The New Year gives us all a chance to reflect on the past and to plan for the future. For Kristina and I, 2010 has been an eventful year that culminated in our trip to Ethiopia and Zambia. Now we are focused on our future plans for Zambia.
Only two hurdles remain before we can move:
- Upgrading our status with SIM from associates to full members
- Raising the financial support necessary to live in Zambia
The change in status from associates to members is necessary and important. It reflects our long-term commitment to SIM, and it will also enable us to serve longer than the 24 month maximum for associates. All that remains is to complete a comprehensive Doctrinal Questionnaire and to fly to Halifax for interviews. We hope to submit the questionnaires soon so that the interviews can take place early in 2011.
Once we receive full SIM membership status, we can leave for Zambia as soon as we raise the necessary financial support. We have already received a draft budget from SIM which should be finalized within the next few weeks. I was surprised by the amount of financial support we will need to raise, but the numbers do add up. We need to cover living expenses in Ndola, many of which are not so different from what you might expect in North American cities. We also need to cover moving and travel costs, medical expenses, payroll deductions (we will still be residents of Canada for tax purposes), contribute to the administrative costs of both the Canadian and Zambian SIM offices, and so on.
To be honest, I have been dreading the idea of fundraising for a long time. My two biggest fears were having to ask people for money, and that we’ll be stuck here because we can’t raise enough support.
I mentioned my first fear to one of the missionaries we’ll be serving with at TCCA. He gave me words of wisdom that brought some comfort. “Support raising is not easy for any of us. It kills our pride. But it is good, in part for that very reason.” The words that really stuck with me were that “it kills our pride.” There is no pride in knowing that we can’t provide for our own needs, but must rely on others. Ultimately this is a reflection of our faith in God, because at the end of the day God is the one who provides, whether we’re missionaries, own our own business, or have a job. So as we set out to raise the support we’ll need to go to Zambia, I am learning to trust in God to overcome my fears and pride.
My other fear is that we won’t be able to raise enough support. Yet this also reflects a lack of faith. I know that God is more than able to provide for our needs. Here are some of the verses I’ve been meditating on recently to help me overcome this fear:
- Matthew 7:7-8: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
- Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
- James 4:2: “You do not have, because you do not ask God.”
I have been praying that God will provide our needs for His glory, and that we will learn to rely on Him more.
We deeply appreciate your support, whether in prayer or by giving, knowing that God will provide for all our needs through the generous support of our partners!