Confessions of a support raiser

Everywhere we go people want to know what it’s like to raise support.  I always struggle to answer that question briefly.  Afterall, we’ve been at it for almost 1.5 years.  But, here’s my best attempt at explaining what it’s like, at least for us:

Our support raising table. It goes everywhere we go.
Our support raising table. It goes everywhere we go.

1. We struggle to work hard because our funding is ultimately in God’s hands.

2. We struggle to rest well knowing that funds don’t raise themselves.

3. We’ve been to 10 different countries in the last two years, and our job will take us to many more in coming years.  Who gets to do that?

4. We’re constantly talking to ourselves.  It goes like this: If they say no, it’s not a reflection on you.  But, if they say yes, it’s still not a reflection on you.

5. We know that people want to give, but we still feel awkward asking at times.  We also struggle not to feel entitled to your support.

6. We wanted to put up our own pictures on the wall in our room, but we didn’t because we weren’t sure when we would have to take it down.  That was a year and a half ago.

7. We haven’t had to pay rent since we joined GYFM.  And even though we have more money going out than coming in, we’ve always somehow had enough… and even some to give away.

8. Relationships are different than they used to be.  Us: “Are we visiting with a friend, a supporter, both?  What’s the difference anyway?”  Them: “Are they going to ask me for money?” or “Why haven’t they asked me for money?”

9. Sometimes when we’re sharing about Japan or our ministry with MKs, we look out into the crowd and see Japanese people or and missionary kids who know far more about this ministry than we do.

10. Some people we thought would give, haven’t.  Others that we never imagined would give, have given like crazy.

11. We feel like we’re working all the time, but don’t feel like we’ve accomplished anything when our support account doesn’t move for weeks.

12. We see financial support come in when we’re on vacation and wonder if we shouldn’t just stay on vacation.

13. We attend church every week, but have only been at our “home church” once this year.

14. We get to hear great preachers all over the US and enjoy many different styles of worship.  And we rarely have to cook.

15. We meet really great new people all the time, but rarely have the energy to engage them as we’d like to.

16. We wake up every day knowing that multiple people are praying for us and our ministry by name.  Not everyone can say that.

17. We know that asking people for money is really just giving them an opportunity to participate in God’s mission, but it takes some mental gymnastics to shake the feeling that we’re begging.

18. The most important thing in the world to us is our ministry, but we’re also tired of talking about it.

19. We’re affirmed in our calling over and over again, but we constantly wonder if we’re cut out for this sort of thing.

20. We’re amazed by grace one minute, and seek comfort from idols the next.

21. We doubt God’s love when things don’t go the way we want, and forget to thank him when they do.

Our lives probably aren’t all that different from yours when it really comes down to it.  We all have ups and downs, joys and struggles because we’re all living in the in-between.

Riva's parent's Clemson-themed basement where we've been living for the last 1.5 years.
Riva’s parent’s Clemson-themed basement where we’ve been living for the last 1.5 years.


12 thoughts on “Confessions of a support raiser

  1. This is my second time raising support for short-term ministry, and I’ve felt a lot of the things you just described! You articulated it very well! 🙂

  2. The basement will only be for a few more mo ths. Then you can have your own calk board wall again! You can have all JMU.
    We are praying for you guys.
    Amber and Chip

    1. Thanks Lundquists! We love y’all. I hear the Duke Dog is big over in Japan so I’m sure I won’t have any trouble finding purple and gold to decorate our new digs 🙂

  3. Well said!!!

    Do you know if an awesome couple looking for youth ministry work in the south?

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Well done! Way to be real and honest and Christ centered! See you in Spain. Bruce ________________________________________

  5. Very well and honestly stated. Gordon and I know where you are coming from and pray for you to soon be fully funded.

  6. I just found your blog and I LOVE this post! I would have to say, “Amen, amen and AMEN!” Hope the retreat is going well.

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