase of fundraising with plans to raise a bigger chunk of money and for him to have a way to get “me back” for the hair silliness. With my 43rd birthday approaching in early February, we thought this might be a great next fundraising deadline with something for me to have to do.
I was still battling asking people for money without giving them something in return. Without exchanging some sort of goods and services. Without sacrificing more than my time and energy to manage the campaign. In this, I was tempted to ask for less. I even had the conversation with God…
How about we ask 43 people to give $25. Surely that’ll bring in the money, people can give $25, even teens could get in on that.
As soon as I started to pursue this goal, my stomach begin to hurt. And I knew why, because $25 wasn’t as faithful as $50. This was h-a-r-d (said with a whiny voice). I only wrestled with the switch for a short time and came into obedience with God about stepping out on faith with the larger amount.
So, our second goal became to have 43 $50 donors by February 9th (my 43rd birthday). If we reached the goal, donors could give recommendations about which songs should be played when my son produced, directed and filmed me doing goofy dances in a YouTube video; I was to have no say.
Look what happened y’all.
And while laughing and smiling and praying and praising, we looked up to find that we only had one sensible goal remaining.
At this point, I wanted to rest.
The energy required to manage a fundraising campaign, follow up with individual donors, answer questions, keep this in front of people (an aside – it takes an average of 8 to 12 exposures to something before we tend to act) and stir my son’s heart was tiresome. And exhilirating.
We needed only $975 more to be fully funded for our trip.
We kept praying and began planning for round three. And guess what happened…
Yes, we’re cheesin’. Grateful for a real, in-this-season experience where God demonstrated His power, His blessing. We were in mild shock, a bit of disbelief and living in joy. It was more than we’d anticipated grasping the meaning of acting on faith, trusting God to do the rest.
It required us opening our mouths, sharing, being open to who God would touch, when people could give and their amounts. We were completely shocked by some who chose to give and others who did not and even some of the reasons for both.
When we decided to get “goofyforGuatemala and make the fundraising efforts something to do together, knowing who was at the helm, it truly was more fun than anything else. We have our moments, like everyone, but most of our relationship is marked by our shared silliness. Our senses of humor are fairly similar and this fundraising project was intended to reflect that.
Below is the video that he created. A bit of a disclaimer…
When it comes to filming, my son raises his standards on quality. I was probably a thorn in his side because I wasn’t feeling well, was feeling the pressure to get the video out and was really wanting to be done putting forth energy in the fundraising realm to move on to a few other things that were not getting my full attention. To say he’s disappointed with the finished product would be an understatement.
Please enjoy it and know that it was done with love.
If you donated toward our mission trip, we would like to thank you. Or to begin thanking you. We will be keeping donors in the loop via a private Facebook page with more details about the trip. If you would like to donate to anyone on our team, we’d like to ask you to consider giving to the other single mom on the team and her two cuties.
We welcome prayers as we get serious about the work God is calling us to on His mission field in Guatemala.