By David Prairie
(Note: This was originally written to our home church, Grace Baptist in Chattanooga, but we are certainly grateful for others who catch this vision and join us in it.)
Many of you are familiar with a fundraising strategy that our youth ministry has employed for several years now. In anticipation of summer mission trips, we post envelopes numbered 1-100 in hopes of raising support for those going on these trips. The idea is that a donor will choose an envelope and contribute the dollar amount corresponding to the number on the envelope toward the trip.
We will once again attempt this strategy as we prepare for trips to Anchorage, AK (June 3-10) and Washington, DC (July 14-20). If every envelope is taken, we will raise $5,050 just from this very simple method. But this strategy could also be applied to our own family as we are seeking support for full-time missions.
The need for our family breaks down to the equivalent of about 130 envelopes per month. (If you’re doing the math, I’m aware that this sounds like an outrageous amount, and I agree. I’m embarrassed to admit that’s our goal. But keep in mind [a] we didn’t come up with this amount; it was assigned to us, and [b] we can legitimize this amount by showing you the breakdown of how these funds will be used.)
Currently, there are approximately 240 family units that make up the membership of Grace Baptist Church. Using the envelope fundraiser analogy, some of you are capable of figuratively taking a larger envelope and supporting us at a higher monthly amount (see the graphic). Others are only able to take an envelope in the single digits. A few of you could even take two or more envelopes. We fully recognize that any amount is a sacrifice, and our thanks is great regardless of the amount. Some of you are already supporting us, and we are grateful.
The point is, there are more than enough family units in our church that we could potentially garner all of our support from this congregation. Our goal is to reach 50 percent of our necessary support by the end of June, 85 percent by the end of October, and to reach 100 percent by the end of December. We will still continue to seek support from other churches and from individuals outside of Grace until our goal is met. In fact, we already have a few supporters from outside this body.
We currently stand at about 15 percent supported. Please pray that God will provide the remaining support in a way that is quicker than we expect. And pray about how he might use you to help us get there. It may be that you can’t give, but that you can connect us to other individuals and churches who might be able to. We would be glad for any help in that way as well.
You are our sending church. And to be quite honest, you are our best hope of being able to move to Moldova as quickly as possible, humanly speaking. Would you please help make these goals a reality for us? You have been faithful to support short-term trips for our youth ministry, and we ask for that again as well. Additionally, we pray that you’ll join our team of partners and share in whatever fruit may come from our ministry.
How can you “take an envelope” for us? One way is to simply visit abwe.org/work/support and set up a commitment form through the website. Once the form is processed, we will be notified. Another way is to receive a paper commitment form from us. Just let us know and we can get you one. Of course, we’d be thrilled to meet with you personally to discuss our ministry, share our plans, and answer your questions.