So Tuesdays around here are "BLS Days." BLS stands for "Basic Leadership School," and it's a two year school that all our staff here go through. Tuesday's we meet as a group with speakers and members of our training department. It's a time of lecture, discussion, etc. We have journals, book reports, final projects. Oh, and we also are required to staff a school and lead an outreach. ;) BLS is so much more than a class for me, BLS is the two years I've been here. It's the people I've met, the ones I've lead and those who have lead me.
It was at BLS last week that I was sitting after lecture was over. Len had just finished talking about upping our faith a notch. He told this story of a time in full time missions when he was praying and trusting God for a very specific car. He'd had to wait for years to get this car, but he was finally blessed with the exact vehicle he and his son had been praying for. During lecture I was talking with God about my finances. While I've blogged and started a fundraising website for support this season, I've started to target in on just one thing: getting home for Christmas. I've been praying daily for the support and gifts to be able to go home during the holidays. I sometimes struggle with nervousness and anxiety about not having a ticket yet. Those around me seem to be a little more convinced than I am. Sophie watched as thousands of dollars came in in minutes last year to support my outreach to Malaysia. Becky saw similar miracles with my huge medical bill earlier this year. Isn't it easy, when you're in the middle of a pressing situation to forget those times? God has always come through for me financially. That's one of the things I'm thankful for in community, when I am tempted to forget the times of God's faithfulness the ones that love me are there to remind me.
Anyways, during Len's lecture I was struggling, was my faith meant to be upped a notch that I'm not going home? That I need to trust God's plan if the finances don't come in to buy a ticket? There was just a big internal struggle going on because I absolutely believe God has given me the green light to go but the finances just aren't reflecting that. It was literally during this internal monologue when a friend and fellow staff member came up to me and told me point blank: "Mandi I want to give you $500 to get you home for Christmas."
Let me pause the story one moment...
Friend and fellow staff member means something: this is another self supported missionary who is not making any "income" for the job she is working right now.
And she wants to give me $500! I couldn't help but tuck my head into my shirt and cry.
Than she added something, "I want you to put it online, so your blog followers, facebook friends and everyone can see it. I want to pose this challenge: I want people to match my gift."
There's another thing about community: It's challenging.
And so I'm posting this. One to honor my friend; you know who you are. Thank you so much! Thanks for tipping me from fear back into confidence.
As well to honor her request: Will you pray about helping to match her radical gift? I have friends waiting to get me the best deal on a ticket and gift me their airline miles for the domestic portion of my flights as soon as the money is in. We're budgeting $1800 for the round trip travel home for Christmas in December and than back to New Zealand before the next schools start. If God leads you to donate any amount there is a link to donate through my Paypal on the upper right hand corner of this page, as well as a link to my fundraising page. Thank you so much for your prayer and support. Thanks for taking up this challenge with my friend.