I know that is donations are a touchy subject. Talking about finances is a bigger taboo today than talking about sex! Some assume I’m independently wealthy after 25 years of high tech. That’s not the case. I do, however, have enough saved for college for my kids and an eventual simple retirement (and it was invested like everyone else’s so it’s little again). However, for the daily food, clothing, transportation, bills, and ministry expenses, I depend on donations.
That was hard to swallow at first. But after studying the Bible for about 3 months (that’s how long it took to go through all the passages that relate to how God supported his prophets, disciples, and those called into service), I was convinced that relying on the support of others is Biblical and even right for me. It humbles me and puts me in the proper position for daily ministry.
I want to share a few of the valuable donations I have received:
- When I first began this journey in the summer of 2008, I was scared and feeling like I was a complete nut case. Fearing failure from the end of one career, I was second guessing myself at every corner about a calling to mission. But one man in particular made me talk it out and figure it out. He listened and he believed. And that belief became infectious as it took root in me. This man’s financial donation came unasked and unexpected, even before I had begun fund raising! The faith with which he put money in action shored up my own faith in God’s calling. What a difference it made to me and my family.
- I have a prayer newsletter that goes out every month to dear people who pray for the ministry. I let them in on the needs of clients, the ministry, and my family. Their contribution is so valuable. One dear woman on this list is widowed and barely gets buy. But she sent me a handwritten letter and a $5 check. That check made me cry. I wanted hold on to it forever. I knew this would offend her so I cashed it. I will remember that check for a long, long time.
- In my study of fund raising in the Bible, I came across many passages describing how right it is for the students to pay for the teacher. I thought, “That would be cool, but my students are homeless and poor. Fat chance of that!” One day, a young man on the street came to me and said, “I was going to buy beer with this, but I want you to have it for your ministry. You come out here and expect nothing in return, so this is yours.” Others have done the same. To date, I have received $2.58 from the street kids. I keep careful track of it because it means so very much to me.
There are many more stories of sacrificial giving, generous giving, giving without being asked, giving because they were asked, and more. Each donor has a unique story. Each donation is an act of love and worship. I’ve highlighted a few, but what an amazing gift it is to be supported financially in God’s Kingdom.
Whether God supplies you from your employer, from your hard work as self employed, or from a church: know that it all comes from God. Perhaps you will be as lucky as me to have it shown so obviously that every penny comes from God. It is certainly a blessing to me.