Thursday, September 11, 2014

Going by Giving: Hear From Our Gospel Partners- Part Deux

       I want to open this next guest blogger by simply saying that if you asked me to show you a picture of a "cheerful giver", it would be this woman and her husband.  She has come to me in tears of joy and excitement over the sacrifices that God has called her to make in order to be a part of what He is doing in France.  I am truly inspired by her.  So without further delay...

       "Why do I help support the Burches?  I guess it has to do with my own father who taught us to help others.  He said, "If you see a need, and you can help, you should- don't be selfish."  

       When I was teaching, I tried to instill the importance of giving.  I had the same home room from the time they were in 7th to 9th grade.  The first year, they didn't want to give to anything.  They wanted to spend their money on junk food.  It was like pulling teeth to get anything out of them.  I would remind them that even a little helped.  Some gave more, others gave less-it didn't matter, it added up.  And guess what...there was no less junk food!  By the time they were in 8th grade, only the new students didn't want to give.  The other students themselves talked to them and they gave some.  The students felt good about giving and gave freely.  By 9th grade they were asking me if we could do some other charitable giving.  Our class was known as the biggest supporters.  Other teachers were asking me how I got my students to give.  I guess because I found it important to help from my father's own words and actions.  I was proud of them, but more importantly, they were proud of themselves.  They learned that giving helps others and also makes them feel good.  They learned to give with a cheerful heart.  

But like the saying-"Many hands make light work." so do many donations turn into a large donation.  Phil's mother always said, "People do what they want."  This is so true.

      And isn't that what God wants us to do?  So, we see the Burches need help and we are able to help some.  But like the saying-"Many hands make light work." so do many donations turn into a large donation.  Phil's mother always said, "People do what they want."  This is so true.  They can't give because "they just don't have it".  But then they buy things they really don't need or take expensive vacations....yet, they couldn't even give $10 or $25 a month.  Like my homeroom kids, I bet if you give, you will still buy what you want and take the same vacation.  So, I would encourage you to make this a part of your ministry even if you are not doing it so cheerfully at first.  God will soon bless you with a cheerful heart!"

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Faith like a child....

     This "partnership development" phase of our journey, which really is much more than just fundraising, has been challenging in many ways. But it's stories like the one I'm about to share with you that makes me thankful that we get to be a part of it. It's humbling to see how God uses our story to call to the hearts of others, to draw them to His heart for the lost around the world.

     Recently I had the chance to give an update to our church family at Bartlett Hills. I've felt compelled lately not to focus too much on our story, but rather on God's grand design. God's plan is to use all of us, the church, to make disciples from here to the ends of the earth. We're all created by Him, through Him, and for Him. Our lives are His.

     That night, a proud grandmother shared with me how God had spoken to her grandson that morning. I think God began to reveal to this young man how He could use him to reach the lost across the ocean in a place like France. God had plans to use him even now. She told me that he had received some money for Christmas and that he had a small amount left and felt like he should give it to help us minister in France. He had planned on using it to buy a gift for his mom but he really felt like God told him to give it for us! I was blown away to hear about such a selfless act by someone so young. I also felt a little bad about his mom, ha, but she apparently wasn't too upset as she also gave her own gift towards the work in France.

   We're all part of God's big story and He's at work in the hearts of His people. May the example of this sweet family spur us on to find our place in God's work around this world. If you too want to partner with us to reach the French you can click the button on the left and follow the instructions there. To God be the glory.