From 25% to fully funded – all during a global pandemic. I’ve asked my friends Dustin and Melanie Sanford to share what God has brought them through during this season of drought and discouragement.
We are the Sanford’s and we will be serving the Lord in Central Eurasia! We have two little boys ages 3 and 1 and we have been support raising during the Coronavirus pandemic for 6 months. We got our approval email to begin raising our budget on February 1, 2020 and went full speed ahead that month, having meetings almost every single day. It was amazing and we really saw the Lord move! We had 25% of our budget raised by March 10th and we were so motivated!
The week of March 23rd was packed full of support meetings, we were going to speak at Dustin’s home church and ask the congregation to join our team. We had a plan. Then, Texas went into lockdown. We had no idea what to expect, no one in our organization had ever raised a budget during a time like this so we didn’t have anyone to come in and give us advice. We were expecting to just stop, because who in their right mind would want to give to overseas workers when people are losing their jobs? We felt pretty discouraged at first, and then on Dustin’s way home from work he was crying out to God. “Lord, how are we going to do this? I thought this was what you wanted. What do we do?” Then the Lord replied in His gentle way, “How much more honor and glory would I receive if I were to raise your funds during a pandemic?”
So we pick ourselves up out of the dirt. Wiped the tears off our faces and decided we weren’t going to stop. We were going to continue to press on. With a slight change, this time we would be a lot more sensitive to how people were doing mentally, physically and financially. We needed to discern whether setting up an appointment was appropriate or should we talk and pray with them. It took a lot more prayer and a lot of tuning in to what the Holy Spirit was asking of us. We made phone calls and texted people to check in and if appropriate, set up zoom or facetime meetings and we were only told no once or twice! It took a lot of hard work and pressing on when we thought it couldn’t happen. During this, we also kept our current supporters updated almost weekly and in August asked them to pray about giving (yes, again) as well as asked them to bring others in to help us get overseas. As I finish this blog post up we’re 100% with monthly support and making a huge (slightly crazy) push to finish our cash.
All of that being said, how does this apply to you? How can you raise your funds to fulfill God’s call on your lives? Honestly, I wish we had a magic bullet to share with you. We don’t. I wish I had a five step plan to a better fundraising experience, I could probably throw something cringy together if you’re really interested. Then again, there are a ton of books and resources you can find that do that already. My word of advice, Do Not Stop. If God has called you to this, He will do it. One of my favorite quotes is from the Haystack prayer revival, “We can do this, if we will.” You just have to be obedient and do what He has asked of you. That means raising your budget. And how much more Glory and Honor would He receive if He were to raise your funds during this time?