So last Sunday I did my fundraising presentation for my congregation I attend while at school. Let me just say that even though it's a tiny church, they are some of the most loving people you will ever meet in your life. Walking into that church feels like coming home.
They set aside Bible class time for me. 45 minutes. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to take the whole time, but it actually worked out well. The presentation itself took about half an hour which left time for questions. The questions took about 15 minutes so it was timed perfectly.
One thing I've discovered so far, the most difficult thing is talking to people you know. You would think it wouldn't be. I mean you know the people, the people know you. It should be a good thing, but for me it is extremely difficult to ask people you know for money. I've found this with my job at SPU's phone center as well. It's because you kind of know about people and what some of their means are and you feel really awkward. Plus you're invested in these people and you want their approval. It's a little scary to give a presentation to them because what if you mess up, or they judge you. I get worried about what people will think. But I digress.
The congregation was extremely enthusiastic. Which made me feel encouraged. I was also encouraged by the fact that they are going to put me on their prayer list and petition the Father on my behalf.
It's a really good feeling, to know that people are praying for you. Lately I've felt that I'm going to really need said prayers. I've been feeling inadequate. Like I'm not going to know enough to be able to effectively minister to the people of St. Petersburg. I can feel this turning into a separate blog post, so I'm just going to stop there.
My congregation had a little reception for me before services Sunday evening since I'm graduating and all. They also presented me with a Bible they had all signed which was awesome. In addition they told me that the collection they take up on May 15th is going to go to me and they would also like to support me monthly! Thank God for their warmth and generosity. Going to be talking with them about how much monthly support they'd like to give over the next couple of weeks.
I'm home for Easter this weekend and while I'm here, I'm going to be talking to my Sponsoring Congregation about when they would like me to do my presentation. Originally, I was going to go to Abilene, TX for a missions conference during the weekend of the 15th but apparently they cancelled it, which I was really disappointed about. In any case, it actually works out because I'm going to see if Alliance would like me to speak on that date. I'm also going to be talking to them about taking up a special collection to support my mission.
There is one other congregation I need to make arrangements with. They have connections to people at Alliance, and have been looking to support foreign missions. Apparently they heard about what I am planning on doing and definitely want me to come and speak. I'm actually going to be seeing some people from that congregation on Sunday and so plan on talking to them about when they would like me to come.
So I have three congregations lined up. I've already had a few gifts come in which is awesome. In addition, I won a language prize in Russian at SPU which came with money. I've committed that to the mission. So far, God has blessed me with several hundred dollars. I say it like that because honestly, the money I've received so far has come through no effort of my own. It just kind of appeared. Which is awesome! My mother thinks that God wants me to be there.
It's hard not to worry about the money. I need quite a bit to make it through the year. But I'm trying to keep in mind that God seems to have his hand in this trip from the beginning. From the time I called ACU and got the wrong department until now. He's made it happen and guided it and I pray that he continues to look on this with favor.
I'm getting ready to send out info packets to individuals and some other local congregations. Please continue to pray as I work toward raising the support I need.