Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hey Supporters...this is for YOU!

I spent the better part of last year raising support.  It was hard work.  I enjoyed spending time with every person I met with, but the actual “ask” was always hard.  Sometimes I’d spend weeks getting up the courage to make an appointment with someone.  I was behind schedule throughout the process.  I would set goals for myself for the number of people I would contact or for the amount of money I wanted to have coming in at the end of the month and time and time again I would find myself behind the 8-ball.

But then last November it started looking realistic.  And here I am.  Not only am I in Ukraine, but I’m receiving a regular salary for the first time since December of 2006!!!!

It feels good.

And it feels different.  

Receiving a paycheck has never been like this before!  In the past, I felt like earned a paycheck for the job “I” had done.  This is different.  I’m not being paid for what “I” do but because of what YOU do!

I’ve never been so aware of where my salary comes from than I am now.  I’ve never been more cognizant of my responsibility as a Steward of God’s gifts than I am right now.

A few times a month I check my online account to keep track of the “flow” and each time I am humbled by the fact that my friends and family are paying me to do what I love doing!

I have a line-item in my budget for “Giving”.  It’s built it into my budget.  It’s not my money.  It’s money you’ve given me to bless others.    

Most of what I’ve learned about generosity, I learned from Kim.  But being here, dependent on your financial gift, has heightened my awareness for how blessed it is to give.  My goal is to empty my “Giving” budget every month.  So, your gift to me is a gift of education for a child in Haiti, it’s a gift that helps pay the bills and support a Pastor here in Ukraine that probably makes less than I do, it’s a box of Capri Sun for random Roma kids that hit me up for money on the street.  I give because you first gave to me. 

But it’s not only my “Giving” Budget that you’re giving to.  You’re covering everything!  It brings tears to my eyes.  When I pay my Rent that’s all YOU!  When I buy a Coke and a Twix, that’s all YOU!  I mean, I know I asked you to help, but some days I wonder how in the heck can you love me that much?

So Thank You.  I’m loving being here.  I’m loving the connection I have with you through the gifts you’ve given and your prayers for me.  I hope you feel some connection too. 

I don’t know if I’m changing the world by being here.  Mostly, I think I’m just being “me” and living in Ukraine at the same time.  It’s not as convenient to live here as it is back in the States.  Most days I only have one item on my “To Do” list and I’m content if I can check-off that one item.  But most days I feel like that one item matters.

Yesterday my one item was to visit a Pastor I met the day after I arrived.  He and his wife have opened their home as a foster home of sorts.  They’ve taken in about a dozen kids and he operates a Street Kid Center and feeds street kids on the weekends. 

Yesterday I got to hear one of the kids’ stories firsthand.  What she’s been through is remarkable, where she’s headed because of God’s intervention through this Pastor is even more remarkable.  I’m praying about helping support his Soup Kitchen (and volunteering with him)…and that’s all YOU! 

In about an hour I’m meeting with one of 3 or 4 kids who want to practice English and learn a little guitar.  I bought a Guitar with your money!  It seems to be opening doors for me pretty regularly to hang-out with some kids (and also help lead worship with our youth group).  That’s YOU!

It’s God working through YOU!


Momma said...

Oh, that's sweet. I wish I had a million dollars to give you.

Daddy said...

I love you, Son.

vickie said...

Thank you, Clinton, for being willing to go, and for letting us help...