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I think one of the hardest things about God calling our family out to be missionaries in Ethiopia is the fundraising part.  I squirmed during the very first conversation that Jim and I had this summer regarding moving to Ethiopia, because I knew that we would most likely have to raise money in order to go. And I knew what that really meant was that we would have to ask and ask and ask. I don’t like that. I tried to bargain with God early on, telling Him I would go, if He would just make a way for us that did not include fund raising – asking for money. That didn’t happen, and He made it abundantly clear that He intended for us to go. That takes a whole lot of humbling to position ourselves in a place where we are desperate and in need.  I feel exposed and vulnerable. Perhaps it will bring solidarity for us with our future ministry; perhaps God is teaching us what it feels like to be on the receiving end and to need others.

What I am learning is that Kingdom work is collaboration, and God intends for it to be such.  Partly, so that we do not arrive in Addis thinking we have somehow gotten there on our own.  Mercy branch Inc. will cease to exist without the collaboration of the body. God is showing us how vital every bit of support is – from the elderly woman praying fervently in her home for our family and finances, to the business man who donated a large check, to the college student who sacrificed her Starbucks for a month in order to give. God sees all of that, and He is weaving it together for His Kingdom purposes.

Every single gift, no matter the size, is vital to the life and ministry of Mercy Branch Inc. Every single gift is seen by God and multiplied into eternal impact.

We value our supporters – the prayer supporters and the financial supporters –big and little. Every single linked arm is so needed. You are our team. You are our village. You are the breath and life of Mercy Branch Inc. We care about you and your family. As much as you are praying for us, please know that we are also praying for you.

Truly, what this all comes down to is reliance on God. His Spirit alone is who moves in our hearts and the hearts of people to connect us in this journey. The monetary total that we need to raise in the timeline we feel led down is nothing short of impossible – by human definition. It is completely beyond what we can do, and that is where total dependence on God to come through comes in. Our only job is to tell our story and invite people to live it with us.

Together, God can use us to make an eternal difference. We stand amazed at the goodness of our God. Please never underestimate the value of your support.  Thank you will never be enough. Your reward will be in heaven where we will look back, rejoice together, and marvel over what God has done.

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