Saturday night, I went home in order to talk to the Elders at my congregation on Sunday about being my sponsoring congregation and maybe taking up a special monetary collection for me at some point. I'm not going to lie, I was terrified.
It doesn't make any sense that I should have been. I mean, I've known these people my whole life. They've watched me grow up, they've been key people in my spiritual growth, but it's hard and scary to ask people for money. Especially when I feel like I have so little confidence in myself sometimes. I was up until almost 2am the night before, praying and thinking about what I was going to say and then writing out an outline and practicing it out loud.
We met after service yesterday morning. I had written up a little brief about the Church on the Neva and also an outline of my expenses. I basically just outlined my training with WWW, then talked a little about the congregation over there. This transitioned into why I should go.
I feel like the hardest thing about my fundraising is going to be trying to get people to understand why I need to go. What I mean is that the Church on the Neva is a pretty vibrant and active congregation from what I can tell. Most people, when they think of Mission work they think of church planting or they think of serving, i.e. English lessons using the Bible, digging wells, etc. So I feel like I really have to emphasize the fact that I have a unique skill set which will allow me to reach people over there that no one else can.
After discussing why I should go, I asked them to consider being my supporting congregation. They have a regular meeting next week and I told them they could discuss it then and get back with me. The five elders were present at the meeting as well as our three preachers. When I finished, they had some really good questions and suggestions which made me happy because they were things I hadn't thought of. Our one preacher even told me that he would be happy to put me in contact with some other congregations who might be willing to help financially. That made me so happy!
My next step is to finish my fundraising presentation and then start on the creation of my packets.