Donations: It’s not all about the Economy Stupid

Image

Like you might know I’m in the process of raising funds to support my work with an amazing organization, Amor Ministries.

It definitely has been a journey. With its mountaintops and its valleys. At this point I’m thrilled because after a relatively long period of not being able to raise any money, money has started to come in again.

I won’t lie, it’s been a dry period and it made me question the utility of it all. I read a couple of books on fund raising, blogs and a book on giving; I’ve sent letters to friends, family and acquaintances; I contacted my church; I contacted other churches around San Diego; I prayed; and I asked for advice from elders. I reached the end of myself and I was getting tired.

Then temptation to start looking elsewhere crept in. I figured that if I was to get a “normal job” I could donate towards Amor and be more helpful. How pretentious of me. God never asked me for my money (at least not on this case. After we did our taxes last month, we realized we had not given as much as we would like). He asked me to use my God given talent and my faith.

Amor is His doing. I’m just the vehicle and I must let go, surrender.  And that was the message I got last month when I went to a women’s retreat with Newbreak. And I’m so grateful that during that trip I was without distraction to practice being in His presence. How wise was God to fill me up with His Joy. He knew I needed my vase filled up with His spirit to continue the journey.

He also asked me to take a break: To do nothing (I’ll share more about the experience in another post). How counterintuitive with our culture and my makeup is that?

Do nothing? As a wannabe athlete I’m well familiarized with the phrase “Good things come to those who work their [buttocks] off.” Maybe I should make more cold calls, follow up on my contacts (really good advice from my dad who’s been on sales most of his life), send flyers to my neighbors (I only know a handful), what about a fundraising party (please let me know if this sounds like fun and if you would like to give me advice on how to go about it), anyway you get the idea.

But I yielded and I stopped leaning on my own understanding.  During this time I’ve shared my vase with others. I’ve been running more (super excited of reaching my personal best), gone on more outings with my kids, explored my artistic side, planned a party I hosted last week, and I’ve been more available for my friends. Doing and enjoying those things when I have something to accomplish would normally turned me into a basket case, but I actually did it, anxiety free.

Yesterday my latest numbers came in. First of all, the small recurring donations have added up, thank you very much for your faithfulness, you are bringing me closer and sustain my faith.

And secondly one person very close to me made a sacrificial donation. I know it’s sacrificial because her husband just recently lost his job. It overwhelmed me. I wanted to give it back. And then it hit me. How conceited of me. I don’t know how God plans to bless her. I know God multiplies and I can’t ask for abundance for others or me from a poverty mentality.

I know her gift has already blessed me. It reminded me, actually, for the first time it made me understand I’m not alone on this journey.

This might be a blog about the journey of how an unexceptional woman goes into joining a great non-profit to build homes to the poor, but actually this is our journey. To you who reads this and encourages me from the sidelines, to you who gave what was asked from you faithfully even when you might be scared, and to you who becomes encouraged by these lines, for these lines are my gift back to you.

It’s amazing what someone believing in you can do. I sometimes doubt myself. I don’t know how I will be able to come with the rest of the money, but I must keep putting one foot in front the other. I’ll go to battle, no matter how woefully unprepared I feel. Like for Gideon, God has a plan. And like Gideon, I’m not alone.

 When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you,mighty warrior.”

 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.”

 The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

 The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Judges 6:12-16 NIV

I pray God’s gentle hand directs me to whatever is next.

 

Everyone at Amor has an important job for the future of the ministry. You can be part of that vision by supporting me with a monthly donation, a one-time gift or by committing to pray for me to meet my needs to continue my employment with Amor.

You can make your donation online at https://www.amor.org/give/staff, just make sure to put designation “other” and input my name in the comment box.

You can also send a check at 1664 Precision Park Lane, San Diego, CA 92173 and put my name in the memo line (FJOH).  Or call 619.662.1200 to make a donation on my behalf.

Thank you for your support and God Bless,

Advertisements

Don’t Despise Small Beginnings

coffee cupI have great news! Amor has decided to sponsor me with 50%! Their generosity has overwhelmed me. Some of the funds will have to be diverted from elsewhere including staff support. I was supposed to raise 100% of my salary. All new staff members in new created positions are expected to do so. And I’ve been working towards that end since February.

Last Friday I had a meeting with Gayla  Cooper Congdon,  co-founder of Amor Ministries to discuss  my fundraising strategy .  I was supposed to start working for Amor on March , so she wanted to see how to help me formulate a fundraising strategy to get me on board as soon as possible. Our meeting rather became a heart-to-heart. She introduced me to Amy, a friend of hers from her college years who coordinates family and group camps. We shared about the joys of raising kids and the ministry . She shared with me of how God had met the organization’s needs after the rise of violence in Mexico made them lose HALF their volunteers. It’s not an easy task for any company to survive after losing half their clients, but Amor did.

“Love grows by giving. The love we give aways is the only we keep. The only way to retain love is to give it away.” Elbert Hubbard. 

In one sweep God has taken care of half of my needs. Mark Batterson, writes in his book Draw the Circle, “Like a parent that celebrates a baby’s first step, our heavenly Father rejoices when we take the smallest of steps in the right direction. And those small steps become giant leaps in God’s kingdom. If we do little things, God will do the big things.”

They could’ve simply try to hire somebody more connected, yet they chose to take a chance on me. The feeling that someone believes in your skills, and more importantly in your dreams is overwhelming. For every generous act, whether be words of encouragement, prayer, small or big donations my heart has grown bigger, and my steps gotten lighter

Although I still have to continue raising support for the other half of my salary,  I’ve been encouraged, with my faith restored, I will continue onward until God sees me through.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”  Zechariah  4:10a.

This is just the beginning. Thank you for being part of the journey.

 “The generous will themselves be blessed for they share their food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9 NIV.

If you want to join me in this new venture,  you can make donations directly in the website under staff giving and please input my name  Fabiola Johnson in the comment section.https://www.amor.org/give/staff

All your donations are tax deductible.

If you want to read more about the work of Amor, please visit https://www.amor.org/about and subscribe to this blog as I continue my journey to Amor.