Fund Raising for Mission Trips -
The Easiest Way to Know God Wants You Going
What do I mean by fund raising for mission trips? Since God is the one who calls us to do mission work, He is responsible for providing the necessary funds.
But God generally works through people...
So I believe that the best way to do fund raising for mission trips is to share with God's people what you believe He wants you to do and then ask for their prayer support. In the process let them know what your financial needs are so they can pray about those needs as well.
As you do this, God will lay it on the hearts of people to contribute financially to your work. Do I really believe this? Most definitely I do. Let me share with you several examples from my own past experiences in fund raising for mission trips.
My First Experience with Fund Raising for Mission Trips...
came for a summer mission team to Puerto Rico in 1978. The Lord had been speaking to me about going on a team all during the first semester of my Junior year of college, but I kept ignoring it because my parents had said I couldn't go on a team until after I graduated.
Finally, shortly before I went home for Christmas I told the Lord that I was more than willing to go on a team, but I knew He didn't want me to disobey my parents. I told Him if He changed their minds, I'd be more than willing to go.
I thought I was asking the impossible, because when my parents make up their minds, it truly takes an act of God to change them. But, God did change their minds. When I talked with them, they said I could go...IF God sent in the money.
That didn't bother me at all, because I know that God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine...what was less than $2,000 that I needed for the summer mission trip?
Nothing, of course.
About two months before we were to leave, my folks were down for a visit. I was introducing them to other team members and sharing with them our plans for the summer. My Dad, who had pastored churches for probably around thirty years at that time, pulled me aside. He reminded me that He and Mom had said I could go on the team "IF God sent in the money".
He then asked me if I knew how many churches I would need to be in to raise that kind of money. Of course, I didn't, but he did since he was a pastor. He said,
"Why you'd need to be in at least ten churches to raise that kind of money, and you can't be in any since you're in school. I don't think you're going on that trip. You can't do fund raising for mission trips while you're in school."
I was so sure God wanted me on the team, that even that scolding didn't bother me, but it did start me praying about the money. I went back to my dorm room and prayed and this is the gist of what I said...
"Since I can't travel, I know you don't want me to do fund raising for mission trips like that, for this trip. I know you want me on that team, and it would be exciting if you waited until the last day to send in the money.
I know you could do that, but it would be really hard on Mom & Dad, because they don't know you want me on that team, so they are starting to make plans, thinking I'll be home this summer...
Would you mind sending in the money some time soon so they have a little time to adjust?"
Two weeks later, I had all the money I needed for the summer trip!
I don't believe I ever did visit any churches, although I do believe I wrote a letter to pastors and churches I knew, asking them for their prayers and support. The Lord did all the fund raising for that mission trip for me.
Fund Raising for Mission Trips - Long Term
A year later I had answered God's call to go back to Puerto Rico full time as a missionary teacher. I went under my home church, so I didn't have a definite support level set, but we had decided I probably needed about $800 a month in support. That was the medium income for Puerto Rican households at the time.
Since I was planning to teach, I needed to be in Puerto Rico by the middle of August. I spent the summer doing fund raising for my mission trip, traveling from church to church sharing with God's people what I believed the Lord wanted me doing, a process many call deputation.
By the end of the summer, I had about half of the amount I needed pledged. Since I needed to be in Puerto Rico when school started, I asked permission to leave even though I didn't have the full amount promised. The pastor (my Dad) and deacons of the church (who were acting as my mission board) agreed to let me go.
I spent ten years serving in Puerto Rico as a missionary. The first five years I lived and worked in Levittown, a suburb of San Juan, and the last five years I was working in Fajardo on the eastern side of the island.
During that time, I never had more than half of the amount of support we thought I needed pledged, but there were only two times that the full amount we thought I needed, didn't come in. Those two times, it turned out that I didn't really need the full amount after all. So for ten years I received about twice the amount of support monthly as what people had promised to give me.
Once again, the Lord took care of all the fund raising for mission trips He wanted me doing.
I learned during those years that God is able and willing to supply our needs, and many of our wants, as we commit our lives to serving Him.
