We recently changed organizations we serve with on the field. With that switch came the big change of losing my husband’s teaching salary. For the past 9 years, it had been nice to have a cushion to fall back on when support would dip.
However, joining this new org, we have no such income. 100% comes from donors. I know many of you have already been in that position, but it’s new to us! With it came some bolstering of faith. If the Lord called us to serve here and wants us to continue, surely He will raise the many extra funds we need.
During the transition time, we planned our first year-long home assignment. We knew with the switch, we would need to explain to our donors why we left the first org and what we plan to do with the new one. It was great to be able to clearly share at various events what these changes meant—simply a shift in ministry.
More meaningful, though, were the two 3-week road trips we took across the country. We mapped out where many of our donors, friends and family live, and trekked to the east and west, meeting up with them with no other agenda in mind but to connect. Like another short home assignment where we were in the hole several thousand dollars, we felt like the Lord was telling us to just spend time building up relationships we often don’t get to pour into while overseas. The previous deficit was eradicated, plus some, simply by spending time listening to others, so we knew God could do the same this time if it was in His plans.
While we hopped from city to city nearly every day of those travel weeks, we quickly realized people were so hungry for relationship. Even after not seeing some of these friends for 5 or 10 years, we reconnected quickly and many of them poured out their hearts to us. It was humbling to be the travelling overseas worker, ready at any moment to share about our work, but rather led to listen and encourage.
He didn’t let us down. Slowly, and as usual, from people least expected, the support rolled in and we had enough to return to the field.
Fast forward a year, and here we are now, needing to raise another huge chunk of money for 3 different budgets. Our yearly budget has a deficit. We’re moving and need funds to pay for renovations and our first apartment we get to furnish on our own. And, the big one—we’re trying to start a business.
So we step out in faith. Again.
Over the years, and for me, especially this year with so many things stacked against us (hello, Covid and all your repercussions!), we have come to the posture of knowing it’s our job to ask, in faith, who would like to partner with us. It’s God’s job to reveal His always-amazing and often-surprising plans.
Last week, after feeling discouraged about the mountain ahead of us, 2 people donated a total of $17,000 on the same day! I couldn’t help but laugh in awe. You just can’t make this stuff up. And ya know what? I think God likes it that way!
Through these mountain and valley times, I’ve clung to a few verses that remind me He’s always at work, has beyond-my-imagination plans, and as long as I abide in Him, He will give me everything I need, plus so much more.
“For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” –Psalm 84:11 (emphasis added)
“Look among the nations and see—wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” –Habakkuk 1:5
Ask in faith. Wait with expectation. He’s got this.
What provision stories do you have pertaining to fundraising? What leaps of faith have you taken?
It’s been pumpkin season for a while, but as usual, I’m late in realizing what month it is. Maybe the lack of commercialism reminding me what I “should” be buying and preparing for next. Honestly, I don’t miss that, but I blame the lack of it for my confusion of what holidays are coming up. So I finally got it together and roasted some pumpkins last week, because we won’t get pumpkin puree any other way. These cookies are a fall twist on one of my all-time favorite cookies. The house smells of fall and I’m embracing it while I can, because outside, winter is knocking on our door.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes: About 30 cookies
Ready in: 1 hour
Slightly adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction
2 cups + 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 Tablespoons (45ml) pure maple syrup
1/2 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
3/4 cup (170g) pumpkin puree**
1 and 1/2 cups (270g) chocolate chips (semi-sweet is my fave)
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and oats together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Whisk the melted butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg yolk, blotted pumpkin, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour into dry ingredients and mix everything together until completely combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop dough, about 1.5 Tablespoons of dough per cookie, and place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten slightly. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will look very soft.
Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
*Pumpkin pie spice is available in the US, and I’m not sure of its availability elsewhere. If you don’t have it, just make your own: 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger + 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg + 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + (an extra) 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
**If you have to make your own pumpkin puree like I do, first let it strain through a fine mesh strainer to get some water out. Then use the paper towels to squeeze and dab out as much water as you can.