No one likes to ask for money, and no one likes to be asked for money. I have to admit this is my least favorite part of any kind of outreach work. I guess, what it comes down to is the question of "how much do we believe in what we're doing?" Do we believe in it enough to pay for it ourselves (if we could afford to)? And if so, do we then believe in it enough to ask others to support what we're doing? One of the most pointed objections I've heard to supporting short-term mission work is, "I do not want to pay for someone's vacation." I will admit I've heard of projects where the participants seemed to do more sightseeing than meaningful work, and for this reason, I'm glad to be one of the leaders of this team. We have assured the team that this will be no vacation. The vast majority of our time will be spent in what will probably be very uncomfortable areas where a tourist would never venture. The very small amount of sightseeing we do will be at our own expense, and will be an afterthought rather than an objective.
I've been thinking over these things as we're really up against the wall with our fundraising. As of our last update, we're at 29% of our total needed, and our deadline for raising 50% was this past Sunday. This has now been extended to this Friday, and the total still needed to reach that 50% is just over another $6000. The reason for this deadline is the necessity of purchasing flights before the prices start to rise as the time draws nearer. I have full faith that God will help us raise what we need to make this happen, but we are faced with the stark reality of having to drop people from the team if the money doesn't come in quickly. We're planning garage sales, lemonade stands and other things to raise money, but at the end of the day, our success or failure will come down the generosity of those who hear our pleas for support.
I believe in what we're doing. I feel that our work will meaningfully impact the lives of some very poor individuals who will not be reached if we do not go. I feel that our investment in the group we will be working with will leave an impact far beyond our time there, and I feel the long-term relationship with that organization will have benefits to the people in the area that we couldn't now imagine. I am giving a significant chunk of my savings toward our work, and I hope and pray that God will move the hearts of those who read this to give sacrificially as well. There are some things that we can only do together, and your help is needed. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for your interest in our team and what God is doing in and through us!