Five Lessons I have learned from fundraising

This past year has been a year full of fundraising for David and I. I wish I could say that I love fundraising. I wish I could say that I have always trusted the Lord to provide the people we need to join our team. I wish I could say I have maintained a great attitude. I wish I could say a lot of things about fundraising. I also wish I could say that we are done fundraising but in reality the life we have been called to requires us to fundraise. We are convinced this is a lifetime commitment to overseas peace work which also means a lifetime of fundraising. I wish I could say a lot of things about fundraising but I can tell you the five biggest lessons I have only begun learning in the past year about fundraising.

 

  1. Fundraising takes faith. When David and I started this journey we knew that we were called to a life overseas and that would mean we would have to raise the salary required to live on. We faithfully committed to 5 years overseas and sometimes that feels like the easy part. We knew we were meant to go bring the gospel to people who have never had the chance to hear it. After committing to this time overseas we began building a support team. Every time we walk into a meeting, or email a supporter, or call someone on the phone we are doing so by faith that they will hear what the Lord is calling us to. Every time someone says no we have to faithfully trust that the Lord has a plan. I would love to say that both David and I never struggle with this but there are days filled with tears not knowing where to turn next. We are learning to always have faith in this process but we are far from perfect.
  2. Fundraising is about building a team. We took a class while in training about how we are not just fundraising , but building a team of people who back us and support us. This is also a team we pray for and love. We have loved growing our team as we have moved through this process. We have the opportunity to feel that connection with so many people and we have the opportunity to pray for everyone of our supporters. We feel so loved by everyone of our support team.  
  3. Fundraising can be fun. This one I am still learning to embrace. It is not always fun and for a lot of people (me) it’s usually not fun. We have had some great nights around dinner tables, and in living rooms, or sweet phone calls that have been filled with us sharing what God is calling us to that have made this process fun. I am so thankful for the people that have changed my heart even a little and made this fundraising process fun!
  4. Fundraising is hard. Oh this one I know well! I hope someday this is not how I feel about fundraising but for now it’s hard. It’s hard to sit in front of someone and feel like I’m selling myself in order for them to want to join my team. It’s hard for me to say I don’t know exactly what the work we will be doing looks like when we get there. It’s so hard that I have no stories to tell from the incredible people I will get to work with because I have not even been there. I have to ask for people the have faith in my faith that I am meant to do this and that in two years when I come back to visit you will have the chance to see and hear about the things God is doing in Nepal. Maybe fundraising will get easier but for now not so much.
  5. Fundraising brings you so much trust in the Lord. We have had so many times where we were convinced we were going to get a big donor. We get our minds wrapped around a number that is going to come in with one donor. It usually ends up being a lot smaller then we expect but then the next day the Lord provides a few smaller donors that exceed what we had come up with in our mind. It’s like God is saying my plan is better trust that I have this. Don’t wish on huge lottery winnings (some days we do) but trust that I the Lord am the one who will build you a team that loves you and supports what you are doing. Trust that I the Lord am the one that lays it on the hearts of your supporters to join your team not  just as financial supporters but as a team praying for you and encouraging you to succeed in the call I placed on you!

 

David and I are still in the process of fundraising so we have so many lessons left to learn. We will be fundraising for a long time as our family grows and the ministry we build grows. We know that the lessons we have learned will be relearned and will relearned again and that we will learn so many more things from fundraising alone.

We want to thank anyone that has already joined our team as a monthly supporter or as a prayer warrior. We are blessed with an incredible team already built but we are still looking for more monthly supporters. If you feel led to join our team or would like any more information please email us at davidandjennatowns@gmail.com . We would love to hear from you and answer any of your questions! 

We hope you are all doing well! Love, Jenna

We are in the process of fundraising for long term peace work. If you would like to support us monthly, please click Support Us to give and join our team!

What Jesus Does…Worth In His Arms

Mark 10: 13-16

13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

14 When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.

15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.

 

These children came to Jesus just to be with him so that they might be blessed. His disciples were the ones that tried to keep them away. In that time and culture, kids were a bother and were to be seen and not heard. I think how the disciples act is interesting. Often, it is other Christians that are actually the ones that try to pull away from the mission of Jesus. Sometimes we let culture, even Christian culture, distract us from where the true heart of God is. Jesus has time for everyone. No one is an inconvenience to Jesus.

