We knew in returning to the Arab World that we would need to open a business to maintain our visas in the country. After much prayer and discussion with our leadership, a business plan was created and adopted. Our supporters were quick to jump on board during our itineration cycle and we happily returned to the field ready to begin the process of opening our new business in our adopted country.
Unfortunately, we had grossly underestimated the amount we needed to open the business thanks to a dip in the exchange rate. What had been enough just a year or so before was now $20,000 under what was required for the paperwork to be filed with the government. It was a stressful moment.
In our weakness, we were ready to just give up. There didn’t seem to be a way to make this happen. We needed $20,000 in two weeks. Two weeks. It had taken us 9 months to raise the $100,000 we already had. It seemed absolutely impossible.
And then the spark of an idea lit up our heads and warmed our hearts: we would let our need be known to our constituency. It hadn’t been that long since we had been itinerating, asking for money week in and week out, so we weren’t hopeful anyone would actually come to our aid, but it couldn’t hurt, right?
After all, Jesus did tell us that “You do not have, because you do not ask” James 4:2 (ESV). We certainly didn’t want to be counted as those who didn’t ask. So we asked. With our whole hearts, we asked. Our entire team came together and we pled with the Lord.
And we got a response. A wonderful person said that he would match anything we received up to $10,000 in a two week period.
We’re missionaries. We tell people about Jesus. We preach, we teach, we train, we plant the church. We do not spend two weeks of our life raising buckets of money. This was well out of our comfort zone.
But the gauntlet had been thrown and we decided to accept the challenge and see what God would do.
During our itineration cycle, we collected email addresses of those who want to stay informed of our work overseas. These email addresses were then added to our MailChimp database. We asked Commission Creative to design an email template for us and each month our constituency receives a beautifully crafted update outlining all that is happening in our world. It’s almost too easy.
We spent the better part of a day constructing an email about our need. We asked them to join us in this challenge both through prayer and finances. Then we hit send. Honestly, we weren’t sure what would happen.
Then the responses started rolling in. $100 from one person. $350 from another. That first day we raised over $1,000. The next morning, we constructed another email updating everyone on how much had been raised and what we still needed. We added a little graphic showing where we were and where we hoped to be. More funds came in that day. So we sent another email. Every day for 12 days we sent an email with the amount that had been raised versus our need.
And on day 12, we hit our goal. We raised $10,000 which would be matched for a total of $20,000. It was truly a miracle. A miracle I reflect on often when I’m waiting for God to come through. A miracle I remember when it seems all hope is lost. He is certainly faithful.
Some reflections on this fundraising endeavor:
- A fundraiser such as this one can only be done once, maybe twice over the course of years, and only in an extreme circumstance.
- It worked because God ordained it to work.
- We had a small hand in its success because we had spent countless hours over the years updating our support base through regular correspondence.
- It was faith building for us as well as our entire constituency to see God answer in such a massive way.
- God received and continues to receive all glory for this miracle. He, and He alone, is faithful.