Together with our new Serge family, we were able to put together our ministry budget. Talk about intimidating. The numbers are large. They aren’t large because we will make a lot of money, or because we will be living extravagantly. They are large because instead of raising a bare bones budget that might leave our family stuck in a position of ineffectiveness causing us to leave the field prematurely, they want us to raise a realistic budget. A budget that will make sure our kids can get medical treatment and make sure we can fly back to the United States every 2-4 years...a budget that will allow us to run an effective ministry in a country where there are many needs and lives can be changed with the proper resources. We have to raise $105,000 yearly, which is $8,800 per month. This, to a private school teacher, sounds like an insurmountable mountain. But, I am reminded that God is not short on resources. The same God who called our family, who without a doubt WROTE THIS MISSION ON OUR HEARTS, is also the God who knows where the money is going to come from.
You know, I have never struggled much with faith that God will provide. Maybe it’s because things always seem to ‘work out’ in my life. Maybe it’s not faith at all, but a deep sinful sense of self-sufficiency that makes me believe things will always ‘be ok’. I want to believe it’s because I trust my God. When we raised $17,000 for Anteneh’s adoption and $45,000 for JoAn’s adoption, I never wavered believing God would bring that money in and bring those precious kids home. We prayed, we shared our vision, we applied for grants, and our family and friends showed up like rockstars and showered us with support to bring our kids home. We were approved for grants and we sold what we could to find the funds (a house, a motorcycle). Now we can look back and know that all of these precious people who gave money for those adoptions had a role in changing the lives of these once-orphaned children who are now dearly loved sons and daughters. But, is my God big enough to provide $105,000? Again and again? Each year? What about the one time costs that aren't even included in that yearly cost? Well, my heart begins to doubt because it seems like too much. How silly, really. Like two adoptions are possible with God in control, but just a few thousand more is out of His reach? And like the writer of Psalm 77, my favorite Psalm, when I wonder where God is and begin to think he won’t come through, I have to stop and recall what He has already done! “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.” Psalm 77:11-14
Thank you, God, that your faithfulness does not depend on me having everything figured out all the time. Thank you that you use our family in spite of our self righteous self sufficient tendencies. Thank you that you show up big time when there are mountains that need to be moved. Thank you that you are faithful to finish what you start! Thank you that you love the fatherless, the poor, and the needy, and that you have called our family to such an adventure, to serve those you love in Uganda!