We've been out quite a bit with more things looming on the horizon, though not in the monstery way (think something more akin to deadlines, meetings, and goals that you *want* to meet). We spent the first week of June at a VBS in my hometown, the second week at a VBS here with mornings at a camp with high schoolers, and the third week spent at camp with middle schoolers. Then we had what I fondly refer to as a recovery week of slowly packing more boxes and remembering everything we forgot to do the previous 3 weeks. We were very blessed in a multitude of ways in the past month seeing old friends and making new ones, sharing smiles with kids, getting a few notes from people and churches saying they want to regularly financially support us, and telling others the whole reason why we are headed to France. We are getting the opportunity to share about France at 2-3 more churches this month plus we'll be meeting with folks from other churches throughout the coming weeks.
Thank you to everyone who has helped in some way so far, whether it's been through financial support, watching our daughter when we're both busy, giving a hug or encouraging word, or even reading our blog. We are constantly reminded of how God is at work and are trusting Him to help us each step of the way.
Our school applications have been submitted for CEF in Albertville, France for their January term, we're waiting to receive our paper application for France Mission, and Ophelia's passport application is laying on the desk. We have more speaking engagements and VBS events coming up. And I have a lot of packing to do before we move out at the end of the month!
We have now raised about 35% of our upfront goal and are around the 40% mark of meeting our monthly support goal. We've figured out that if we have about 320 gifts of $100 each, then we'll be finished with our upfront goal. That amount will cover school/daycare, a car, moving expenses, etc. We know a lot of people, so really that doesn't seem like an insurmountable goal. Are you someone who would like to help?
I recently watched one of my favorite bands fund their next album on Indiegogo. Not only did they meet their goal, but they raised thousands more (about $89,000 total), allowing them to record an extra EP and do more touring. I'm all for supporting your favorite artists and they would have gotten $10 from me if I didn't buy a book with that money. What this told me though is that people will support the things that they care about AND that all the smaller donations add up. Never think that the dollars you give to a charity or any cause you support - including missionaries! - are taken for granted or don't matter. Giving is one way we can show our gratitude for our own blessings. Honestly I love when I have money to spend as I wish and get to give some of that away. I am continually blessed by the many people and churches (who are made up of people!) who have given us money for gas, schooling, plane tickets, etc. Your gifts are enabling us to pursue what we feel God is calling us to. Thank you for your sacrifices so that we can do something that some people are finding to be a little nutty.
We're looking forward to what's just around the bend, even though we still have to work out what we're storing where, whose house we're living in and what is the best use of our time in the coming months. We'll be in North Carolina for much of August, so if you're there we'd love to see you!