You are Not Alone {#GivingTuesday}

You probably know a cross-cultural worker who is serving in an isolated region. Or going through a rough season. Or just lonely.

You may be a person serving in an isolated region. Or going through a rough season. Or just lonely.

We want her to know she is Not Alone. We want you to know you are Not Alone. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here’s a bit of the background to what’s been going on with Velvet Ashes.

During our leadership retreat over a year ago, we sensed God asking us as a community to “Sustain.” For the first three years after Velvet Ashes was born, we blazed a trail of growth and ideas and about worked ourselves into burnout. God challenged us that if we did not practiced what we value—being connected to Him, rooted in community, and with healthy rhythms—we were not rightly handling what He had entrusted us with. Last fall we committed to not start any new initiatives in 2017 (and we mostly held to it!)

Hearing from God to “Sustain” was both a promise and a challenge. It was his promise to us that He will be the Sustainer of us individually as we live full lives. And He will sustain Velvet Ashes as a community. The challenge was to not start anything new and trust. Trust that we were not missing out. Trust that without “new” initiatives people would still support us and trust that you would find life and community through the many avenues already at Velvet Ashes.

God has not disappointed. Friends, God has been faithful to Velvet Ashes and we trust to you.

When we stopped rushing to the next good new thing, we were able to slow down and see where we needed to improve behind-the-scenes structures to sustain Velvet Ashes. To our team of writers, we also added a Have You Seen, Instagram, and Facebook team. We also built better processes for loading posts, creating images, and then sharing them with you. You might not have noticed a difference, but involving such wonderful people has not only provided for us, it has shown how very much Velvet Ashes is God’s and yours!

We also spent hours in meeting working with coaches and consultants as we have grown as an organization. Again and again just the right specialist has volunteered his or her time. God wants you provided for in ways that humble us again and again.

We have planned and dreamed for this year (and the years beyond!) and are excited for a few new initiatives while continuing what makes Velvet Ashes a place where you can say “Me too!” on a regular basis. Good news, weekly themes, Book Club, The Grove, Connection Groups, The Retreat, blog series, the Instagram community, and prayer support will continue in 2018.

We are committed in 2018 to build up our donor base and find ways to be more self-funding. But to get to that point we need your help. Because in truth, you are Velvet Ashes. Without you, there is no Velvet Ashes. We began Velvet Ashes because we wanted women all around the world to know that they were not alone. We wanted you to meet each other and hear stories you could relate to. We wanted you to be encouraged and challenged and pointed to God. We wanted you to have a beautiful place that visually fed your soul. We wanted you to know that God is not merely using you up, but that He sees and loves you.

Today is the start of our year end giving campaign! Join us in the audacious goal of raising $31,393.

To kick us off, this year we have joined #GivingTuesday. Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving instead of on consuming. For this one day we have a goal of raising $5,000 of the $31,393 and we have five very generous donors who will match every dollar you give on this one day only. So, by giving today, your donation will be doubled!

Will you join us in asking? Will you share this on Facebook? And Instagram? And then will you go a step further and personally ask a few people that you know who have a heart to support and enable ministries like us?

We want women to know that they are Not Alone.

To help you remember and pray for the goal here are 31derful ways you are Not Alone at Velvet Ashes:

  1. Thought provoking themes allowing for focused conversations.
  2. A list of resources specifically for cross-cultural workers including organizations that provide training, debriefings, retreats, counseling, and coaching.
  3. You’ll find someone like you.
  4. An active Instagram community.
  5. Weekly Have You Seen finds “must read” articles from around the web.
  6. The Velvet Ashes Facebook page makes sharing posts on Facebook easy.
  7. You can ask for prayer and know you will be prayed for.
  8. A team of writers who get your life.
  9. Multiple ways to connect and get involved.
  10. A retreat made especially for you.
  11. Gorgeous images that feed your soul.
  12. Reading books in community.
  13. Weekly link-ups allowing you to share your blog posts.
  14. #FridayIntroductions on Instagram allows you to meet other in Velvet Ashes and answer the question of the week.
  15. A place to ask questions and interact in the comments.
  16. Reasonably priced past retreats allowing you to be refreshed by God.
  17. Connections Groups where you can let your guard down in a private space.
  18. Avenues to share your story through guest posting.
  19. Resources and welcome series for those new to the field.
  20. The Community Map.
  21. Seeing others’ lives in the daily Instagram feature posts and weekly collage post.
  22. Reflecting at The Grove on the weekly theme.
  23. Interacting with others who know what it is like to raise children away from family.
  24. Fellow singles who know that a spouse may or may not be in God’s plan for them.
  25. Knowing others who are childless and not always by choice.
  26. Opportunities to interact with book authors in Book Club.
  27. Connection Group Facilitators who pour into their groups.
  28. Retreat testimonies from women who understand team, trials, and triumphs on the field.
  29. A social media team that schedules and shares posts so you are in the loop about what is happening at Velvet Ashes during the week.
  30. Blog posts that seem written just for you.
  31. Opportunities to laugh, cry, and prayer with each other, knowing God is foundation of Velvet Ashes.

Finally all these times zones are in our favor! Our #GivingTuesday is about 36 hours long. Be a part of helping women on the field know they are Not Alone in 2018

Today only your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar. Give Now.  

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Which of the 31derful ways have helped you be Not Alone this year?

P.S. Book club post will be live in 12 hours. Stay tuned!

4 Comments

  1. Michele November 28, 2017

    For the record, I don’t know anyone who was even thinking, “Why doesn’t Velvet Ashes start some new initiatives?” We love what you do and are grateful! Last week I got to meet in person a friend I made through VA from another country and the conversation was rich and sweet! I remember feeling alone when I started out a couple of decades ago and I’m so glad to have all these ways to connect with others, and hopefully sometimes to be able to encourage someone who is feeling alone somewhere through these connections now! Blessings!

    1. Ruth November 28, 2017

      I agree, it did not once occur to me that VA hadn’t started any new initiatives! I do see a lot of trying to do what we do better, and that is always important!

      1. Amy Young November 28, 2017

        Funny the voices in our heads :). We are all in process, aren’t we :)!!! And I’m glad you can tell we take steps and do something . . . and then work on improving it. We certainly don’t wait to be perfect to try something! HAHAHA!!!

    2. Amy Young November 28, 2017

      Michele, I love this! I love that you got to meet someone AND that you find life and connection here. Go God! Go so many who are here and reach out to each other!

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