In the Early Church, there was no such thing as fundraising.
They didn’t have GoFundMe sites.
There were no “t-shirts” to sell.
There was no need.
“Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common…it was distributed to each as any had need.”- Acts 4:32, 35
Now, we live in a “Powerball Ticket” kind of world; a world that says, “Me, me, me.” Most people desire to give something- it makes them feel good and it seems like the right thing to do. But giving until it stretches our own lifestyle? That’s a different story.
I remember the first time that I raised money to go on a mission trip. I had a little over a thousand dollars to collect, and if my parents were honest, they were uncomfortable with it. We didn’t lack the money to go on this trip, so why was I asking other people to give “their” money?
The words of the ministry leader have stuck with me years later. This leader told me that I wasn’t raising the money because our family could not afford it; I was actually allowing others to participate in furthering the Gospel in a way that would not be possible if they were not able to give.
Years later, we sit with a large number in front of us: $30,000. We do not have even close to that amount within “our” bank account.
While we always knew we wanted to adopt, Hugh and I thought the timing might be at point where medical loans were paid off and residency work was finished.
We should have known better.
God’s timing and our timing haven’t exactly always lined up.
But His clock reigns and His ways are best.
This we know.
I think the elephant in the room when people are raising money is always that little question that pops up in your head:
“Do they really need it?”
When it comes to adoption, in years past, I have heard several people say,
“If they can’t afford a child then why are they adopting in the first place?”
This statement is two-layered. From a practical standpoint, in our situation, I would tell you that once Baby Cheek is home, we can afford to provide he/she with his/her needs. The truth of the matter is, we do not decide the costs involved in bringing home Baby Cheek. For the most part, neither do the adoption agencies. There is no need to complain or argue or talk about the injustice in the system, for it is what it is.
“In the U.S., 397,122 children are living without permanent families in the foster care system. 101,666 of these children are eligible for adoption, but nearly 32% of these children will wait over three years in foster care before being adopted.” (Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute statistic)
This statistic is alarming.
It is heart-wrenching.
But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be.
I am going to step on some toes in saying this, but it needs to be said:
If you are someone who doesn’t agree with raising support to bring a parentless child into a family- are you pro-life?
If you are, then how can we rationalize that we desire to “care for orphans and widows” but not give in order for someone else to do so?
I am saying these things gently-truly-and in love- but I believe that the Church needs to wake up to the truth of God’s Word and the urgency of being obedient to His commands.
I posted a Francis Chan video yesterday that speaks volumes to how we are called to live our lives, and if you haven’t watched, I pray you do. He gives a beautiful illustration that depicts how short our time on earth is in comparison to our eternity.
Friends, don’t waste your life.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”- James 1:27
This word visit- it’s definition is not to merely stop by. It is to care for and shelter and help.
When we talk about giving so that someone can do the very thing above, we are not talking about shelling out “your money” in order to let someone go on an extravagant cruise to the Bahamas.
I would argue that even if we were, it is more blessed to give than receive.
This is not a direct sales pitch.
Children are not homemade candles or nutritional products or a skincare line.
They are people who are precious in the sight of the Lord.
Friends, this is not just about our adoption. This is about gaining the understanding that all resources are God’s and that His desires for us are much bigger than to live a comfortable life, tithe as it doesn’t stretch us, and move on to take care of our own little bubbles.
There are many examples in God’s Word of people seeking the help of others in order to fulfill a command of the kingdom:
1 Chronicles 28-29 gives us a beautiful example of God’s people coming together to rebuild His Temple.
Nehemiah, in Nehemiah 1-2, boldly approaches the King in order to ask for resources to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.
In Philippians, we are shown a stunning view of how giving graciously not only blesses the one receiving, but blesses the giver as well.
If Jesus is Lord over our life, He must be Lord over every area of our life.
In this process, we are learning what a gift fundraising is- it has confirmed our calling, it has stretched us to be bold about why we are doing what we are doing, and it has given others the opportunity to come alongside us in fulfilling God’s command to love the fatherless. I can also tell you that some of Hugh and I’s most satisfying experiences in this life have been when God asked us to give more than we were comfortable with and we stepped out in faith. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive.
I do pray that some of you will be called to step forward and give extravagantly in order to help us with #bringinghomebabycheek – but for those of you who do not- I pray that you would find someone or something that stirs your passions and ignites a flame that says, “I choose what God is doing in your life over temporary pleasures and petty desires that will fade. I choose to make eternity count more than this moment.”
I can promise you this: it will be worth it.
He is worth it.
The One who gave all deserves all the glory, all the praise, all the honor.
“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen!”- Romans 11:36
It’s all His anyway.