I have a pretty active imagination. When all our fundraising was getting started, I had hoped that once we made our pitch to our church on February 7th, we were going to know immediately that the money was there. I had this dream of people coming up to us afterwards and handing us pledges that quickly added up to all the money that we needed. I imagined coming home and texting all my friends and family that we had reached 100%! I imagined that there would have been no clearer way for God to show us that this was the path forward than a (gentle) slap-in-the-face of $35,000 appearing before us.
And that didn’t happen. I always knew that it wasn’t very likely, but that did not stop me from hoping and dreaming of what it would be like. Of course, the great danger of these plans and expectations is being able to adapt when they don’t materialize as planned. Sometimes I do better at this than others. After such expectations for the 7th, however, when the pledges were totaled up and we had $2900, I was not reeling from the overwhelming feeling of God’s provision. You can guess how much $2900 felt like a failure after hoping for $35000 (or something close).
But after a long wait, another meeting at our church, and the continued work of God, we inched and jumped our way closer to our goal. Finally, last weekend, we made it. Two donations came in on Sunday the 2nd of May which put us at $36,400 of pledged support. However, since gifts and pledges had been trickling in for several weeks, for a bit this milestone did not stand out. We were excited and thankful, but it took a bit for it to settle in. In fact, I didn’t even tell friends and family until the next day. While there had been many big moments in the process, there was no big dramatic reveal of massive amounts of money. Instead, God had come alongside us in the process and slowly displayed his provision for us.
However, it feels so great to say that we are 100% funded! One of the awesome things about this too is that all of our pledges and gifts are from friends, family, and church parishioners. While we have been promised money from our church itself, we have heard nothing official about it, so it is not a part of our calculations toward being fully funded.
Along our fundraising journey, we had a few people tell us to ask for more money: more than the $35,000. When we had $2900 that seemed–frankly–ridiculous. Yet as the pledges increased, and we neared our initial goal (which had always been a bare-minimum goal), we began to look again at our budget. There were some expenses we had planned to cover out of pocket, and there was little margin in our month-to-month expenses, that we figured could be addressed by a new fundraising goal. Therefore, we are looking to raise just a bit more to allow for more flexibility in our day to day expenses and to hold onto our personal savings throughout the move. This new stretch goal is about $49,000. (Unfortunately, one of the reasons it has to be so high is because of taxes. Based on my own amateur calculations, of that amount we would have to set aside $8500 for taxes). Right now we are going regardless and we know we will have enough to cover everything we need. Should, however, we be able to raise the additional $12-13,000, it would be a great blessing for us and our work for the coming year.
Overall, though, there is one thing to point out: God provided.