Can I tell you a story?
Yesterday, in honor of Velvet Ashes 2nd birthday, I shared the story of how Velvet Ashes began. We looked back in wonder at how God has done more with this community than any of our small minds could have imagined two years ago.
But there’s more to the story, more that has been developing in just the last weeks and days even.
For quite some time, the leadership of our editors’ team has been on the lookout for a financial manager (This is vital to our story, I promise).
None of us on the team feel gifted (or even slightly excited) about finances and budgets. We’re all women who’ve been on the field, so we’re quite accustomed to working off of shoe-string budgets, just making do with what we can. But as the ministry of Velvet Ashes has continued to grow, so have our costs, and so have our dreams.
In other words, we knew we desperately needed someone who knows about money to help us out.
So we put the word out, “Anyone know of someone who’s really good with money, who wants to do our budget for us? Oh, and like the rest of us, do this for free?”
Crickets… of course.
Then lo and behold, Amy Young shared the need with her friends and supporters and Kim and Steve Nease entered the picture. With lots of expertise in finances and business and ministry experience, and a huge heart for what Velvet Ashes does, they said they would be thrilled to help out.
Kim herself has lived and served overseas and she said, “I can only imagine what it would have meant to me to have something like Velvet Ashes back then.”
We sent them all of our financial records, and they were too polite to laugh, but I think they were shocked to see that Velvet Ashes has managed to survive and do what we’ve done on the tiny budget that we have.
That’s when they asked for a conference call and got all Holy Spirit inspired on us. They said, “You all are just barely scratching the surface of the potential God has for you. Let’s draft a budget that would include all that you dream of doing, of all that God could do with you in the coming year.”
So we did. And then nearly choked when our budget was more than quadruple what is has been. But they looked it over and said, “There is nothing extravagant here. This is still shoe-string, but this will help you grow into the potential God has given you. The money is out there. People want to partner and be a part of this. You just need to ask.”
We wanted to be all faith-filled, but $23,975 still seemed like a lot to ask for, a number a little too pie in the sky for the likes of us.
Then someone came to us and said, “I know you’re thinking about raising money for Velvet Ashes. I believe in what you’re doing. I see how God is using Velvet Ashes to minister to women across the world, and that in turn is empowering the all of the ministries in which these women serve.
“I want to offer to match any donations made to Velvet Ashes up to $10,000 by the end of the year. You raise $10,000 and I’ll match it with another $10,000. I want to see you with the money you need for the coming year in the bank.”
Then long silence… because Amy Young and I were rendered speechless and teary.
Can you even…? I can’t even…
Sorry. Days later, I’m still stumbling for words.
The number of $23,975, that number that felt insurmountable was now swiftly cut down to $13,975. Our dreams suddenly feel like they could actually happen.
We could actually have…
– Special programs developed to walk alongside women entering a new culture and for those re-entering their home culture.
– High quality video for our Velvet Ashes Online Retreat, offering spiritual renewal for women across the world.
– The resources we need as a team to lead this ministry with vibrance.
– The ability to participate in conferences, spreading the word about Velvet Ashes, so that women know this lifeline is here for them.
It’s pretty clearly that our job now is to ask. We need to invite you to give to a movement that God has set in motion.
In honor of our 2nd birthday, would you consider gifting Velvet Ashes with a donation?
Our goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000 to match our generous donor’s gift. But we’re feeling led to be bold, to dream big. We’d like to be fully funded by the end of the year, and that means raising$13,975 I’d say this feels audacious, but considering our story, considering we raised $5,700 in 30 days when we were just a tiny tribe trying to kick start a dream, considering the outrageous generosity we’ve already been offered… maybe this isn’t audacious, maybe this is just the way of God.
If 1,400 of us (which is about one half of our subscribers) gave just $10 each, we’d have our goal met. A $10 birthday gift to show that you’re part of this community and it has meant something to you. That’s what we’re asking. Just $10.
If you’d like to go beyond, here’s what your gift can do…
Provides a year of daily images for our posts.
Covers 1 month of daily posts sent by email to our subscribers.
Keeps the website online and maintained for one month.
Provides 20 books to be gifted to women so they can participate in book club.
Creates a program to walk along women going through culture shock and reentry.
Goes towards promotional materials.
Sponsors 100 women to participate in the Velvet Ashes Online Retreat.
Hires a videographer for the Retreat video filming and editing.
Allows VA team members to attend conferences to introduce women to Velvet Ashes.
We’d also like you to partner with us by inviting others to join this movement. I’m guessing you know people who may not be women on the field, but they are people with a heart to come alongside through prayer and financial support to enable the work of God across the globe. We’re creating a special group just for these people.
Would you share this post with potential partners?
We’re inviting these people to join the Velvet Ashes Partner Team here:
Friends, if you’ve been in this community for long, then hopefully you already know the heart of it. We are not out to become “big” for the sake of being big. We don’t believe value is measured in numbers. We simply want to open wide the doors of community for weary women serving in all corners of the world. We want to come alongside those that are preparing to go, to be the hand that so many of us wish we had had. We want to walk with those going through the upside down journey of re-entry.
We want to offer the tender care of Jesus, and we want to do it well.
That is our dream.
And our birthday wish is for the funds to make this dream possible.
To celebrate our birthday, we have a gift for you! We want to give thanks to the Lord for all that he has done in this community. This gorgeous print from images2inspire is free and downloadable (for one week only!).
PDF Download – Give thanks to the Lord
The download comes with three options:
- 8×10 print
- 5×7 print
- Devotional cards (great for giving a note to a friend, bible journaling, or hanging around the house.)
Need a fresh reminder to hang in your home? Some lovely new Thanksgiving decor? Leave a comment or link up below telling us how Jesus has met you through the community of Velvet Ashes. Then print and enjoy. (Not for commercial use or distribution.)
So how has Jesus met you here? Thanks for celebrating and dreaming big with us!
This is what we call The Grove. It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt. So join us in the comments. Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt. Click here for details and instructions.