Thursday, April 16, 2009

raising support for our trip to Africa

Im really at a loss of what to write. Really. Even though it is about to be a really long (BUT AMAZING) story I still feel at a loss of words.. mostly because words dont describe it. And I dont think anything I can say does it justice.

Raising support scares me. Its one of the reasons Freeland & I have waited this long to go and serve. (this long - really isn't that long but you get what Im saying. Its why we haven't gone before) Its very hard & humbling to ask for support. Especially these days when everyone around us is struggling. I wish we were at a point in our lives where we could do it all ourselves but we aren't. And I know God is calling us to go this summer so we aren't going to let finances stop us from that. Its a huge step of faith for me. Freeland had the opportunity to go to Morocco once. It was the summer before we started dating. He raised support for that trip. And wouldn't you know it - before he could even send out one letter - his trip was paid in full! It was a HUGE blessing. I mean how unreal is that? One family paid his way for the entire thing. It still gives me chills thinking about it. Especially because they are such close friends of ours!

SO back to raising support for the current trip. I have gone back & forth deciding if I should write about it or not. Mostly because I didnt want it to sound like I was asking for financial support on our blog. But I finally decided to go ahead and share all the details - for a few reasons: first, our family encouraged us to share it. (and friends echoed their encouragement) Second, I want to be able to look back and remember this time in our life. And third, because I want to share what God is doing and really how incredible he is.

So here is how everything has happened so far.

2 weeks ago we received everything in the mail with all the information for our trips. We started going through all the details of exactly what needed to be done and how we should do it. It was at that moment we realized that not only were we going to need more than $7,000 in just 2 months for us to both go.. but we also were supposed to have 1/3 of it in by April 1st. (which was only 3 days away at that point) That of course caused a slight panic. We were ready to trust God with all of it.. but I don't think I was planning on being ready that quick! How could we come up with even part of that in 3 days? We realized at that very moment God was quickly showing us that he was in control. And we both felt a huge peace that it would be taken care of. (which its not my nature to feel a peace about finances just so you know)

Well by the end of the weekend, before we even sent out support letters or asked our family, we seriously had $1600 for the trip. WHAT? YES! Without sending one letter or asking anyone for money God provided (through friends & family) $1600!!! How insane is that? People seriously just called us and said they wanted to send us money!

It was the most overwhelming thing in the world. And it was such a huge confirmation that God really does have a plan for us, he cares about the details, he longs to provide for us, and he wants us to go to Africa!

So that was just the start of raising support for the trip. That same week we sent out support letters to our family & friends. Our intentions were to let them know about our trip and how they could be praying for us. Of course it also shared our financial needs.

And thats the scary part. But its also the part where we had to learn to just trust God. And seriously it has been the most overwhelming, humbling, exciting thing ever. Freeland and I have both felt so encouraged and loved. We have received tons of emails and phone calls from people saying how much they believe in what were doing and what God has planned for us. And we have definitely felt all of their prayers. And before we knew it people also started sending us financial support. The first time we opened our mail and there was a check I started crying. And every time since then we have checked the mail and there is a check - I start crying again. I just cant believe that anyone would be willing to help us and yet there are LOTS of people who are more than willing to help us.

Naturally we have a hard time receiving any of it. (I think I have said everyday "should we send this back to them?") But we realize God is the one doing all of this and they are giving because they trust him.

And here is the amazing part and what I always want to remember: In just 2 weeks God has provided over half of the finances for our entire trip!! I remember when we first sat down to pray about raising support and doing all of this I seriously questioned if we would be able to raise any money in just 2 months. I told Freeland that I hoped we had enough for him to at least be able to go. And I wondered how any of this was going to happen! And in just 2 weeks .. in just 14 days God has taken care of half of it already!

Its seriously amazing to us and I tear up now just thinking about what He is doing and how thankful I am for the people who have trusted him and given and for the people who have encouraged us and are praying for us!

BUT the story doesnt stop there. Then we started working on all the other details. The details we wouldn't be raising support for. Like, having someone watch the dogs, getting all my shots, figuring out our flights to & from NY (where we will meet the team and then go to Africa) travelers insurance, etc. And lets just say all those things add up to A TON of money. (in the thousands) And once again we were at a point of "what are we going to do? How will any of this work out?"

And of course - in just a week.. over $1000 of it was taken care of! God provided. (are you seeing a trend here?!) Our dear friends Sarah & Drew and Adam & Camille have offered to watch (and spoil) our animals for us! (which saves us $540) And without going into too much detail God totally provided for all - EVERY SINGLE ONE - of my shots to be paid for. (that saved about $500) So in just one day over a $1000 was also taken care of!

And thats where we are currently at. We still have a ways to go before we are done. But how could I ever question if it will happen after all that has already happened?! How can we ever question at all? If you made it all the way to the end of this - thanks for reading. And hopefully you were able to see more than anything that God is doing all the work here. Freeland & I of course are rejoicing daily for all he is doing. And we feel like we are learning new things about Christ's Love all the time. I pray that we truly hold onto the things we are able to rejoice in and are learning now. And my hope is that even in suffering we can rejoice the same as we are able to now. It excites us that God cares so much for the people in Africa that he is providing us a way to go. I know that we have little to offer but that he will do so much.

Now we just cant wait to get over to Africa and see God work there!

11 comments:

  1. Brookie! That is so neat. Love you both!!

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  2. Hi Brooke...have been a follower of your blog for several months now...please tell me where Ican send support for your trip...I would love to do what I can..I am so excited for you and your hubs to be doing such amazing work. You are so inspirational to me...thank you!!

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  3. The Lord will provide...

    Prayers for you from Topeka.

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  4. Brooke, I am so glad you posted this, because I had already forgotten that I meant to send y'all a check. Really. I am that scatterbrained. The form is sitting under a big pile of "I need to look at this mail..."

    I have almost decided that I want you to pack me in your suitcase so that I can go on the trip, too.

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  5. I would love to support your trip - will you facebook me the information?

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  6. Praise the Lord! It is amazing to see how much the Lord loves and cares for us.

    Hey girl, you never sent me a support letter????

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  7. It is so encouraging to see the Lord providing in every detail. Thanks for posting this!

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  8. That was me- Camille, by the way. I don't know why it posted under my mom's name.

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  9. That is so awesome!!!

    I'd love to help out. Just e-mail me the details. :-)
    manderzmusings@gmail.com

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  10. We love reading your blog, you should post a paypal account we can send money too... or a p.o.box.

    Your blog is such a great witness.

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  11. Yall are SO SO SO incredibly sweet. Thank you for your encouragement and offering to help us. Im really overwhelmed that you would think to help us. You dont have to do that - especially when most of you dont even know us! It means the world to us that you would even offer! I will talk to Freeland about posting a paypal account (that the organization set up) Thank you again for your incredibly sweet comments and for all of your prayers!

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