We recently did this goofy little 14 day giveaway. I posted a picture or a video of something we would giveaway that day to the first person to sign up to support us after posting.
It felt really silly, a little hokey and super vulnerable.
Because, yes, we’re becoming missionaries and fundraising is a major part of that, and most people get slash assume that, but it still makes me cringe to ask people for money. Even when it’s for something amazing and good and important and a cause I would literally give my life and my family for.
I just don’t like asking for money. I don’t.
So when I was nudged to daily blast my Instagram and Twitter and Facebook (and ask our friends to do the same), I felt all kinds of uncomfortable and awkward and got that sinking, hot-cheeked feeling you get when you start clapping all loud and obnoxious way before the song is over but you weren’t paying attention to the director’s hands? Yeah, that.
But I did it anyway.
Why? Well, because we need a house and a car and some food and phones and Shepherd needs a crib for HIS OWN ROOM (Pause- sweet Lord Baby Jesus. Bless all you permanent cosleepers. I can’t. This kid needs his own room and I am so dang excited about it that I feel a little guilty. Like, if we were staying in America, this one bedroom-let’s-save-money-and-be-smart-and-live-simply stuff would end. Mama needs her space. End.) and because we’re becoming missionaries. We’re raising our salary. To live.
And, because, well, I believe in it. I believe in what we’re doing, I believe in the concept of missionaries being a sent representation of a community, I believe that our community believes in and supports us, and because, going off that whole community call thing, this:
-Venture is the only organization from North America, partnered with Feed My Starving Children, that is getting meals into the refugee camps on the Thai/Burma border. When I visited the camp five years ago, food was limited, strictly rationed and hard to find. It’s even worse now. The people living in the camp are escaping racial genocide and this is their only hope. We get to help make sure the food actually gets into the camp and gets into the mouths of those who need actual nourishment.
-According to UNICEF, some 3 million children are not living with parents. This could be from migration, violence, trafficking, being orphaned or just the harsh realities of poverty. This means that those 3 million children without parents are at such a high risk of simply getting fed and shuffled into the systems of human trafficking, poverty and forced slavery/labor. Why? Because no is looking out for them. No one is caring for them or helping them find another way to live. We get to work with a tiny, tiny fraction of those kids and help give them tools to fight against the deficit they were born into.
-The Venture HOSEA center, where our family will be spending the majority of our time, is one of the ways Venture is fighting against these systems that perpetuate injustice and leave those 3 million children to fend for themselves. The HOSEA center offers educational and developmental resources to an entire community of not just children, but their families as well. We will be working each day to teach English, help the students with their school work, provide scholarships,day camps and part time jobs for teachers. Why? To give these kids and their families a way out of the cycle they’re in.
-Venture is working with national leaders in both Thailand and Burma. The heart is not that the white people come in and change things or save anyone. The heart is that we with the education and vast resources we have (I’m talking about you. You, reading this right now. You, our donors and supporters and senders. You are our resources. You are what we are bringing.) come in and train and disciple national leaders to minister, lead and support their own people and then, eventually, train others themselves to do the same.
-Venture has partnered with pastors in Burma who provide safe homes for young girls forced into prostitution, or have suffered rape or domestic violence. We will have the honor of pouring into these pastors and social workers and providing them with whatever they need to keep doing what they’re doing.
…All of this. This is why I can ask for money. Because this is what the money we get is helping accomplish.
This is what you, through your giving, through us, are doing.
So, here’s to you. Here’s to you being a part of the community that is sending us. I don’t know how things in the Spirit work, I don’t get totally how God moves, but I believe that you, through your supporting us, have an inheritance in Thailand. You can claim and be a part of what God is doing.
Because you’re sending us.
And we’re bringing you. We’re bringing your heart for justice. We’re bringing your ache for violence and the conviction that the voiceless need a voice and the defenseless need a defender. We’re bringing your understanding that mission is a community thing, and that unless we’re all obedient to the Great Commission and using what God gives us, the broken and abused and abandoned will remain that way.
So here’s to you. Here’s to you just smiling at me as I jump up to give a standing ovation before the song is over and make awkward videos and ask you for money and you not shying away or making fun of me.
Here’s to you. Sending us. Letting us take you with us and represent you in a dark, broken place.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Just look at what you’re doing. Thank you.