…an Easter egg hunt.
Not always, and not necessarily often, but sometimes raising personal support to work overseas is like finding Easter eggs. I know it’s not the most elegant image. A veteran missionary once described it to me that way early in my itineration, and I admit, I was skeptical that it would ever feel that easy. I was experiencing the searching and not much of the finding.
Recently, though, my itineration could only be likened to an Easter egg hunt with its happy surprises. Someone has laid things out ahead of me, and it seems all I need to do is turn over the rock, or check behind the hedge, or reach up into the tree branches, and… SURPRISE! I’m up to 36% of the pledges I need to leave for long-term work.
Let me tell you about one of the ways this task-oriented, ever-planning, micro-managing girl tracks her support-raising information. I have a list of contacts organized by how I know them or how I was put in touch with them. One group is labeled “Covenant College,” another “Uncommon Grounds Cafe,” another “Chapel Presbyterian,” etc. There are a couple dozen groups. It helps me to categorize my contacts; when I’m in a particular area, I can communicate with everyone there. Or when I need someone’s name and contact info, I can quickly find it by looking under the group I know them from. Basically, it gives me a starting point when I’m trying to decide which rocks to turn over in my Easter egg hunt. You get the idea…
Well this week I created a new group in my records labeled simply “God.” And it’s because recently some new supporters have joined my team, and I can’t even tell you how we’re connected. One of them is remaining anonymous. (So if it’s you and you happen to be reading, THANK YOU!!) Those new supporters can only be categorized as “God contacts.” God is the One who did the work, and all I had to do was find the Easter egg.
It reminds me that actually, all the people on my list could fall into that group. On the surface, there may be some connection, some group or place that I know them from. There may have been years that I spent sharing life with them in some way; there may have been some speaking opportunity that I pursued this past year, and we met as a result. But behind any of those earthly connections, God is the one who orchestrated our knowing each other. Many of them have been dear blessings in my life long before I was ever officially an “itinerating missionary.” And now some of them have chosen to be further involved in my life through financial support — wow! Those are the Easter eggs I might hope to find, though I’m as gratefully surprised as ever when I do! Then recently there have been a few others who just met me, and before I’ve even had a chance to add them to my list, suddenly their name pops up in my support account as monthly donors — wow! Those are the Easter eggs that practically jump into my basket and leave me wondering, How is this even possible? In both cases, “thank you” just seems so inadequate.
Granted, it hasn’t always felt that easy, nor will it (which is why I figured I should write about it now, during a time when it does!). But I have a hunch that God will always find ways to remind me that He’s the One behind the scenes, laying things out for my discovery and for His glory. I know that in my head, of course. But when my heart actually grabs hold of that truth and I live it out, there’s as much joy in the journey for me as for a kid on an Easter egg hunt.