I’ll check my email again, I thought. Maybe another pledge has come in.
Maybe someone is trying to reach me on Facebook.
To join their games. Attend their events. Comment on their feeds. Watch videos that they thought were meaningful.
20 minutes passed.
I glanced at the phone.
You see, over the last couple of days I had felt God prodding me to make the follow-up phone calls for our fundraising efforts. We have been great at taking the opportunities to share in larger group settings, hoping that our message would be so inspirational that support pledges would mysteriously begin to flow in.
That’s not how it works, unfortunately.
Now was the day of commitment. I wrote in my journal that I would make ten phone calls a day to ask people who’ve heard us share to join our monthly support team.
Another hour passed.
I can do this, I encouraged myself. What’s the big deal anyway? It’s a “no” if I don’t call, so I’m no worse off if that’s what they say, right? What if they hate me for asking?
The dread plagued on.
But I had committed. To God. In my journal. This was serious.
I’ll call someone I know likes me first…
Beep beep beep – beep beep beep beep
“Hello?” answered a welcoming voice.
“Hey, it’s Marcy.”
Was that excitement in her voice? Is she glad I’ve called?
“Hey there! Well… I’m following up with everyone in your Bible Study who heard me share about Black Forest Academy… and wondering if you’d be willing to consider supporting us monthly as we head out.”
Okay, there wasn’t really a silence. But I was scared there WOULD be. And then what would I do? say? Instead, she answered as if my question were totally natural and even… expected?
“I would love to support you guys! Black Forest Academy sounds like such a great place to serve… and it’s so clear that God has called you there. However, I’m really struggling financially right now.”
She went on to share some very deep and painful struggles in her life. Her story pulled me out of my anxiety about the phone calls and reminded me that this was about the people on the other end… and not just my funding. My heart was moved on her behalf and I asked if I could pray for her.
She welcomed the prayer.
My heart was blessed, my spirit revived.
This happened over and over and over… friends and strangers pouring out their hearts so that my phone calls became a prayer ministry, giving me life and energy.
There were also a number of people who said, “God has been putting you on my heart lately. I had a feeling you were going to call. God’s doing something here and I believe He’s calling me to be a part of it. I needed this push.” And we scheduled a time to call back and follow up on God’s leading.
And there were those who said, “Yes, I have considered it and I want to give you $50/month. I’ll send in the form today.”
During the first five days of our commitment to these phone calls, our monthly funding rose from 8% to 17%
During these calls we received an email from TeachBeyond stating that in order to accept the home that had been offered to us in Germany, we needed to be at 50%. Normally this would have caused a lot of anxiety. Instead, I heard God speak, “See… I know what you need before you do… and this is how I’ll provide it.” Oh how He makes me smile.
We have a lot to learn yet about the true purpose of these fundraising phone calls. But one of our greatest lessons thus far is how much beauty and blessing pour in abundance from the things we dread.
What other areas of my life have I avoided something at the cost of losing out on God’s gift of friendship? or prayer? or a chance to grow?
May this experience of asking people to support us by phone – a thing of dread – remind us always to cast aside our fears and step forward to bless and be blessed.