Missions are dear to the heart of God. If we will allow Him, He will take full responsibility for fund raising for any mission trips He wants us on.
Fund Raising for Mission Trips - An Opportunity for Miracles!
You may be thinking to yourself
"Well that's great and I'm glad it worked for you, but 1978 is a long time ago. You can't do things that way today, it just wouldn't work!"
So to finish, I'd like to share with you our last fund raising for mission trips experience from October of last year.
My husband and I had planned to finance our own mission trips from his pensions so that we didn't need to do fund raising at all. We wanted to visit the Regiers in Ecuador since he had written that they needed an electrician to wire a new church building.
Last January we decided that if we saved $500 a month from then until October, we shouldn't need to do any other fund raising for mission trips, since we'd have the money we needed for the trip to Ecuador.
However from January through July every month we had one or more unexpected expenses that kept us from saving the five hundred we'd intended to save.
Things happened like my husband losing his glasses in the lake while fishing, and one son needing us to come help him put a new roof on the back of his house so that they could sell it.
None of the things were things we could ignore, or even put off, but by August we realized we weren't going to be able to save the necessary money for the trip.
The only other option we had available to us was to take money from my husband's retirement annuities to fund the trip.We suggested that possibility to both our pastor and the missionary we planned to go help, and both advised us against it. They both said that if God wanted us in Ecuador, He would take care of the fund raising for mission trips and supply the money we needed.
We had already sent out a prayer letter earlier in the year mentioning that we wanted to make the trip, but nothing had been given for the trip. We didn't have the money to send out another one because all the unexpected expenses had left finances unusually tight.
We weren't able to travel to do fund raising for mission trips by presenting our trips to other churches, because we are helping start a church in the town we live in. It is too small for us to leave it, in order to travel to other churches to raise mission support.
So we prayed and asked the Lord to send in the money if He wanted us to go. My husband had said that if we still had nothing toward the trip after September 15th, we would have to believe that the Lord didn't want us going.
The fifteenth was only about two weeks before we needed to leave on October 3rd. We emailed the Regiers and told them what was happening, asked them to keep praying, and we kept on praying.
We needed $3,800 dollars for the trip. We went to bed on the night of September the 15th thinking we still had nothing toward the trip, but I hadn't had a chance to check the email that night.
The next morning when I checked our email, a church we knew nothing about in Illinois, had donated about half of what we needed for the trip.
During the last two weeks before the trip, the Lord sent in the rest of the money in various ways. That time much of it came through unexpected donations as a result of my husband's willingness to help people out.
He is always helping people with anything they need when he can, and during that two week period he helped out our neighbor who is a general contractor with some painting he needed done, and a relative who was fixing up a house to sell. He never accepts pay for helping people since he is disabled.
But in these two instances the people he helped sent donations to help us with our mission trips. So through his generosity in helping people when they need his help, the Lord burdened their hearts to fund our mission trips.
We also received various donations from others whom the Lord led to contribute. We got the last check for $300 in the mail on the day we left. In fact, Dennis had to go to the Post Office to pick it up, because they hadn't delivered our mail for the previous three days.
The neatest part of the whole experience for me was that when I had really started praying about our lack of funds toward the end of the summer, the Holy Spirit reminded me of my prayer as a college student "that it would be exciting if He waited until the last day to send in the money", then He said to me, "So who needs the money early this time?" I realized that no one really needed it early this time, it just would have been convenient.
I told my husband after that time of prayer, that I did think the Lord would send in the money, but I thought He might wait until the last minute. That is exactly the way it happened...
It was as exciting as I thought it would be back as a college student!
Most everyone would like to see the Lord provide thousands of dollars for them, as He did for us so we could go to Ecuador.
But most don't want to be in the position of needing thousands of dollars to be able to do something they want to do, or they believe God wants them to do.
Opportunities for Growth
If we simply work at fund raising for mission trips like we would at any other job, we lose the privilege of learning to depend on God for our needs.
We also run the risk of failing to realize that He is ultimately responsible for the results of our fund raising.
So as we plan our fund raising for mission trips efforts, I believe it is very important to be sure that we do everything to His glory remembering that He can and will supply, if we are doing what He wants us to do.
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