Not so long ago, I received an email asking me to schedule a meeting with a potential client, Meghan. The email itself wasn’t necessarily out of the ordinary but as I read the email, I got the feeling this was way out of the ordinary.
Meghan is a young missionary trying to make it, essentially on her own, in Ghana. She’s serving with a small ministry that meets the needs of special needs orphans. And now, she’s mom of two of those young girls. The email asked me to connect with Meghan and determine whether or not we would be a good fit, but before I’d even met her, I sensed God had big things in store.
From the instant Meghan and I connected (thanks spotty Ghanaian internet for working that day), we hit it off. Sometimes God is like that. To be honest, I think Meghan needed someone who understood where she was coming from, and I did. One of the cool things about Tailored is that our coaches know what it’s like to be in ministry. We know what it’s like to have a team of people surrounding you back home, yet to still feel alone. I saw in Meghan what I knew had been in me and I couldn’t wait to begin coaching. She needed this.
At the time we began working together, Meghan had a whopping total of 2 ministry partners.
And, as it came out, only one gave regularly... at $50/month. Meghan was essentially on her own. In the past, Meghan had saved money to allow her to serve overseas but would head back home to work when the money ran out -- starting over again the cycle, saving so she could serve. But God had different plans. God gave Meghan two precious daughters, both orphans who are HIV positive, daughters who can’t travel to the United States. Meghan’s savings were running low, so that’s when she reached out for coaching. At the beginning of coaching, Meghan had a goal to raise $500 per month in new giving.*
During our first meeting, it was clear that we needed to work on perspective and Meghan’s mindset. My pastor, Ron Williams once said, “God ordained visions are meant to go beyond you, so you will engage others in the journey.” Meghan was trying to go at this alone. She was trying to just get by and I knew she could thrive.
Missions is hard; it's tough, it can wear you down. And, when a missionary struggles financially and worries about how they are going to provide for next month’s rent, it detracts from their ability to do ministry well. God did not mean for us to go at life alone, but to live in community. A financial partnership team is a part of that community.
Early on in our coaching relationship I said to Meghan, “Do you know that it’s okay if you have 'enough'?” I thought she was going to cry, maybe she did, I can’t remember.
When Meghan approached Tailored, she said in her welcome survey, “I struggle with asking people for help.” To me, this is a clear call for a shift in mindset. Asking people for financial partnership is not asking for “help”! It is inviting them to invest in and be a part of what God is doing. You’re inviting others to be a part of worship through giving what God has entrusted to them.
One day Meghan said, “I wish I didn’t have to raise money to do this.” My response was, you are providing the opportunity for others to be involved in something (orphan care) they feel passionate about but cannot do themselves. You are living someone else’s dream, allow them the privilege of being a part of this!
And now? Meghan blew past her original goal of $500 per month some time ago, and is well on her way to solid financial partnerships with $2,000 per month -- all while fundraising from Ghana, doing ministry full-time, and being a single mom.
Do you have a story like Meghan’s? Connect with us on Twitter and tell us what God is doing in your life through fundraising.
Lydia Gard, Fundraising Coach
As an experienced fundraising coach, I’m blessed to encourage and equip others to answer the call God has placed on their lives. When I’m not coaching or blogging, I’m spending time with my active family and enjoying our friends in northern Indiana.