Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fingerprints on a Truck

Well, that "donate" button works apparantly, because I have received 3 generous donations of $50 each over the past 24 hours, for a truck for Fatima! Yee Haw!!! Thank you so so much.

One of those donations was from someone I do not even know. That blesses me so much. That actually really rocks my world.

Giving isn't easy. I know that. About 10 years ago, I didn't have a drop of giving blood in my body. I was raised by a single mom on a very tight budget. We never had extra of anything. I didn't even know what a savings account was. By the time I was 19, I was a single-mom. At times I was living in government subsidized housing. My sweet baby was in a sub-par daycare and I was working for minimum wage, and not going to school. My electricity got cut off. I was evicted.

By the time I went to college at the age of 24, I was working so hard to just pay the bills. I had never known anything about giving. I didn't even care. Didn't want to know.

10 years ago, I had just started my faith walk and I was volunteering in an organized church project. I was just beginning to learn of giving my time and my elbow grease. Through a special set of circumstances, I learned that there was a family that was needing something expensive replaced at their house. I soon learned that a very sweet lady I had met, had purchased it for them. Just like that. No questions asked. Wanting nothing in return, and really didn't even want other people to know about it. That caused a light bulb to go off in my head. And I have not ever been the same since. To some of you this might sound silly....but it isn't. I began praying to God right away that He would transform me into a giving person. God does not say "no" to prayer requests like that. And He began the transformation immediately.

I love to give. It is one of the greatest feelings in all of the world, and espeically when I know that what I am giving will really make a difference in someones life. Giving unconditionally is a freeing thing. Giving anonymously is a special experience as well. It's indescribable.

The past 2 years have been a near financial disaster for my family. It has been one incredibly difficult step after another, and I swear I feel like we fall in a ditch repeatedly. We have had to be more frugal than I thought I knew how to be. At times I have begged God, "WHAT is the lesson here?" And I must be awfully stubborn, because it has taken a long time for us to finally, mercifully, be in a position where the light is shining at the end of that tunnel, and the distance doesn't seem too terribly far. But, I have learned a lot. A message for another blog post..... but one thing that I have learned is that I never regret the dollars that I "give". If I buy a Starbucks Venti Mocha Latte in a moment of weakness, I regret it. If I send in a donation to Women for Women International, to benefit my precious woman in the Congo who I sponsor....I never regret it. I never miss those dollars. Never. There are 2 ministries that we support monthly. That money = never missed.

We have not been titheing the way that we should. I'll confess.....I do not always trust God with my finances that way that I should. When we stopped titheing to our wonderful church, it was a knee-jerk reaction to the devastating economy and the personal battery we experienced as a result. I'm not trying to give you the impression that I am setting a perfect example.... but I am sharing that I understand the feeling of wanting to give, but not necessarily being able to.

I want you to know how deeply I appreciate the pledges and the donations. I am a long way from the goal. "We" are a long way. But I hope and I believe.

I hope that you all will continue to spread the news of this need around. I hope some of you are secretly plotting to raise tons of money and surprise me with it. I hope you are getting your kids involved, and in teaching about this incredible principle and doctrine of reaching out and serving your fellow man. This can really be an amazing experience, if you approach it with joy.

You know where to find me, here at this bloggy thing. I've posted my address a few times, and the donate button is on my left sidebar.

I know this. At the end of March, I am wiring Fatima a bunch of money and she is going to travel with it to Durban, South Africa, and she is going to buy a truck that meets all of her needs. And I will return to Zimbabwe this year and I will ride in THAT truck, and I will see the fingerprints of countless generous and trusting souls, all over it.


Vickie said...

Boy Melissa, That last line got me. I can see all those little finger prints too. God Bless on your mission and keep on truckin!:)

Sarah said...

Thank you for this post. It is inspiring to hear of your experiences. I need to talk with my husband about how much we can give, but I plan to donate in the next few days.