As missionaries we’re thrown into a lot of situations that we are unprepared and unqualified for.
One of the first is fundraising.
None of us get into this because we’re good at or love fundraising. We get into it because we feel called to a particular ministry and fundraising is a necessary aspect of allowing us to do that ministry.
I have already written about how fundraising is the worst (and also how some of the side effects are kind of amazing). But I haven’t written about the flesh-and-blood human being who held our hand and led us through this arduous process.
I’m going to do that right now. Because his guidance and presence has been one more blessing on the journey and we would not be where we are now without him.
But, first, a little background…
On June 17, after a week of training in Indiana, we were officially deputized by Global Partners to go find partners (prayer, financial, and otherwise) for our ministry.
GP requires its missionaries to hire a coach to help us with fundraising (which makes sense because otherwise most of us would not know where to start and would procrastinate and falter and never get on the field). Despite knowing we needed help, we couldn’t stomach spending $500 a month until we were fully funded and asked for grace from GP while we caught our breath after training before we signed up for and started coaching.
A couple weeks later Jen went to District Conference, set up a table ,and had a couple minutes to share from stage what we were heading out to do (Cory stayed home with LeYanna who had broken her leg the day before).
And then we met Allen.
Allen was at the conference to represent Kingswood University (formerly Bethany Bible College) our alma mater. He introduced himself. We chatted. He asked about fundraising. I told him about the $500/month thing. He was taken aback and offered to help us for free because, of course, his current job was raising money for Kingswood and his previous job was coaching missionaries through the fundraising process.
We sent an email briefly introducing Allen to the person who had the authority to let us use him as a coach instead of the organization we were supposed to use. He took the ball from there. He explained his credentials and his plan. He won them over and got permission to coach us…for free.
And then he volunteered his time, Skyping with us every other week to talk progress, strategy, and to reassure two very skeptical missionaries that we’d get there eventually. We did (most of) the things he told us to do. We made phone calls, sent letters, sent emails, made facebook posts, reached out to influencers, asked for opportunities…so many overwhelming things that all felt like they produced nothing and, yet, somehow we climbed the mountain.
Guys, we did it in just over a year.
Allen told us we could (we did not believe him) and then helped us do it.
As a gift to us, to Kingswood, and to the Kingdom of God.
He has been so generous with us and we are so grateful. We cannot pay him back for all he’s done. But we figured we could tell you about it, and maybe that’d count for something.
And if you’re thinking, “Man, I’d really like to invest in more Kingdom-minded pastors, teachers, and missionaries,” I know a guy you should talk to.