Saturday, March 24, 2012

Miracles: Big and Small - The Support Journey

Last May, I finished my two year mid-term commitment in Uganda to come back to transition to a long term commitment with my agency. There were a lot of changes in going from a mid-term to long term commitment. A big one? My monthly budget. Going long term, my budget over doubled. I repeat, over doubled. I sat down with the finance department at WorldVenture and tried to see what we could cut. I discovered that the changes were for all good and valid reasons. Their wisdom and experience showed and I ended up changing nothing.

When I left WorldVenture in June, I was in panic mode. And I mean, PANIC. In ways, transitioning from mid-term to long term was easier since I already had a support base. The problem? When I was raising support to go over for mid-term, I talked to pretty much everyone I knew. Now, I needed over double the amount. Who else was I supposed to talk to!?

I had NO idea how I was going to raise all that support. No. Idea. Which, I guess, was the point. I wasn’t going to raise a penny. This was going to have nothing to do with me, actually. When I was raising support for mid-term, I knew that it was going to be God…but I still was nervous about asking for support. I think I still thought it was going to be my effort. This time around, God made it clear from the beginning that this was going to be all Him.

A few weeks after returning from training, I met a couple at my church. They asked if we could get together to talk sometime about how they could use their skills to help Uganda. That’s all I had expected out of the conversation. Right before we talked business, they shocked me by informing me that they wanted to be a part of the monthly financial team.

In that moment, I was in complete shock. It was the last thing that I expected them to say. God used that specific moment to say, “I got this. This whole support thing is going to be ALL Me and none of you so…get ready”. And you know what? It WAS. That couple was just the beginning. God wowed me over and over again with whom He chose to join this team. That conversation was one of the first speechless moments but definitely not the last.

From Virginia to Colorado, Michigan to Arizona. In the past ten months, I’ve traveled to 16 states. I've spoken to thousands of people. I never kept count how many times I did my presentation but I have no doubt it's in the hundreds. It’s been one of the most exhausting years of my life. There are some places where memories are vague because I was just so tired (California, that was pretty much my entire time with you). Constantly traveling, living out of a suitcase, hundreds of hello’s and goodbye’s and sharing the same exciting story of what our God is doing in a beautiful country called Uganda. Also, watching God show off. He did so much of that.

Last week, I skyped with some good friends. Near the end of the conversation, they asked me how much more I needed in monthly commitments to be 100% supported. I gave them the figure and they responded: “ok, we’ll call tomorrow and finish that off for you”.

Another speechless moment…however, it quickly switched to a screaming cheering squealing dancing moment! For those who need a good visual, I’m pretty sure it looked exactly like this:

(I wish I was exaggerating. Carlton and I are probably dance twins)

AT LAST! God had done it! The impossible in my mind was always possible in His. It’s been the most awe inspiring journey and with that, I’m almost sad to see it end. It’s been a joy seeing Him work so clearly, not only in my life but in others as well. It has been my joy to glimpse how God has led people. I value the relationship I have with those supporting and the privacy of what God has led them to do. I wish those miracles could be shared: families that I know can't spare a dollar, strangers that I've never met, and so many more. They have inspired and challenged me. I still have A LOT of outgoing expenses** needed so the journey isn’t over. And, really, the journey will never be over. It’s just beginning. If anything, all of this makes me so excited to see what else God will do! I’m returning to Uganda and everything about what I’ll be doing will be different. I know that God’s going to continue this shock and awe journey…and I can’t wait for the ride!

**Want to contribute to those outgoing expenses? Click here!


Sheryl said...

So very cool! Thanks for sharing God's work in getting you back to Uganda.

I like the new "PD" term and all it encompasses, but I kinda miss the "support discovery" term. It was truly a discovery of how God was working. I'm glad you're writing all this down. You just may need to reread it when life is stinky.

Diane said...

God is so amazing Sarah!!!! And the DANCE :) Got me just picturing you doin it!!!! Praise God!!!! Thanks for living for Him! Love you!!!

SarahPish said...

Sheryl, that's exactly why I'm writing this all down. I know the hard days will come. I know that the support discovery/partner development journey isn't over. I know that I'll need these reminders for the rest of my life.

Diane, love you too! Dance party when you return? :)