We have been working hard the past month trying to get things in place to ensure that we are doing everything properly and ethically. One of the biggest challenges has been and continues to be setting a budget. My natural instinct is to name a number, cut it into pieces, and run with it… That, however, is not the right way to go about things. So, we have stepped back, evaluated, and have tried to honestly lay down the expenses.
The results have been a little staggering. This is not to say that the numbers are insanely high, in fact, they are reasonably low… It is just a situation where, for me, everything moves from what I felt I could reasonably accomplish, into a fuller reliance on God.
After a few late night hours crunching numbers and trying to project expenses that I honestly have little idea what they will be, I shot off an email to the Board of Directors of Mercy Branch Inc. telling them that things were shaping up a little differently that I had thought and that it was getting to be God-sized and that it didn’t scare me, but it wasn’t what I was hoping would happen. I expressed my concern that: I just also don’t want to be sitting in the States raising funds I don’t need while kids are starving and dying without Jesus there.
That is when one of our Board members emailed me this:
In my community group with our church we talked about reminding each other about the victories in our lives so let me take a minute to do that and encourage you guys because I believe that Jesus can do anything. Remember when the adoption costs of Jamesy was adding up and you had the massive garage sale and truthfully had more left over than you wanted? Jesus handled that. Or your son who lived on the streets and it was not clear if he would ever be in your home in the US? Yeah, Jesus too! And how about my life personally? I come from a divorced family not once but twice and Jesus healed my heart and my view on marriage and allowed me to get married? Yeah totally Jesus in my life… You know I could go on and on!
So there I sat, in a puddle of tears, realizing that I can’t do this, but we can!
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jer 33:3, NKJV
When all hope seems lost for Israel, God tells Jeremiah that He has a plan and a future and a hope, ultimately in the Messiah. The same hope that we rely on, and the same hope that we seek to share with children from the streets of Ethiopia.
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. Psalm 91:15, ESV
An understanding that God will be with us in our difficulty, and that He will be our rescuer and bring honor to us, that we may in turn showcase His Glory.
The following day, within minutes of each other, two upstart companies reached out to us to tell us that they wanted to partner with us. It was unsolicited and exciting to see God begin to show that He has plans that we know nothing of, that He will showcase His glory, His way as He guards and protects us through this journey.
Friends, please pray with us that:
- All glory would be God’s alone in whatever is accomplished.
- People’s hearts would be stirred to sacrificially give.
- We would be accurate in our projections.
- The final step of the process to be able to fund raise would happen quickly. (This basically requires an $850 fee be paid that we do not yet have funds to pay.)
- God would continue to prepare and grow our hearts for our ministry in Ethiopia.
- Even now, before we are in-country, the children that we will be seeking to serve will begin to be sensitive to the reality of Jesus and His desire to change their lives for His Kingdom.
- God would bring a staff to us for our guest house and personal home that we can love on, build lasting relationships with, and influence for the Kingdom.