Hi! I’m Joy and I’m writing about adoption for 31 days in October. If you are new, start HERE.
Fundraising for our adoption fund has been such a learning process in itself for me. I had to do several things I don’t like….#1-I hate fundraisers. #2-I don’t like asking for help. #3-I feel the need to explain our finances when fundraising. God has really used this part of our adoption journey to challenge and convict in a way I didn’t know possible.
So, first of all, I hate fundraisers. I know there are an infinite number of good causes that need money. I know that as a believer I am called to be generous. But sometimes it seems that everywhere I turn, some other cause is asking for money. On top of that, schools/sports teams/the band are always asking us to sell stuff! So, having to start fundraising ourselves was such a stretch outside my comfort zone. I did not (and still don’t) want to ask people for money.
Is there anyone out there who likes asking for help? I don’t. I’m not sure why because as believers, we are called to be in community with one another. That means doing life together and that means helping one another. The funny thing is, I am always wondering why no one asks me for help. Then I realize that I don’t ask either. On top of that, the times I have really needed help and actually asked for it are the times I’ve really bonded with the people who have been helping me.
But we shouldn’t feel weird or bad about asking for help in the way of money towards adoption. God calls all believers to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27). Giving towards adoption is one way to do that. It is one way Christians can be obedient to God’s command and to be involved in the care of orphans and widows. Some adopt, some foster, some help the families doing both, some give, etc… If we don’t ask for help financially, we aren’t giving opportunity for folks to be involved where God is working.
The last reason I don’t like fundraising is also the one that God has worked on me the most about. When we have been fundraising, I feel the need to explain our finances. During out adoption journey, we have taken vacations and had to replace both our vehicles. I worry that people look at us and decide not to give to our adoption fund because if we can afford those things, we can pay for our own adoption. I feel the need to explain to people that we have been saving for our vacations in a separate fund and saving for our adoption in its own fund. I feel the need to let folks know that we had to replace both our cars on one calendar year (I would not wish that on anyone.) because both cars were in car accidents. And I want people to know we replaced both cars with cash that did not come from our adoption fund.
I’m guessing missionaries feel much the same way. They are supported entirely by raising support. I wonder if they feel the need to justify buying a vehicle or taking a vacation when in reality, everyone needs a break at some point and most everyone needs a vehicle.
Through the fundraising process, God began to convict me. God showed me that I was so concerned about others judging me on our finances because I was judging them. I was wondering why they eat out every week but can’t give $20 to our adoption fund. I was wondering why they spent their money a certain way but wouldn’t give to our adoption fund. Why couldn’t they come to our yard sale? Why couldn’t they sell doughnut certificates? And the list goes on. And God really spoke to my heart about judging others. I was doing the same thing to them that I was fearing they were doing to me.
And the truth is, it doesn’t matter. The only person I am responsible to for being a good steward of my money is God. The only person other believers are responsible to for being good stewards of their money is God. Its all God’s money. We are just the stewards of it. And HE is the one who we answer to. Not you and not me. It is freeing and it is weighty because we bear responsibility to handle our money in a godly way.
I am so thankful that God showed me this. Because when I am not judging others, it frees me up to love them better and to trust Jesus more.