It’s an awkward thing, as an American, to ask others for help. One of our great cultural beliefs is that people should take care of themselves and not depend on anyone else.
This myth of self-reliance has done incredible good, but it’s still a myth. We depend on one another, as we should, in countless ways. Those who accomplish great things do so through their own drive and willpower, but also through immense blessings from others and most of all from God.
These days are reinforcing that old lesson, that all good things in my life depend solely on God through the benefaction of my neighbor. Over the past year I’ve been able to dwell with friends and family: this and myriad other kindnesses have sustained me and helped me thrive. And my future– life as a missionary in Tanzania– will be made possible entirely through the generosity of others.
As I work to raise up a support team, that generosity is printed in black and white in the form of monthly financial statements from OCMC. I’ve received gifts from complete strangers and from dear friends; from successful professionals and from struggling students– even a nun! As of May 31, my budget is at 15% of target. In order for everything to stay on track, in needs to be at 100% by the end of October, and most of my active support-raising won’t happen until the early fall. So, not a bad place to be right now.
A meaningful ministry in Africa will take much more prayer than it will take money. But the nice thing about money is that it’s fairly easy to quantify. And the numbers in this latest statement give some hint as to the great amount of prayer and friendship that’s being offered up on my behalf. This great support is sustaining me spiritually and emotionally; it’s palpable.
I am not worthy. I am scared and humbled by all of this. And I am incredibly grateful.