Still fighting the voices from my childhood accusing the church of money-grubbing, the mister and I opted not to have Middle Child send out support letters for her trip to Mexico in July. Instead, we made payments to the church for the trip expenses over the months leading up to the team's departure. One family specifically asked about the trip, so Middle Child sent them a support letter. They responded with a gift toward her expenses. Some questions arose when she sent out her prayer request message via e-mail from those who would have chosen to offer financial gifts in addition to their willing prayers that sent our girl out again just a few short months after our return from her first mission adventure. Those questions had me going to God with a few of my own in regard to just exactly why I felt so uncomfortable asking for support when thrilled to be the recipient of just such requests.
The response to those messages was the sending out of an e-mail to a larger group of previous supporters detailing our excitement about returning to Honduras over Thanksgiving. There was a clear memory of keen disappointment over having been denied past opportunities to be part of others' missionary efforts that was present while consideration was given to whom we might send out support letters. Um... that thing about having little faith? Yeah. Uh-oh. Still, I didn't want to bombard anyone. Plus, it had become clear that our daughters were not really understanding the value of the gifts of support. The gifts for which we were asking so that others might choose to join us in our next trip to Puerto Lempira needed to be recognized as sacrifices by those on the receiving end. The upcoming trip called for a varied approach to raising support appropriate to each of us.
Erin and Katie are working like mad to earn support. The varied pet-sitting and baby-sitting jobs have continued to come along. We have begun our ongoing bake sale featuring our chocolate and banana breads in several sizes. Yesterday, the girls spent two hours scrubbing away soot from a friend's hearth and fire screen as well as scrubbing away evidence of a leaky rook from tile grout on a covered patio. (They really, really liked these cool grown-up chores. Who knew?!) The girls are getting an excellent education in the actual value of those financial gifts that arrive in the mail box in response to the support letters that required me to put aside my personal concerns. After all, words like, "me," and "my," have little enough to do with this endeavor. This is an opportunity to simply trust that God provides what is just exactly right for each of us.