As Stacy and I have gone through the process of raising our funds to go over seas The Lord has proven His faithfulness over and over again (not that He has to, but He choses to humor us.) Stacy and I worked with undivided attention in the early mornings and late nights, every day, for several weeks as we built our website, (you’re thinking: the amazingly sleek and informative website I’m on right now? –yes, that one) we created a crowd funding page (YouCaring.org), created a Venmo account, (a money transfer app (@AnkarloAdventures) opened new bank accounts, wrote copy…lots of copy, copy for our prayer cards, for our support letter, our website and information cards, we networked to create t-shirts, (purchases help support our trip) we told our story to many people and several churches.
As far as we were concerned we had covered every angle possible outside of taking out an ad and plastering it on a billboard off of I-35 or purchasing a commercial slot to air in between Dallas Mavs losses (or any Dallas team for that matter)…not a bad idea we could probably get a commercial spot for cheap…
Once we had finally got all our plans in order we were ready to launch the website and all other paraphernalia along with it. Stacy and I were very excited as we hit the launch button; we posted our plans to go to Australia with YWAM on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We were amped to tell our story and to start raising funds to make the vision a reality.
Day one: $0 balance. No money came from the website, no money on the social app or crowd funding page and not a single check was placed in our hands.
Day two: $0 balance.
Day Three: $0 balance - No change.
Day Four: $0 balance - Nope not today.
Day Five: $0 balance - Were you expecting something?
Day Six: $0 balance - Ha! Try again tomorrow.
Day Seven: $0 balance. …it’s been a week and you’re penniless.
At this point I dropped $5 in our crowd funding account just to make sure it worked.
Day Eight: $5 balance – Did you really hear from God?
Day Nine: $5 balance -You fool you told everyone about this trip…
Day Ten, Eleven: More taunting doubts.
Day Twelve: $100 balance--$100 BALANCE!!
I shouted across our small apartment with enthusiasm,
“STACY, THERE’S MONEY IN OUR ACCOUNT…and it’s NOT OUR OWN!!”
It was a very exciting day. By the end of the day a couple other donations came in and we had a grand total of $160. We were overjoyed as if we finally hit our total goal for the trip…and then we realized…we still had to hit our total goal for the trip…….$24,000……In comparison $160 hardly constituted as a thumb nail scratch on the skin of a rhino.
Then came wave two of doubt.
For the next 2 weeks the only money we had in our missions fund was that $160 and some donations from my siblings and my parents. They were helpful and significant donations but for those two weeks we dealt with the question, do people really believe in us?
The Lord then reminded us, that HE has a will for our lives and HIS will is perfect and nothing can stand in the way of it as long as we are pursuing HIM.
So He who takes cares of the birds of the air and the ants in the grass…will He not also take care of us? I started thinking about all the mediums that we had set up that would help us receive support and you know what, God does not need a single one of them. He doesn’t need an app or a website, or mail-outs, if it’s His will then He will take care of it.
Although it’s true that He doesn’t need any of those mediums it served a great purpose as a testament to God that we are willing to tend the land He gave us. We weren’t going to sit around feeling entitled to any funds that should come just because He gave us a vision to go overseas; rather we put in the effort and worked the ground to be ready for the crop to come. We worked to open more potential opportunity for our support to come in. The Storm clouds were blowing in and there was potential for rain but the rain hadn’t come yet…and then he opened up the heavens and poured out his blessing over us and we produced a great harvest because of the land we tended faithfully. It’s a fine balance of work and rest. The faith is in the rest. We work the ground to produce a crop but the crop won’t come without the ground being watered. Often we work the ground and then grow impatient and instead of resting we work some more by grabbing the garden hose and watering the ground ourselves and we try to force the crops to come, but watering the crops is the Lord’s job. He calls us to honor His call by preparing the ground to produce crops but He asks us to exercise our faith by resting and waiting on Him to bring the rain and bring forth crops and life to the fields.
It would have been easy to grab the water hose and try to do it ourselves when Stacy and I saw that we only had $160 in our account. But Praise Be to God, a fresh outpouring of His blessing has opened up and today we are just over $5,000 in support and with the blessing of our church who is matching us dollar for dollar we now have $10,000 towards our trip! We have about 2 months left to raise support and we are just under halfway to our total support!! We are so thankful for the love of those that have been faithful to God by helping support us and in prayer and financially.
God is Good even when we worry, doubt, and try and do all the work ourselves. We are thankful for His rain, because a garden hose…just won’t do.