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Saturday, February 1, 2014

.We Need You: Love Mercy Project.

There is something powerful about collaboration, community, a village - it's people joined together for one purpose. When God laid it on our hearts to move our family to serve in Ethiopia, we knew that we could not do it alone. Through the processes of bringing our boys home, we learned very quickly that God uses the vulnerability and transparency of our needs in order to build up the body of Christ. We were hesitant to always share our needs,  but every single time that we did, God blessed us in huge ways. We constantly got feedback from people that they felt like they were really part of something eternal when they were given the opportunity and invitation to give. That stuck with me. I still do not quite understand it, and I still squirm about openly sharing our needs. It can be humiliating to lay it all out there, but God continually nudges us to do just that. He asks us to simply share, and then watch Him bring in fellow Kingdom builders to partner with us.

For the past three days we have been fasting and praying about our needs as Mercy Branch Inc. - specifically the financial hurdles we have to jump in order to make the big move in June happen. I went in to this reluctantly, heavy-hearted over the thought of baring our needs again. I wished to be on the giving end instead of the receiving end. But I began to realize how selfish and prideful I was being - wanting to do this on my own - when God has much bigger plans. I don't desire for Mercy Branch to be about my family and what we can do, but that is exactly what would happen if we were not transparent in inviting people in to partner with us. I wrestled with the fact that our need is great, and that we are just small, ordinary, plain people. We aren't flashy. We aren't polished. There are way better writers out there who could move people with eloquent words, better speakers who could garner instant donations, fancier websites which could attract thousands of people, professional promoters, bigger ministries with lots of leaders, more beautiful families, louder voices, etc. Our inadequacies and our normalness is pervasive, but it doesn't diminish the call, or let us off the hook. And I realize we are in good company when I notice the weak people that God used in the Bible. Perhaps it is because of our smallness that God chose us. God's bigness will be greatly magnified in our weakness. When He accomplishes this, nobody will think that we did it on our own - because they all know that we are just not capable of that. And I guess that is exactly where God wants us - groveling at His feet, realizing we cannot do this alone, reaching out to our brothers and sisters and asking for the help that we need. It is there in community that we find Jesus.

While I have often wished for an anonymous large donation to land in our mailbox so that we can neatly be on our way, I realize that this is not how God typically works in our life. God is so good at wisely nudging ordinary, simple people with a few dollars a month to share in our journey. He does this little by little, small step by small step - nothing typically grandiose with us - keeping us on our knees at His feet through the process. It seems as if that is how He desires to accomplish meeting our needs this time as well. I trust Him. I don't always like the posture He requests of me, but I trust Him in this.

So I am asking you for something big. I am asking you to partner with our family - some of you for the second or third time - as you have already partnered in the journey with our boys. It's a big ask, and it humbles me to know that people will sacrifice for my family. But I am asking, and I am praying that you see my heart in this ask. Will you hop on over to our website and learn about what our plans are in Ethiopia? Pray about whether or not this is something that you can get behind. We need your prayers and your relationship and yes, we need your dollars - even just a few dollars a month when put together with others few dollars a month, will help meet our needs {donations are tax-deductable}. This month we are launching our Love Mercy Project, and we have set some God-sized goals for February. Our board has been praying through this project and goals and so have we. We are anticipating God doing something amazing this month! When the goals are met, we will be over 50% of the way funded to move to Ethiopia! People can partner with us for any monthly dollar amount they desire, but for this month when someone chooses to become a new monthly sponsor at $30/month (or more) we will thank them with a free Mercy Branch tee-shirt! (and when you wear your tee shirt, you are sharing in our story) We also were blessed with a generous matching gift donor, so for this month when someone donates any dollar amount into our one-time need, the donation will automatically get matched - up to $5k!

We really need you. We need the people that God is writing into this story - His story. We need your voice, your prayers, your encouragement, your money, your love - we need you. Because the truth is that this will only work in community - that has always been God's desire when building the Kingdom. Some He has chosen to go and some to send, but neither is more important than the other. Both are needed, both are beautifully linked side-by-side, as we all press toward the same goal with our eyes always fixed on our King. He never asked us to do it on our own - it's impossible. We cannot go without you. There is something beautiful that happens when God's people join together to bring the mercy of Jesus to a broken world - it changes US.

Come join our Love Mercy project today, and be part of something bigger than all of us put together. The pages of this story are just waiting to be inked with your life. There is space for you.


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