Last week we received our (mostly) official budget for Rwanda. We need to raise about $11,000, and our goal is still to arrive at the beginning of January.
I have never had to raise financial support like this before. When I was in elementary school I remember asking a few neighbors and close family friends to sponsor me in our annual Spell-A-Thon. We also sold some holiday popcorn tins a few times as well. As far as I can recall that is my experience with fundraising. I don't like asking people for money. I don't like owing people money. I am always aware of money issues, such as pooling money for a gift or chipping in for gas. It always feels a little awkward to be on the receiving end, even when it's agreed beforehand that everyone will contribute.
I've had many friends and family members raise support for various trips or longer-term missions. I've heard all kinds of amazing stories about how the funds came in at the last moment by some anonymous donor and saved the trip. I have no doubt that the Lord has worked in mysterious ways and provided in unexpected ways for many of my friends and family members.
Now it's my turn.
And I'm humbled by it all. Recently Michael put a Facebook group together called, "Send the Chapmans to Rwanda!" At first I had a little bit of a bitter taste in my mouth about that. It seemed bold and new. The purpose of it is to keep people up to date of our plans and to raise awareness of our financial and prayer support needs. Again I felt humbled about asking for support (mostly financially, I don't seem to have a problem asking for prayer support.) And then I started realizing how many people are excited for us-how many people God wants to use to send us to Africa-how many people will bless us and be blessed by supporting us.
Our current status is trying to get our letters sent out as soon as possible. Again, it's humbling, it's exciting, and it's in God's hands.