“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19–20)
I hate asking people for money. I suppose that because I am a pastor I am sensitive to the impression that clergy are money-hungry and in the ministry for the financial benefits. There is certainly a wrong way to go about it, which is unfortunately all too popular:
If you haven’t heard, I have been asked to participate in a mission trip to Rwanda from July 21st-August 1st. I will be teaching approximately 20 pastors Bible interpretation and preaching skills, as well as pastoral skills. I can’t wait! The trip is totally an act of God, in that last week at this time I knew nothing about it. Please pray for me as I prepare to go.
Laura, my beautiful wife, has seen the need for a woman with her skills there and is going to go as well. We firmly believe that God has provided for this trip for us in many ways (see her letter below); the only needs that remain are for people to pray for us and for people to provide the finances to make it a reality. If you can help, I would be very grateful. Below is her letter!
Have you ever had God drop something in your lap that made you overwhelmingly excited and scared to death at the same time? If so, I can relate. My reason is probably different than yours though, so let me explain.
Usually, people fall into one of two groups: those who dream of going to a third world country (especially as one being sent representing Jesus Christ), and those who have NO interest in leaving America for an “un-industrialized” country. I’m one of the former; my draw has been to Africa for some time. I figured I would go eventually- on a special anniversary or important birthday. I pictured myself staying in a “nice” hotel, eating at the “safe” restaurants, and taking the “planned” excursions. You know-“nice,” “safe,” and “planned” being the big words there. And then… God got involved.
Last Thursday, June 10, John got an email from a local church. They were seeking someone to teach and train pastors whom had little or no Bible training, but a huge heart to learn. It was for a 10 day trip. To Rwanda. In less than six weeks! Incredulously, it was just about the only 10 day time frame that would fit into John’s busy schedule. The sponsoring church was going to pay his way. I was thrilled about the opportunity for him. Even more so, I was excited about the idea of going with him! There was a chance for me to use my skills as a doula (labor and delivery support person) to help with the birthing women who come to that village specifically to have their babies. Perfect!
Immediately, though, there were challenges to be overcome. What would our church think? What we would we do with the kids? Could I find someone to be with the women I was supposed to be a doula for here? Was it safe? And how ON EARTH would we be able to raise enough funds to cover my trip costs of nearly $4000 in just five weeks??
Just as quickly, God began to open doors. The elders of our church and the congregation were supportive; I found a backup doula for my client; John’s parents offered to take the kids for the entire time; and I found a peace that I’ve never experienced when thinking of the “what ifs” regarding my health and safety. Which only left the fundraising. I simply refuse to believe that God would make such a straight path- providing answers in the most amazing time frame- only to fail to provide the money for us to go to Africa as a couple. Luke 1:38 reminds me that “…nothing is impossible with God.” In comparison to all the fantastic things He’s ever done, it makes fundraising seem like a fairly small thing! Watching the ways He’s already worked, I am excited to watch him work in this area as well.
That being said, would you like to be a part of making the seemingly “impossible,” possible? ANY financial donations will be helpful. Whether you can donate $1, 10, 25, 50 or more… every bit is helpful! You can use it as a tax deduction if you make the contribution through our church, West Greenway Bible Church, 5341 W. Greenway Rd, Glendale AZ 85306. Please make checks out to WEST GREENWAY BIBLE CHURCH, with “Laura’s trip” “Africa” or “Rwanda” in the memo line (otherwise it will make it into the general fund. Good for the church, but not so helpful towards my fundraising).
If you are not worried about the receipt, you can give cash or check donations to me directly, or deposit it in my Paypal account (email address: TheCorreias@cox.net). Paypal does not have a fee when the money comes from your Paypal account or bank account. However, there is a 3% fee when you use a credit or debit card, or with Paypal Credit, so please take that into consideration. Please remember to include your name and address with your donation so I can send acknowledgment of your gift. If donors’ generosity exceeds the trip costs, I will use the excess to bring basic necessities (that are unfortunately lacking) to the birthing/medical center I’ll be working with.
Perhaps you have a heart to help, but are unable to do it monetarily. Please consider partnering in prayer with us as we go. We will only be successful with people praying for us! In addition to the money needed to be raised in a short amount of time, there are many logistical hurdles to overcome. If you are interested in praying for us leading up to the trip and/or while we are gone, that would be an amazing blessing. Please email us at TheCorreias@cox.net to get prayer specifics.
Thank you so very much for supporting us in whatever way you find yourself lead- financially, prayerfully, or perhaps you could link this note to your Facebook page or blog… even just in sharing our excitement with us! This experience has truly shown me the magnificence of God in a very real way. I hope that you are able to grow close to Christ in your life, and can be confident knowing He has a plan for your life… even if it includes Africa!