Category Archives: Raising Support

Adventures in raising money for the Lord’s work

The Story of How I Completed my Support for this Year

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The most amazing, incredible thing happened to me yesterday: a stranger gave me money.

Not just money. BIG bucks. Well, big enough so I can be CLEARED.

YAY! *happy dance*

CLEARED.

CLEARED!

(I never thought such a small word could make me so happy.)

To fully appreciate what being cleared means, allow me to explain:

All Campus Crusade for Christ missionaries, such as me, must raise a certain amount which will cover all their expenses for the entire year. When a missionary raises this amount, he or she will then be “cleared” and only then will be allowed to be “deployed” to the “mission field”.

It’s a policy that I think makes a lot of sense. It’s just… sometimes it can be really really inconvenient and yes, uncomfortable.

So last night I was with two other fellow missionaries. We were in Jollibee, in an appointment, when suddenly kuya Ace, my Team Leader calls (resulting to a rather embarrassing interruption from my obnoxiously loud ring tone) and delivers the news: someone, or a couple rather, is giving me a check.

Best part? The check is big enough to cover my support goals… and more.

I was jumping up and down in Jollibee — that’s how happy I was. I kept asking kuya Ace, who from hereon out I regard as a Messenger of Tidings of Great Joy, “Why me? Why me?”

His no nonsense reply? “Why not?”

So what do I take from all this?

Well, that God provides in surprising, surprising ways.  It’s support serendipity all over again.

And I am privileged to have such amazing experiences. Because despite support raising being a kind of peeve of mine, really, I would not have such experiences of God’s power in providing apart from this.

It’s one thing to say I trust God to provide and still have the means to provide for myself; it’s an entirely different thing to say I trust God to provide and have NO IDEA how it’ll happen.

Also, the realization that there are generous people in the world who are amazingly desperate in seeing lives changed and Jesus lifted up slammed me again in the face and punched riiiight in the gut.

Amazing, amazing.

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From the Unexpected Places

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This morning my fellow missionary recounted an amazing experience she had in finding Ministry Partners*.

She had been calling people, trying to set appointments, mostly with little success, when she receives a text out of nowhere.

“I will be supporting you Php.5,000 monthly,” the text said.

Now a text like that would normally have elicited crazy joy and happy dances from someone, especially if, like my friend, she had been experiencing a bit of a slump in her support raising time.

Her reaction? DISBELIEF. Then skepticism.

So she called the texter, and when she finally confirmed the texter’s identity, and found that the person really really wants to be her Ministry Partner, and that 5k monthly really really really is true, she then rejoiced.

The most amazing part is that this new Ministry Partner (MP) is NOT familiar at all with Campus Crusade.

 

Truth be told, sometimes, in my really, really bad days, I wonder why I subject myself to such anxiety, uncertainty, and frustration. Oh, the Frustration!

And so I take great care to remember stories like these — from other people… and my own.

Like how God provided for me during the lean times.

Like how issues of pride and character were brought to the surface, and dealt with.

Or the miracle of the change that occurred in my heart such that I am actually enjoying this now.

And the opportunities of meeting amazing, awesome people and gaining not just Ministry Partners, but good friends.

 

Such stories I put in the “easy to access” part of my brain as a reminder that God is the great Provider.

He is not hassled by time.

And His provisions could come in the most unexpected ways and the most unimaginable of sources.

 

 

*Ministry Partners support financially and through prayers.

Another MPD story

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Summer is here! And for me, it means several things: beach, fun, V to the A to the C-A-T-I-O-N!

Ha, I wish.

Well, not that I won’t get to do that, but yunno, in light of the other priorities in my kind of work, it’s gotta take a backseat. Bummer.

Anyway, it means doing MPD. (In our organization “MPD” is the fancy term for “support raising”.) And truth be told, I am NOT prepared… mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I just couldn’t imagine that I could rally enough brain power and emotional strength for it. Oh, the stress! It didn’t help that I had a lot on my mind. A LOT.

So there I was the entire week, worry my head out to intolerable migraines, blowing the candles of my own pity party cake, and thinking. Just contemplating… contemplating the sadness that was my life and how unfortunate I was not have resources, and again worrying about the MPD battle I had to wage yet again — all the while thinking about the uncertainty of my reassignment request.

True, I’ve had lots of blessings in the past, especially in MPD, but well, the heart really is deceitful and most forgetful above all things.

I was at this messy emotional state last Sunday when suddenly this lovely woman I came to know last year comes up to me and all but practically ASKS FOR AN MPD PRESENTATION!

It all happened so quickly. My pity-drenched thoughts refused to process this information that I barely managed to stutter out a polite reply. Thankfully I had mastered the MPD process / manuel enough to remember to set an appointment.

