Grace on April 19th, 2014

I don’t know where this wind has been, but it blows strength into me.
Maybe it’s time I considered my intangibility.
Empty seed pods in the grass say,
“Once I loved; that time is past.”
It’s difficult to bear, but even harder to believe.

Every death is a vacancy sign in the world of the alive.
On this round earth, there’s not one place where something hasn’t died.
And all the words of all the humans
keep the dead things close to you, but
Beauty waits for no man’s pen and needs no awestruck eye.

sky


64%

BethM on April 14th, 2014

After spending a lovely weekend in Abilene for a dear friend’s surprise engagement, I’m back home with exactly three weeks till departure. Up until this past week, May 5th honestly seemed pretty far off. Now, not so much. There’s so much to do in so little time! I’ve been running around collecting police checks and immunizations and copies of important documents, in the midst of finishing out my last week at work and scheduling time to see all the friends and family I would love to see before I leave. (Turns out moving out of the country takes a decent amount of preparation. As usual, my procrastination is showing!)

At 64%, I’m feeling very close and yet still pretty far off from my monthly target amount. At this point, if 20 individuals or families chose to sponsor me at $30 a month, I would be completely funded. If one of those could be you or someone you know, head over to my support page for instructions on making your donation.

I’m so grateful for each one of you, and continue to feel your prayers and support. I have been very, very blessed!

BethM on April 3rd, 2014

Today, I decided to flip in my Daily Walk Study Bible to May 5th—the day, Lord willing, I’ll be leaving the States. This entire support-raising process makes me feel pretty keenly the need for a scriptural boost in my day, and so I was hoping the reading and devotional for May 5th might be applicable. The scripture reading for that date is in Nehemiah. Perfect, I thought. Too bad I’m not, you know, building a wall or something.

As it turns out, Nehemiah (and the devotional that accompanies it in my Bible) has a lot more to say than what I bargained for. This under-appreciated man of faith is a hard-core prayer warrior! Reading his fervent prayers before and during his journey to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls is pretty moving—when was the last time I prayed like that? Throwing all my physical and spiritual needs completely, wholly, and unashamedly at at my Savior’s feet?

Truth be told, I’ve discovered that the process of support-raising leads to an unexpected pitfall for me: it’s so very easy to get pulled into a mindset that rests only in my abilities, my work, and my efforts. Between writing newsletters, sending updates and thank-yous, and crunching the numbers, I often forget: I can’t do this.

Without Him, it simply won’t happen. And so perhaps the most valuable investment I can make, in this flurry of fund-raising and preparation, is the time that I spend in intimate conversation with Him. And I can never get enough of that.

With that in mind, here are a few prayer requests. I would be so very grateful if you joined me in bringing these petitions to the Father.

  • Pray that God would continue to guide my steps over the next several weeks—throughout support raising and other preparations.
  • Pray for New Hope Uganda—the children I will be teaching and the many that I won’t, that they may have their physical and spiritual needs met.
  • More specifically, pray for Ketty and Casmil Okoth, two beautiful people on staff at Kasana. Ketty has recently been diagnosed with cancer and is beginning to investigate her treatment options.
  • Pray that I can let go of the physical and financial stresses that arise throughout this process, and that I will rest in the knowledge that God is the greatest provider (and ultimately, a better fundraiser than I will ever be!).

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

1 John 5:14-15

32%

BethM on March 21st, 2014

With my artist friend and student Biru, the evening before I headed home last August.

Today, I’ve taken a flying leap off the edge of a cliff—and to be honest, it’s hard not to feel a little bit nervous. (Overwhelmed? Terrified? That feeling you get in your stomach when you’re free-falling?)

With 32% of my monthly funds in place and a matter of weeks till departure, I’ve finally buckled down and paid the airfare, securing May 5th as the day I’ll head out. In January, when I put the flight on hold, I think I imagined things being a little farther along before I paid the ticket. Raising 78% of my support in the next several weeks is intimidating, to say the least.

So here I am, at the juncture of fear and faith. It’s a pretty common place to be, I think. I read yesterday that God’s faithfulness in the past ought to be the basis of our faith in the present (Phil Tuttle in his book ‘Crucible’), which immediately caused me to look back over the events of the past several years.

God was faithful to bring me safely (and fully funded) through my first two months at Kasana. He was faithful to provide me the relationships, opportunity, and passion to return a second time. He was faithful to lead generous friends and family to once again provide the necessary finances. When I returned from that second stint, He was faithful through a difficult transition back to college life—and faithful again through my decision to leave the degree for the time being. He has been faithful in the process of applying to return to Kasana on staff, and faithful to provide me with such supportive and encouraging family and friends. And He himself has been there, on every trip across the Atlantic, in every airport, through every day back home, giving the gentle comfort and assurance that He is with me.

How can I look back on the story of these years past and question His faithfulness in the weeks, months, and years to come?

So the plane ticket is paid. And I will move forward in full confidence that the same God who has been ever faithful in the past will continue to be faithful, trusting that the necessary details will come into place.

After all, His track record is the best one out there, so the leap off this proverbial cliff of mine can have no frightening outcome. The only result will be the one He designs.

To partner with me financially in this mission, click here.

BethM on March 5th, 2014

Exactly eight weeks from today, me and my three fifty-pound suitcases will be headed to the airport with a one-way ticket in hand. Man, I’m excited. It’s also a little terrifying to think just how much there is to do between now and then. Support-raising aside, it’s a little daunting looking around at this life of mine, so soon to be packed up and relocated, given away, or stashed in the attic. So many things. (If only my carry-on allowance let me stow a guitar, violin, and viola in the overhead!)

A couple items to note:

1. Email Newsletter

Some of you have received a paper newsletter from me (or will be shortly) regarding my move and the support needed. Moving forward, my newsletters will only be sent via email–it’s a bit more time-effective to bypass the Atlantic and all. To make sure you’re on the list, enter your email address in the sign-up box on the right and click the confirmation link that will be sent to your inbox.

2. Monthly Support: 70% to go!

Currently, my monthly support is about 30% funded. Can you help me move closer to the goal? Any monthly gift is welcomed and enormously valued! Monthly gifts of $50, $25, or even $10 will add up quickly. I would be so blessed by your partnership in this mission! Click here to find out how to give.

You can share this fundraising video using the following URL:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19dafnJ1Xr4&feature=youtu.be

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