JESUS sought to see, embrace, and love everyone. He tells us that we should have faith like a child and to look at life like a child. Jesus loves children. His view and heart towards these children is how he looks at everyone and, ultimately, how we should look at people that we see in our daily lives.

I think the last two words sum up the whole passage of scripture. Jesus BLESSED THEM.
He didn’t need to be repaid. His only objective was to bless them.

He didn’t see an inconvenience.
He didn’t see a distraction.
He didn’t see dirty bunch of kids.

JESUS looked down and saw a desire for love. He simply opened his arms, BECAUSE HE COULD–BECAUSE HE WAS THERE. Jesus didn’t look for anything in return.

The children looked up and found WORTH IN HIS ARMS.

 


 

QUESTION: Do we do that? Do we see past the inconvenient? Do we look past the youth, the dirt, and the noise to see the person? 

JESUS DOES!

I think we can SEE past convenience, favor, and comfort. I think by following Jesus’ example we can REACH OUT past age, gender, race, sexual preference, religion, and nationality. Let’s LOVE  past mistakes, heartbreak, and reputation.

If a record of us meeting people was written down and record, would it end with us simply blessing people?

When people come to us will they find WORTH in our arms?

 

 

We are in the process of fundraising for long term peace work. If you would like to support us monthly, please click Support Us to give and join our team!

 

 

What Jesus Does… Dignity In His Eyes

John 8:1-11

“Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.  As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.  They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said,“All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman,“Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

One day, Jesus was just teaching at the temple when religious rulers brought him a woman who was caught cheating. This woman was most likely naked because she was “caught in the the act of adultery.” This woman was probably full of shame as she laid there in the dirt, naked and faced down. The Pharisees started quoting scripture and demanding that her punishment should be a stoning.

JESUS, however, decided to do things differently! He started writing in the dirt. He then stood and said, “if you’ve never sinned, then throw the first stone.” He bent back down and started writing in the dirt again. As the crowd heard and began thinking about what Jesus said, they all dropped their stones one by one.

Now, many scholars and people try to guess what Jesus was writing in the dirt that day. I have no clue, but I’d like to think that the second time he wrote, he wrote so the woman could see it. I imagine it saying something like, “smile.” I imagine the woman reading it and confusingly starting to look around.

As Jesus asked the woman where the crowd went and who threw a stone at her, I believe she looked up at him with a relieved, yet confused look on her face. I think what caught her off guard the most was that Jesus was probably looking her in the eyes.

He didn’t see what the world saw.
He didn’t see any of the shame she felt.
He didn’t see what he mistakes labeled her.

JESUS looked her in the eyes and saw HER. He saw the woman for who she was!

The woman looked up and saw her own DIGNITY IN HIS EYES.


 

QUESTION: Do we do that? Do we see past mistakes? Can we see past the nakedness, shame, and dirt to see the PERSON?

JESUS DOES!

I think the church has spent a very long time asking, “what would Jesus do?” Well, I think it’s time to stop asking that question in situations and just simply do WHAT JESUS DOES!

 

We are in the process of fundraising for long term peace work. If you would like to support us monthly, please click Support Us to give and join our team!

 

 

 

You Need A Dreamer

The other morning, I sat in a small towns coffee shop with two amazing people that God has blessed me with during our season here at CGA. Our plan was to hang out and say good bye as we move into a new season. It was OUR plan to hang out but GOD had different plans. First, let me tell you about these girls. Their hearts are for the Lord and they are two of the most loving people I have ever met. They are so wise and THEY ARE DREAMERS.

I like to fill my life up with dreamers because they are the ones who will convince you that you can when the world says you can’t!

We began to talk about how we all have these big dreams and how quickly we convince ourselves that we are too small and not ready to fulfill these dreams. We talked about how we see ourselves as small and not ready to dream big. We even sometimes try to make our dreams smaller to fit the small person we believe we are.  This is why you need dreamers in your life. Dreamers see the God who does the impossible and remind you that your dreams are from the Lord and he is going to prepare you to fulfill those dreams.

dreamers.jpg

I have been having a hard time completely believing in my dreams. I started to mold my dream into a dream that fit the person I thought I was right then. I have been making my dream small enough to fit my small mind.

