On a Mission: Answered Prayers

Today was the day I wondered if it would ever come.  Today I got some amazing news that, no doubt, will change my life for ever.

I told you all about the Captain’s Dinner & Fishing Tournament just a few days ago.  After all of those funds and the funds from the trunk show I did last Thursday, my husband and I still had somewhere around $900 to raise to make our balance zero with the mission trip planners.  When you start with $5-6,000, that is a sweet day to say you’re down in the 3 digits!  We were stoked!  That is still a bunch of money though, my word!  However our October fundraising schedule looked pretty good so we were confident that we would probably be done by November.  Then we could start fundraising for expenses that are outside of our official trip fees (plane ticket, lodging, etc) such as childcare expenses, clothing for while I am there, etc etc.

I woke up this morning on a mission to figure out how I was going to set up my booth at Old Timer’s Day since it would be different than my trunk show set up.  It’s an outside venue which means there aren’t walls to lean my mirrors and such against.  Around 11:30 we got a text from our pastor who had great news to share.  He said that someone donated $375 toward our total needed!!  That took us down to $864 according to his records.  That’s awesome!  Josh and I texted back and forth a bit about it and were super excited.

At 1:11, I get ANOTHER text from our pastor saying that we were just gifted ANOTHER $243!  That took our total down to $621 left according to the official record.  I reminded him that I had $360 to turn in from the trunk show and other jewelry sales so that would take us down to $200-some-odd left.  All three of us were super excited (Josh, Pastor Scott and I).

Fast forward another couple of hours to abut 3:15.  My phone rings and it’s the pastor again.  He asked me to give him an exact amount that I would be turning in to him.  I went to my jar in the kitchen where I keep my funds waiting to be turned in and pulled all checks out to recount.  (Sorry to those of you who gave checks last week at the trunk show, I forgot to take them to church Sunday so they will deposit NEXT Monday)  I started adding it up and had to recount twice.  Somehow my total wasn’t $360, it was $395 PLUS cash (I believe…I might be wrong)!  He was tickled because with that amount and the person who came into his office since the last time we texted back and forth who gave more to our mission fund, we were FULLY FUNDED!  Aaaaahhahahahahahahhaaaa!  I cannot tell you the feeling I have today to know that, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Josh and I will be on the plane on December 26th!  I am beside myself.    Not only are WE fully funded, our entire team is fully funded as of today!

I wish I could express to you how big of a deal this is.  16 people are fully funded, two and a half months before departure.  Each person owed $2,400.  That means God provided $38,400 in five months.  That is so overwhelming to me.  And then to take that a step further, to think that in ten months, God has provided $7,200 for my husband and I to participate in His work.  I cannot fathom why he would pick two incredibly imperfect people to do His work.  Oh my goodness, I pray I can represent him well.  In His strength and guidance only…  I am so humbled by how he has moved.

Friday-Sunday of this week I have two vendor/speaking events which will go toward those “other” expenses that I mentioned earlier.  They will also be used to help other team members with their needs should the need be there.

THANK YOU ALL who are on my contributor’s page.  You all are part of my praises tonight.  I am so thankful that God worked through you in such an amazing way.

Cheers,
Andrea

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On a Mission: Rajasthan, India Fundraiser Update August Through October

Liz caught me hanging up a wreath to be silent auctioned at the Captain's Dinner on Sept 19.

Liz caught me hanging up a wreath to be silent auctioned at the Captain’s Dinner on Sept 19.

 

This month has been a BUSY month for fundraising.  As a team we all pitched in and organized a captain’s dinner and fishing tournament.  When all was said and done, we have around 200 items donated from area businesses, more than 20 sponsors and 17 boats registered for the tournament!  One of the winners at the fishing tournament returned his portion of the prize money back to LofT218 which is the umbrella which our children’s home will fall under once non-profit status is obtained!  Go God!  All proceeds were split over the families going on the trip to India and we still each earned around $1,400!  Isn’t that amazing!  Unfortunately I really don’t have any pictures of the event except for this one that my friend took while we were setting up at the captain’s dinner last Friday night.

Let me back up to August.  I was busy that month too, I guess!

It started with a Bunco! party on the 15th.  I had a total of 4 tables of people who played that night and we had a blast!  I even had a player who was almost a total loser (meaning she almost lost ALL rounds of ALL games!). She finished the night out with one single win which absolutely meant she got the boobie prize.  As far as pictures go, Jackson took most of the pictures on his camera and then lost his cord so I don’t have pictures of the winners with their goodies but everyone made out like bandits at this get together too!

Donated prizes for my August Bunco! Fundraiser.

Donated prizes for my August Bunco! Fundraiser.

Jewelry set up at my Bunco which was held August 15th.

Jewelry set up at my Bunco which was held August 15th.

We were approached by a man in our church early in August about smoking pork shoulders/Boston Butts as a fundraiser.  He has a very large smoker and said he would do the work of smoking the meat if we would buy it, bring it to his house and prepare it (season and wrap it) and then come back in the morning after it smoked for 12 hours and take it off of the smoker to deliver it all.  We priced the meant and decided that was a really good idea because we could have them delivered for the Labor Day weekend.  We ended up doing well on it considering the local football teams were also selling Boston Butts at the same time!

Pulling Boston Butts off of the smoker on August 29th.

