It all started last summer when Kari announced that she was going to be organizing two mission trips in 2011. I knew that mission trips would play a part in my life, but didn't realize how much God wanted it to be as well. I emailed Kari and told her that I was interested in possibly the February mission trip to Ethiopia. Just a week later, I found out that I was pregnant with a due date in April. That pregnancy was a huge surprise. 11 weeks later I miscarried and got very sick. As I was grieving that loss and lying in a hospital bed, I emailed Kari back and told her that I wanted in on the June Uganda trip. She quickly responded with kind words and a "we'd LOVE to have you on our team!" I turned in my application and deposit back in September and kind of put it on the back burner because it seemed so far away.
In late January, I received and email telling me that my money would be due by March 1. The panic began to set in. Really?! I needed to raise about $3500 in around five weeks?! During one of our monthly Ethiopian Adoptive Family gatherings, I was talking to another family that has participated in several mission trips. They were a huge encouragement to me. We calculated that all I really needed was $100 a day until March 1. Just $100 a day....I could do that, right?!
The following is how awesome God has been to me in the month of February:
- January 30 - I blogged about my mission trip and vowed to not worry and have complete faith.
- February 1 - I begin to write letters to my friends and family asking them to support my mission trip. I was reluctant to send them out at first, fearing what people would think. I was reminded by a friend that this is not for me, it's for a mission trip. I am going to serve, to love on orphans and to raise money to meet needs. I prayed over every single letter, asking God to open the hearts of my friends and family, making them want to give.
- February 5-6 - I had my first bake sale at the Army and the Navy's drill weekend. I prayed over every baked good, asking God to have people want to contribute. I made around $300 this weekend!
- February 6 - I received my first large check from one of Brandon's co-workers. I didn't even expect anything like that. She gave me $100 check and said, "isn't God good?!"
- February 15 11 a.m. - I was talking to a friend who was asking me about my progress. I told her about the $900 I had raised. I was excited until I realized that it was the 15th day. According to my original goal, I should be at $1500. I quickly put that fear and doubt out of my mind and trusted that the money would come in.
- February 15 5 p.m. - I went to the mail box and discovered two checks totaling $600! That put my total at $1500 raised on the 15th day of my fund raising!!! I was meeting my $100 a day goal!
- February 17 - Discussed the idea of a giveaway with two friends over lunch. I was reluctant. They convinced me that it was a fabulous idea and helped me work out all the details!
- February 22 - TWO unexpected refund checks came in the mail ON THE SAME DAY!!! One check may have been a coincidence, two is definitely not! One check was for something we "overpaid?" and the other was for an overpayment of Escrow on our house. Seriously, TWO unexpected refund checks in one day totaling $800!
- March 4 - It was the last day of my drawing for the iPad and Touch and we were having company over for dinner. I decided since they are from Southern California and appreciate REAL Mexican food, that I would grill some fajitas. I opened the sliding glass door to our back yard and the deck and found an envelope in between the door and the screen. At first I thought it was a piece of paper Marley had been coloring on. After I picked it up and saw Africa on the envelope, I squeezed it and thought it might be an adoption or mission t-shirt. When I opened it, I about fell over! I thought it was all ones and immediately called a waitress friend of mine accusing her of the generous gesture. She denied it. After our dinner company left, Brandon was counting it as I was getting ready to end the drawing. He told me I had been tricked, there were two $100 bills in the middle of all the ones. Seriously! Someone left me an anonymous gift of $328!
- March 5 - I drew the names for the drawing and announced that I had exceeded my goal by $1700!
I hope to continue raising money and items to make an even bigger impact! I truly believe God is teaching me that if I just have COMPLETE CRAZY FAITH that He will be alive in my life!