I have never, ever liked fundraising. As a kid, instead of selling boxes of chocolate-covered almonds for my softball league I would put the box containing about one hundred boxes of candy on the table and my family would begin the process of devouring all one hundred boxes. My mom would just write a check to cover our love of chocolate-covered nuts and my dislike for selling them.
Needless to say, I never won the award for most boxes of chocolate sold.
And I was o.k. with that.
So when we began the process of fundraising to be a part of REVO, you could say I was less than excited about it. To be honest, Paul did 98% of the work.
And I was o.k. with that.
For the last three years we have raised support and I would like to share some of the realities of what that means for our family.
We are dependent on others having jobs, being generous with what they have, understanding what we are doing and why, and wanting to be a part of it.
Our groceries, bills, mortgage, gas for our lawnmower, clothes, toothpaste and toilet paper are all bought with money we receive from others. When people give we are able to have all those things, but when they don’t it means that something has to give. Our budget is constantly changing because our income is constantly changing, sometimes from month to month. Have you ever had to redo a budget every single month? Maybe you are a math person, like my friend Vince, and enjoy those types of things. I do not. I like it about as much as selling chocolate-covered almonds.
We have to make hard choices sometimes. This past week I accidentally bought dishwashing liquid instead of dishwasher detergent. While you might be able to run out and get the correct item, we washed dishes by hand until today when I would have another week’s grocery money. We aren’t able to save for retirement or for a vacation. When my friends or their children have birthdays I want so very badly to buy them a small something, but I know most likely I won’t be able to do so. Have you ever shown up to a party with no gift? Honestly, it can feel humiliating and embarrassing. We are so fortunate to have great friends who completely understand, never expecting anything and never making me feel bad about coming empty-handed.
As much as being self-supported can be a struggle, I would not do it another way. Don’t get me wrong I eagerly await the day when Paul can draw a salary, but until then I try to see all the blessings that being self-supported has brought and continues to bring.
We have seen, and continue to see, people being incredibly generous, and in many cases doing so sacrificially. Their generosity has enabled us to not only buy milk, diapers, and shoes but to give back to others. There have been times when we have received a random check in the mail and around the same time a need in a friend’s life would arise and we have been able to help meet that need.
We have seen people rally behind us, understanding the vision God has laid on our hearts and the hearts of the people who make up REVO.
We have become so very dependent on God, but isn’t this where He wants us? If we were able to meet all our financial needs ourselves then would never have come to know God as our provider in this way. It is when we are weak that He is strong. It is when we come to Him with our fears of not knowing how ends will meet that He hears us and calms our fears.
I could tell you story after story of how He has provided, usually by using those who have supported us. We have come to rely on Him in a different way than before we started this journey. My faith is more steadfast now. My love deeper. My thankfulness has no end. All because He has shown me more of Himself and taught me how to trust beyond all human reason.
That is worth every struggle, every hard decision, every dime that has been fund raised over the past three years and every dime that will be fund raised in the future.