Today there is good news.
The good news is that God has blessed me enough to be 2/3 of the way to my leaving goal! I am trying to raise $3600 of monthly support and I am currently at $2,035! Since I am planning to leave at 80% ($3000), I have less than $1000 of monthly support still to raise. That is pretty darn awesome. I have to extend great thanks to everyone who has contributed, both in one-time support and in continuing support. I have been absolutely overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity, kindness, and confidence in my work. Each day I am surprised and words cannot even express my amazement. You all have come behind me with such faithfulness, and it gives me such confidence that God has great plans for us as we partner to work with the Apache nation.
As I reflect on this past month of support-raising I can confidently say that this has been one of the most rewarding and most difficult seasons of my life. I could not have imagined how blessed I would be in this time, but I could also not have imagined how hard the enemy would hit me as I prepare for my work in the Apache nation. I feel that I have constantly been tested and tried, and it has been a struggle. The enemy finds whatever foothold they can, and they have worked to discourage me through every avenue, from health and body image issues to relationships and tragedy.
To be honest, I am struggling to stay on top of everything. The stress is at times overwhelming, and when this week culminated with the unexpected, unjustified, accidental death of one of the most amazing young women I have ever had the privilege to meet, it was extremely hard to trust in the goodness of God. So many people had prayed for this young lady, including myself, asking for her life, but the prayer was not answered. She was only 20 years old, and a student at Georgia College.
Thankfully I have amazing people in my life who are able to be my strength and arrows of guidance when I lose my direction, but this battle is wearing on me as I fight to keep my head up. There have been times in the last month where I have failed to recognize God’s goodness and where I have considered giving up on this calling, but the one thing that keeps me going is that I know you all believe in this work. It is evidenced by my support raising- so many of you believe in what God has called me to do, and you all are able to see the truth, the passion, and the vision when the enemy tries to cloud my view.
I know that this will all just get harder, but I am fighting to believe in the truth of God's love and calling. I am comforted by these words from a book called Mentoring Leaders:
“God loves you as a person even more than he loves what you do as a leader. . .There is absolutely nothing you can do to make him love you less- or more. The relationship you share is based on the character of God, which is unchanging. He loves you with an unconditional love based on his character- not yours. “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jer. 31:3 NLT).” -Carson Pue
And I swear that I see God's character in so many of you. So thank you! Thank you for getting me to where I am in my support raising, for believing in this mission, and for being my strength throughout this past month. I know that our God is good and faithful, even in the midst of this terribly broken world. And I am quite sure, that I will soon be on the reservation witnessing a taste of that goodness and faithfulness through Apache Youth Ministries.