Much, much later the full reality of this previous encounter finally sunk and I exulted because I have an MPD appointment!  At McDo Bonfacio! At 10 am on Tuesday! Then… my paraphernalia! Cue BIG GASP. *scrambles to get materials ready and speed reviews the blurbs*

I’m happy to report that the appointment was a blast. This lady was SUCH FUN to talk to it almost was a pity we had to end it. Probably for the first time I completely, fully understood the MPD Principle of “emphasis on relationships” (really, our organization’s support philosophy rocks).

She eventually texted later in the week to confirm that she and her husband will be my Ministry Partner. I was giddy waiting for her decision the entire week, but I realized that my heart had actually come to the place where I didn’t care whether she’d commit financially or not. Yay for heart learnings even for stubborn, pathetic hearts like mine.

And what an affirmation and encouragement from a big God who truly cares. How can I not be grateful?

Support Serendipity

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It’s a pet peeve I have as a missionary with Campus Crusade, but I, too, enjoy doing it.

It is the bane of my existence, and also the best and sun-kissed of my blessings.

I hate it, and I love it.

What is? Raising support.

It’s not about the money, money, money…
Oh, who am I kidding? To some extent, it IS about the money.

DON”T get me wrong.

Like I said, I enjoy doing it (most of the time) and I’m okay with it. It’s a prerequisite to joining staff: you must wholeheartedly agree to it and be mentally prepared to do it.

Really, when I joined staff, I was prepared, or so I thought. I had all kinds of expectations and I won’t deny it — the first several months were torture.

And yet…

I’ve also had my most memorable and humbling moments doing it, and the amazing people I have met as a result of raising support have blown me over and over and over again.

But, let’s not kid ourselves. There are bad days: days when everything seems disappearing faster than the next paycheck… and right in the busiest and most crucial time of the ministry year! There are days when I’m rendered helpless, completely helpless. Days when I wonder what in the world will happen next, all the while cursing myself for my utter lack of belief in God’s faithfulness.

Then again, these days, these seasons, could easily be attributed to seasons of disciplining and/or who knows what season God intends for you — and again, of course, that is most likely the case.

But I’ve discovered something.

When these things happen, when these “seasons” befall me, I become expectant. Because as every avid movie-watcher and novel-reader knows, the best things always happen when all seems impossibly lost.

It’s an undeniable concept: after the worst of things, only something good could follow, a rainbow follows the rain, the night is darkest before the dawn, and only the sun could possibly follow…

…as if serendipity is programmed to follow after the most humbling of situations.

Granted, of course, that you’ve learned your lesson.

Yes, it happened to me. Again.

And I am utterly humbled.

Well played, God. Well played. (A DMPD story)

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Several days ago I went to God with a sort of a complaint.

I was a little hesitant to express it, mind you, because the past week I have seen amazing things happen with my DMPD* — really amazing things I knew had nothing to do whatsoever with my ability. And then new facts were introduced, new deadlines set, new standards put in place. Still, it seemed foolish to complain.

But, as I debated whether or not to say it, I realized He knew my thoughts anyway, so why not bring it out in the open?

“Lord?” I asked.

“Yes, daughter, what is it?” He replied. I knew He knew what I came to say, so I just went on and said it.

“God, what are you playing at? Just when I thought I’ve gotten comfortable with the circumstances, just when I’ve finally accepted the facts, just when I’ve finally convinced myself that I CAN do this, You up the ante! You set new rules! You set new deadlines! What are you playing at, Lord?”

Oh yes, I was so exasperated.

He just sat there until I ended my tirade, and I imagine the corners of His mouth twisting into a knowing smile.

“So?” I prompted.

“Well, you see, I don’t want you to be comfortable,” He started.

I figured I knew that already, so I waited for more.

“And I don’t want you to simply accept the facts,” He continued. “See, based on experience, and looking at your track record, whenever you thought you could swallow the facts, when you thought you could handle the circumstances, you did not depend on Me.”

I sat back. That is true.

“So,” He went on, “I am making things a little more challenging for you.”

I sighed. Challenging, huh?

“Oh, and when I say challenging, I mean — wait, what’s that word you humans use? Ah yes — impossible. Sorry, I don’t have that in my vocabulary.”

There was laughter in His voice, and I think I knew what He was talking about. Hello? The Bible talks about it His strength and might all the time.

“Anyway,” He started again. He wasn’t done. “But haven’t I told you? NOTHING IS TOO CHALLENGING FOR ME!”

I smiled.

“To put it in your language and terms, nothing is impossible for me.”

This time I was grinning. “Alright God,” I said. “You win. Well played God, well played.”