I'm noticing a theme here.
Ever since I boldly proclaimed to the Lord that I was itching to get out of my comfort zone, He's had a ball finding ways for me to practice this. (You have to be careful what you boldy proclaim.) It may seem silly to you, because maybe you are a fundraising exraordinaire. I'm not. I'm the girl who used to lug around the whole box of school-issued chocolate bars up and down the street, asking people to buy one for a dollar, and then would wind up going back home with half a box of chocolate bars, shrugging her shoulders and feeling relieved to have the whole attempt over and done. I never won the cool prizes. I didn't even care. I just hated the asking so much. It was excrutiating.
So, the Lord has given us a call to Ukraine to do ministry this summer, and of course, He's going to provide for our needs, according to His riches in glory. But there's this small matter of fund raising. See, God's expecting me to work at it. He's going to bless the effort, but I'd much rather He sneak an extra several thousand dollars into my bank account so I can keep my pride intact and feel that I am getting out there on this mission on my own.
God isn't working that way, though. He chooses to use people as His instruments of blessing. He calls others to come alongside us and share the vision of blessing the kids at Sunshine with His love, and in that way, He multiplies the blessings back to all of us who are involved in getting His work done there.
Already I'm so blessed by the friends who would like to receive the letter (I have yet to write) about the trip and the ways we need friends to join with us to do this ministry! And I'm excited about a fundraising yard sale we'll be doing (send donations of items, if you want to - all you spring cleaners out there). There are some other events we'll have with the help of friends and area businesses, and I'll let you know about those, too.
But the letter-writing is the thing that is getting me right now. I can sit and write forever. And ever. But I'm really struggling to sit down and write a letter asking for help. God's dealing with my heart about this, because He's using this to show me a lot of pride and self-sufficiency in me, and those things don't glorify Him. He is my need meeter. He is the One who's orchestrating this ministry. And He already knows the hearts He's moving upon to join with us in our work in Ukraine this summer.
So, you may get a letter. If you would like to receive one, please let me know, and I will joyfully add you to our growing mailing list! The plan is to spend 7-10 days in Ukraine, ministering to the kids and the caregivers at Sunshine in some very specific ways. We're taking some things with us to give to the kiddos and caregivers (coffee is a big request, chocolates, fun little toys, ball caps, hair accessories, etc., so let me know if you'd like to contribute), and we're also going to be purchasing groceries to make some "American" meals for everyone, as well as taking the group to McDonald's (which is something that's a real fun treat for them) and also a water park. We need financial partners in this, because the Lord is calling us to something that He knows is beyond our ability by our own means.
I can't wait to get to Sunshine and look the kids I've come to know by name in the eye and spend time with them. They are so precious. They are so blessed to be in a place where they are cared for and are not put out on the street at 16 (thank you, Jesus!). We are very eager to hug our heart-son Sasha and the other sweet kids there who all have come to feel like family to us over the past year and a half. We can't wait to meet Ania and the other caregivers who pour their lives out daily to make these kids feel loved. This is a ministry we believe in and love deeply, and we're so excited that God's sending us to share His love in Ukraine this summer!
Um, so I think I just sort of wrote a fundraising letter.....