I can’t believe that the time has finally come. I have said my goodbyes, I’m packing my bags, and in less than 24 hours I will begin my summer at Outdoor Mission Camp. In January when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do this summer, the SHERPA program at OMC was just a thought. A possibility. A pipe dream. It stayed in the back of my mind as I looked around for other options that seemed a bit more feasible. I applied to a few other positions along with the SHERPA program, and ended up having a choice to make. I had great options, and I knew that I couldn’t really go wrong, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that God was pushing me towards the SHERPA program. It was perfect. Spend my summer backpacking, climbing and rafting? Get to talk to kids about Jesus while I do it? Go on a mission trip to Haiti at the end of it? What in the world could hold me back from this?!
Oh yeah. The program would cost 3000 dollars. Yikes. I have been around ministry all my life, so the idea of fundraising was not new to me. But it sure was daunting. I thought about all of my friends and family and connections and tried to map it all out. Let’s see, if 6 friends gave 500 dollars each, that’s 3000 dollars. Or if I got 30 friends to give 100 each, that’s 3000 dollars. Okay, 100 friends who give 30 dollars, that’s 3000 dollars. Wait, do I even have 100 friends? Do I have 30 friends? Do I have 6 friends with 500 extra dollars just laying around? It seemed like no matter how I did the math, it just didn’t add up. Yep, sorry, sounds like a great program and all, but that’s just too much to ask. Besides, I could just get paid to do something else all summer instead.
I expressed my concerns to a few of my mentors and friends, and I kept getting the same answer: “Don’t let money be an issue. If this is where God wants you, the money will come.” Uhm. What do you mean don’t let money be an issue? It’s 3000 dollars worth of an issue! I continued to pray about it, trying not to think about the money, and no matter how hard I tried not to, I kept feeling this gentle nudge and a quiet whisper, “Just go for it.” I thought to myself, Wait, God, come on, not you too? I bet you don’t think money will be an issue either huh? I kept asking other people for advice, hoping somebody would tell me not to do it. No such luck. Finally, I gave in. Okay God, if this is what you want me to do, well, here goes nothing.
Well, that was about two months ago, and after numerous letters, Facebook posts, Facebook events, pestering emails and phone calls, I am well on my way to reaching my fundraising goal. I only have about 700 dollars more to raise, and I am absolutely blown away. It is humbling to ask people for money, but it is even more humbling when people respond with astounding generosity. I know that for most people, money is tight. There are a gazillion people, causes, things, wants, and needs asking for your money. And yet so many of you have bought into this mission and supported me. I honestly can never thank you enough. I’m so glad that I finally decided to trust God and go for it. And I hope you never take for granted what a blessing your generosity has been.
As thankful as I am for all of the support, and this truly could not happen without it, now its time for me to step up to the plate and follow through on this mission God has called me to. I don’t fully know what to expect out of this summer. I don’t know if I will be good at what I am doing. It’s gonna be tough. It’s gonna be challenging. And it’s gonna be wild. Keep me in your prayers, and check out this blog every now and then to hear how its going. With all of that being said, here goes nothing.