Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fund Raising Pointers/Truths...

Here are a few free pointers for those of us that find ourselves involved in missionary fund raising...

WAIT - IMPORTANT NOTE:  Before I begin, to those who have given generously and sacrificially to us, we thank you! Your sacrifice sustains us.  Your generous giving is grace to us.  We are at a loss for words to say thank you.

Back to fund raising...  Let me be very honest.  I am NO EXPERT.  I constantly feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.  As we enter into these things together, I want to share the following pointers  that I've found to be helpful to revisit time and time again.

Be Authentic - There is no amount of manipulation that is healthy or helpful.
Trust God - It isn't about you.  Don't get discouraged, seriously, God is at work in you and through you in this process.
Be Truthful - Never deceive.  Never hide.
Dream Big - Don't underestimate what God is going to do.
Embrace Overhead - Many want to shy away from talking about it.  It's a reality of life so embrace it and be honest about it.
Entitlement Warning - NEVER, and I mean NEVER think you deserve anything.  The more success "you" have, the more you will need to resist this entitlement attitude.  The more you sacrifice, the more you start thinking you are owed.  This is disgusting and we see it all too often.  Fight this with everything that you have.  You deserve nothing.  God deserves everything.
Be Faithful - It takes really hard work.  God can choose to drop things in your lap sure with no work on your part, but personally I've found that isn't the norm.  Don't just sit back and wait.  God calls us to be involved in the process.  At the same time, don't ever think your hard work will produce anything outside of his blessing either.  Be aggressive.  Set hard goals.  Don't get lazy.
Be Creative - There are SO MANY ways to raise funds.  Google it.  Consider doing things differently.  Yet, it's important to remember, no amount of cute pretty wrapping paper can manufacture anything.  As an example, a pretty blog is simply a helpful tool, but you can't expect good design to produce magic on it's own.
Ask - Many want to shy away from actually asking.  I think asking is part of being faithful to the task that God has given you.  Many want to share the need, but never actually ask.  We must surely be sensitive in our ask and season our ask with humility and grace, but I have found it to be true that you usually don't receive when you do not ask.
Plan Well - Having a plan is a plan to have.  Think strategically.  Make lists.  Set goals.  Be organized.  Don't stop executing the plan.  Track and analyze your giving history.  Tweak the plan when it's not working, but plan nonetheless.
Be Confident - Your confidence should grounded in God's omnipotence.  If God has called you to this, he will supply your needs.  Hard stop.
Say Thank You - Never get so wrapped up in yourself that you stop saying thank you.
Report Back - Tell stories.  You must communicate.  Help people gain the vision for what and why you are doing what you are doing.  Help them understand why it's a worthy investment to invest in you and what you are doing.
Relationships - People give by relationship and justify by cause.  Good luck if you are missing one or the other!  You can do all you can to explain why they should give, but if they don't have a relationship with you, if they don't trust you, if they don't believe in you, if they don't respect you, if they don't know you, you have a very tall hill to climb.  Of course, this means you must actually have character, be one who is trustworthy, believable, respectable, and knowable.

All to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Last Chemo!

I'm so excited that TODAY is my last day of chemo! 

This is a milestone in my cancer treatment that I have been looking forward to since the beginning of treatment.  I started out in September with a two-drug treatment once every two week for 4 treatments (that took 8 weeks.). That treatment was pretty rough on my system, but not as bad as I anticipated.  I was VERY fatigued for 5-6 days afterward and just didn't feel right.  Thankfully any stomach side effects were very minimal.  My hair started falling out when the doctor told me it would. And so far through my entire treatment, my blood counts have been great and I've had no issues with infection from a compromised immune system. 

When that first treatment was finished, I started a second treatment, one-drug (different than the first two) once a week for 12 weeks. Today is #12 of 12!  This treatment has been much more tolerable. The biggest side effects really came from the Benadryl and steroids I had to have with the chemo the day of treatment.  These last 5 weeks have flown by especially fast.

Chemo is winding down and while I am excited to be done, the next step is radiation.  The medical oncologist will call today to make an appointment for me with the radiation oncologist and I'm told I'll get a consultation quickly to find out when radiation will start.  I'm told to expect that to be 5 days a week for 6 weeks. So my battle isn't finished, but the biggest, most difficult chapter will be finished today!

The kids are having a great school year! They all just brought home great report cards and (praise the Lord!) handed in their big science fair projects today.  All three have recently started playing basketball in the Upward program run by our church.  Braden auditioned for a play with a local production company and is excited that he is going to be a Narnia creature in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in May.  Rehearsals start in a few weeks, so we'll find out more about his small role then. All three kids seem to be embracing this year and new experiences and friendships, but they are always thinking about home and look forward to returning to Haiti this summer, Lord willing.

I know I've been neglectful with updates on the blog.  For that I'm sorry.  I'm hopeful that many of you have kept up with my shorter updates on Facebook. Either way, I know so many have been praying for me and Rob and the kids. We have been blessed beyond measure during this  journey and have felt your prayers in abundance.  Thank you!

~ Becky