That’s right– 100% funded!!
No scratch that. It’s more like 110%, because not only did God provide exactly the amount I needed, but overflowed the amount. My mind is seriously
It’s been what feels like such a long, fundraising journey, but really—its only been about 3 ½ months.
3 ½ months to raise $5,000. This seemed absolutely impossible to me, but the Lord assured me it was not!
I want to share with you the story of how God provided in all of this.
I know this might be a little bit long and exhausting to read, but I cannot CONTAIN the joy and wonder I am experiencing through God’s provision of this trip – And I want you to experience it with me 🙂
The cool thing is, is that this trip is not only for me or for the team members going, but the trip in and of itself, it is an investment into the Kingdom of Heaven whether you are the missionary being sent, the giver supporting the missionary, the prayer warrior fighting behind the scenes for souls to be won over, or the humble servant who gave their time up to support and build up the team. In the end, it doesn’t matter which role you played – The end result is MORE people coming to know Jesus and His love for them, and that is all that matters. So, I am so glad that we have gotten to go on this journey together and will get to see all of the marvelous things God has planned for the people in Zambia!
Okay, where do I start.
How about the “I think I’m going to go to Zambia” part?
So! I wanted to go to Africa a few years back, but things never really panned out or worked out. About 2 years ago, I heard of an organization called Overland Missions and some people told me about their experiences and I automatically thought, “Dang! I wanna go do that!” But I didn’t have a group to go with and again, nothing really panned out. At the beginning of this year, I started thinking about what I wanted to do for the summer. I looked into different mission trips and church camps, but AGAIN—Nothing worked out. So, I just decided I would take some summer classes and stay and work in Portales for the entire summer. Well, I had a friend come and talk to me one time about his experience in Zambia and it sounded absolutely incredible. “Wow I really want to go..” I thought to myself, but then I thought about how ridiculous that sounded and brushed the thought away. Months later, I went to Do Drop In to get some coffee and read my bible and as I was reading, I overheard two people talking to someone I knew about making investments into the Kingdom of God by giving of our time, money and efforts. (I pretty much pretended I was reading my bible, but I was really eavesdropping on their conversation because I was so intrigued!). Immediately after my friend left, I was like, “Dang! I really need to go meet these people!” So, I walked over to Brandy and Casey O’Connor (who are now my leaders for the trip) and introduced myself and we just got to talking and they were incredibly encouraging! Brandy, then invited me to an Overland Conference that was taking place that next weekend and she really encouraged me to go. I was so excited when I left, and then as the date approached for the conference, I started backing out of my decision to go to the conference. Two days before the conference, I made up my mind… “I’m NOT going.” Later that night, I ran into a friend who has been to Zambia before (but whom I usually don’t see). He asked (rather, STRONGLY encouraged) me to go to the conference. I got really excited about it and decided I would go, but then, ya know, the next day I decided again— “I’m NOT going.” Finally, the day of the conference, my friend Haleigh asked me if I would go with her to the conference and I finally decided I would go for sure. I got to the conference and I was just, in awe. Hearing about the vision of Overland to reach the nations and making Kingdom investments just rocked my world! I was deeply moved yet, I was still hesitant about going on a trip, but deep down in my heart I knew I needed to go. I didn’t really even want to necessarily, but I felt moved to. Right after the service, Brandy ran up to me and said, “Well! Are you coming or what?!” I looked at her with very confused eyes and said, “Ayyye. I don’t know 😦 ” Then she told me, “I just keep hearing ONE word in my head over and over, and that is faith.” And with that, I decided to pick up an application and go for it. I mean I’m 20, single, and I have a passport and an open summer. Why not? And if God doesn’t want me to go, I won’t right?
Fast forward a few weeks—I got accepted to go on the trip and the fundraising process began—90 days before the money was due. Usually on missions trips, you start fundraising a long time in advance to assure the money is in on time—well not this time! I looked on the website at the meter that told me how much money I had raised, which showed a long empty meter with thousands of dollars to be raised in a short amount of time. I sighed a big ole sigh of discouragement and then I heard the Lord speak to my heart, “Take a picture of it. And watch me FILL IT.” Uhh, seriously? I’m really gonna look like an idiot if I do and this meter never gets filled and I don’t go. But, again I heard Brandy’s ‘word’ come into my head: faith.
Towards the beginning of the fundraising process, I found out that I had to have $200 in within the first week, and I ended up just using my own money to pay for it since I hadn’t begun telling people about it yet! Shortly after, I made some newsletters to send out to all of my friends and family, and then I realized it was going to cost me and arm and a leg to print all of them out in color and buy envelopes and buy stamps. Sigh. Then randomly, a super charming young man [You know who you are ;)] made copies of my newsletters, had them printed in color, stuffed all the envelopes, and bought stamps so they could be sent out.
After the letters were sent out and a link posted on Facebook, different people were moved by the Lord to give—and very generously. Slowly but surely, the money started coming in.
Sometimes there were days where I would be super discouraged because I hadn’t received money in weeks, and then I would check the mail and there would be the exact amount I needed to keep up with my financial goals. As the deadline came closer, a very generous man gave me $500… and that same week, one of our family friends called me up and told me that the Lord had laid it on her heart to pay for the rest of my trip. AAAHHmazing! So with that, I turned in the rest of my money. Even after I turned my money in, more was coming in! Thankfully, that next week we found out that our plane ticket price was going to go up a few hundred dollars. Yet! I had the perfect amount of money left over to spend on the ticket out of the overflow of other’s giving. Then, I found out I needed to take about $300 with me to get visas and for extra spending money, but I had no more money left. By this time, I went on vacation for a week, and when I got back, three people just happen to donate $100. AGAIN—amazed! So then, I got my financial report back saying all the money was in and the flight was booked! At that moment, I remembered the picture that the Lord told me to take at the very beginning of this process, and so I took another!
Oh yes! And remember the $200 I paid out of pocket in the very beginning? Well… This morning I got a call from my Nanny telling me one of her friends woke up this morning and the Lord put it on her heart to donate $200. Good grief… Down to the last PENNY God provided every single bit of it. How precise and detailed He is!
It just amazes me at how I sometimes underestimate God’s provision and what He is capable of doing. Heck, he could have raised all that money in one day! But I am just so wowed that He would use something such as raising money stretch my own and other’s faith and prove to be so faithful in equipping me with what I needed to go where He called.
Thank you to everyone who has supported our team financially, spiritually and in every other way. Thank you for being one of God’s instruments in reaching the nations and even for helping me grow in my walk with the Lord. This whole process has opened my eyes to how God will provide for His kiddos and prove to be faithful, each and every time.