How silly is that though? If my dream is small then so is my trust in the Lord that he can do big things in my life.

I am now starting to realize dreams are impossible on our own, and that’s what makes them dreams, however; that we serve a God that does the impossible! 

I pray that you fill your life with dreamers: people that hear your dreams and point you to the one that does amazing and wonderful things!

Thank you to all the people in my life who have filled my life with dreams!

Love, Jenna

To join our team and support financially click DONATE!

 

 

 

Promise not the Problem

My daily bible study brought me to Numbers the other morning, when Moses and the other Israelite’s are standing outside the promise land. Moses sends his spies to see what the land is like, and whether the people living there were strong or weak. When the men went up to see the land they saw that the land was good but also that the people were strong. The men came back and talked only about how big the men that lived in the land were. They were convinced that there was no way  for the Israelite’s to walk into the land. But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30). The rest of the men all looked at the land and only saw the problem, Caleb looked at the land and saw no problem because he knew the Lord was going to open the doors for them to walk into the promised land. He saw the problems that laid before them but knew that they would be able to overcome them. He saw the promised land and saw that it was good.

 

I feel like I struggle through that all the time. I see this huge promise from the Lord and look only at the problems. I see what is going to be hard to continue on into my promised land and my feet freeze. I forget what God has promised and look at the tall men standing in my way. I don’t want to walk into my promise because I am afraid of the problems.  If I only were to turn my head to to Lord and look at the one who makes these huge promises, these problems and tall men look so much smaller. I serve a God who made the mountains, who made the men that walk this earth. God can make huge promises and he has the means in which to supply for the needs we have to fulfill those promises. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). I serve a God who created this world. Why wouldn’t I start to look at my promised land and see my God is walking into it with me, see him already in that promised land, and see that he is the one who created the promised land!

 

What is your promised land? Are you looking at the one who makes those promises and trusting that he is big enough to bring you into that land, or are you looking at the tall men standing in your way?

 

Allow the God that made these huge promises to start providing for your promise

 

Our time here at Center For Global Action is wrapping up and we are starting to finalize details for what is next. We feel that we have been trained and equipped for our next step. We just want to thank you for being part of this journey with us! We love having you as part of our team!!

To join our team and support financially click DONATE!

Jesus and the Monk

One day, Jesus was sitting in the shade at the foot of a mountain. A monk came to rest in the shade. He sat across from Jesus.

“Which path is the best way to the top of the mountain?,” Jesus asked.

“There are so many paths and journeys to choose from,” the monk replied. “So few ever truly make it to the top.”

“If you knew THE path was before you, you would ask me and I would lead you,” Jesus proclaimed.

“There is no path in front of me, and you have no supplies to climb,” the monk replied in a confused manner. “What path do you speak of?”

Jesus explained, “if you only knew that HERE is where the mountains bow, then you would see that the path is simple.”

“How can it be?” the monk asked. “Who can make the mountains move?”

“YOU have the faith to move mountains, but in MY NAME the mountains bow,” Jesus exclaimed.

Puzzled, the monk asked, “but if the mountains move, how may I reach the top?”

“Again I tell you, the mountain has come to you.” Jesus answered. “There is no need to climb.”

The monk shouted, “how can you say there is no need to climb? My ancestors say honor is found at the top.”

“Truly I tell you, honor has come to meet you today.” Jesus said smiling. “You have always done what is right and what is true, but the TRUTH is not yet in you.”

With tears in his eyes, the monk fell on his knees. He cried out, “Please let me know the TRUTH, and may you find me worthy of honor.”

“I tell you, the TRUTH has always known you, but NOW you know the TRUTH.” Jesus answered. “Honor is your name.”

“Nothing I could do, yet honor found ME!,” the monk rejoiced. “Shame is but a distant memory.”

“Yes,” Jesus agreed! “You have found the path under the shade of his glory.”