Time and time again God decided to prove that He's got this whole adventure under His mighty wing. We doubted and God provided. We doubted again and our support jumps 20%. We get frustrated with the whole process and God humbles us and gets us to that fully funded milestone.
We thank God that the fundraising part is done. There have been hurdles, but I think what we'll take away the most are the stories of God's provision and the joy He brings in the search of bringing His Body together in unity to impact the world for His name.
By no means are we expert fundraisers; far from it. But we did learn a thing or two along the way. So as we're at the end of the trail, here are some reflections that might help those who just strapped on their hiking boots.
1. There will be highs and there will be lows. Keep a cool head through it all because in both God's put you in that circumstance at that time for a reason. Praise Him through it all.
2. Do the work, but don't stress out. Ultimately God is in control and has chosen to bless us by letting us be a part of His Kingdom work. Can I get a woot woot! It is OK to veg out and watch Netflix sometimes -- just don't binge watch too many seasons of Parks & Rec between fundraising appointments.
3. Spread the load. Looking back, I wish I done more of the paperwork side of things, instead of relying on Erin to do it. Take the time to both know what needs to be done and when. You'll have a better sense of unity through the process and things will move quicker and smoother.
4. Always carry something to give away. Our organization, TEAM, provided us with prayer cards, giving brochures, business cards, pens, and we printed newsletters. Way more materials than we need, but there were times when someone asked about Zimbabwe and we didn't have anything to give them.
5. Never turn down an opportunity to share your story. We had the opportunity to share this crazy Zimbabwe adventure to a church of hundreds one week, and a church of ten the next. We Skyped with couples, and drove across South Dakota to meet with folks. In each conversation, we were able to share Karanda with eager ears. How exciting! Not every meeting resulted in a check written out, but most ended with people excited about what God is doing and more people praying for the people of Zimbabwe. In fact, some of those at the smallest churches ended up being our biggest financial partners. As missionaries, we have the opportunity to bless those in the Body eager to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Please don't deny them the opportunity to jump on board the awesome things God is doing. As our pastor loves to say, "the most exciting thing happening on this planet today is what God is doing through His church!"
___With so many amazing friends, family members, and even people we don't know supporting the work in Karanda, Zimbabwe, we've been challenged to reexamine our mission statement, especially first line.
This is what we've learned on our journey through the uncertain and humbling task of fundraising. If you have any more tips, please leave them in the comments.