Pulling Boston Butts off of the smoker on August 29th.  Josh is up top pulling off meat and Mr. Long is observing to make sure things were going the right way!

Pouring the excess grease off of the smoked pork meat.  Oh my goodness if you could just smell that meat...

Pouring the excess grease off of the smoked pork meat. Oh my goodness if you could just smell that meat…

Our next fundraiser was the next day and it was my cloth diapering seminar.  On my facebook event and by word of mouth confirmations, I was expecting between 10 and 15 women of all ages.  When it came down to it, four women showed up.  A month earlier I had one a private seminar for a couple who just had their baby a week ago yesterday (on the 18th!  Congrats Walkers!)  I had gotten so many corporate donations that each of the women went away with a load of gifts!  Two of the women there are pregnant and have never cloth diapered before, one woman had her baby there who hadn’t cloth diapered before and the fourth woman had just started cloth diapering about a month earlier but heard about all of the amazing prizes I had to give away so she came and helped give the other girls another perspective of cloth diapering.

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Fruit tray set up at my Cloth Diapering Seminar which was held on August 30.

Fruit tray set up at my Cloth Diapering Seminar which was held on August 30.

Cotton Babies, Snapies, Charlie's Soap and other diapering companies totally came through with donated items for my seminar.

Cotton Babies, Snapies, Charlie’s Soap and other diapering companies totally came through with donated items for my seminar.

My attendees.  I had 10 people who said they would be there but 4 showed up.  Each woman went home with so many gifts it looked like Christmas!

My attendees. I had 10 people who said they would be there but 4 showed up. Each woman went home with so many gifts it looked like Christmas!

 

That got us through August.  Then came September.  I mentioned above about the fishing tournament and the only other fundraiser we had for September was last night (the 24th).  My friend invited me into her home to share my testimony and showcase my paper bead jewelry and it went really really well.  There were five women there and the hostess.  Between all of those ladies purchasing Christmas gifts and gifts for themselves, I raised $310!  I came home and cried to myself after being so showered with support both financially and morally.  My goodness, they really warmed my heart.  Michelle took pictures of last night but I don’t have them yet.  I will update this entry when I get them.

This necklace sold last night to my friend, Lisa!  She also wants a bracelet made to match as she picked up the earrings but the matching bracelet walked out in someone else's hand!

This necklace sold last night to my friend, Lisa! She also wants a bracelet made to match as she picked up the earrings but the matching bracelet walked out in someone else’s hand!

Coil bracelet which was on sale last night at the Trunk Show.

Coil bracelet which was on sale last night at the Trunk Show.

I need to pause a minute to make a HUGE shout out though.  When I first posted this blog post about my projected fundraising events, several people spoke up and asked how they could help.  Three women in particular haven’t stopped since the day the offered.  Mrs. Barbara began helping me with cakes several months ago and then helped me finish 42 cloth diapers.  In the  middle of all of that she took the time to learn how to make paper beads and has been on it nonstop since.

Then there’s Granny (Josh’s grandmother) and Aunt Kate (I think she’s actually Josh’s grandfather’s cousin?).  I am pretty sure there are wires under their skin..those women are machines.  I have yet to take them too many paper strips.  I honestly am not sure how to pump out as many paper beads as they do.  Barbara and I have decided they have an underground women’s club who come over at night and helps.  It seems impossible the work they do, just the two of them.  They have said they aren’t young enough to “go” anymore, but this is something they can do and feel like they are contributing.  My word, they are contributing in HUGE ways.  Look at this picture:

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They have done this quantity for me twice!  One time they did it over the weekend.  If you have never made paper beads you don’t know that they work up really quick but take forever to do. It’s a oxymoron I realize but it’s absolutely the truth.  In the hours Mrs. Barbara and I have spent working on beads, together we have never been able to turn out a whole ziplock bag before.  God is working through those hands of theirs.  It’s truly God’s economy of time and favor for sure.  Their help has allowed me to focus on creating pieces of jewelry instead of making beads AND making jewelry.  I can work much fasting knowing I have a workforce behind me.  I wish there was some way to replay all three of these women.  I mean I have so much gratitude for them…they are just priceless.  There’s nothing I can do to repay their kindness and support. It’s like God’s grace.  I don’t deserve their help or God’s grace.  But there they both are.  I am blessed far more than I deserve.

This next weekend, I am setting up at Old Timer’s Day on the town’s square.  It’s basically a community festival which celebrates the heritage of the community.  There’s a parade, food, vendors, church groups who do face paintings, games for the kids and so on.   I will be there with my paper bead jewelry and cannot wait!  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about it though.  It is just uncharted territory for me.  That will be October 3rd and 4th though the booth will only be open on the 4th.

Saturday, October 4th, on the square in Manchester!

Saturday, October 4th, on the square in Manchester!

Looking forward past that, Michelle has asked me to speak at her scrapbooking retreat on October 5th at a bed and breakfast called Petticoat Junction about 30 minutes from here.  There will be 10 women there whom I have never gotten to speak with before so I am very excited about that opportunity.

I get to rest until the 18th which is when I will set up at Kimbos Wish fall festival.  Kimbos Wish is a group who helps make dreams and wishes come true for local kids with severe illnesses.  They are having a fall festival at Grace Baptist Church in Tullahoma complete with music entertainment, food, games, vendors, you name it.  They are having door prizes and all kinds of cool things to check out.  It’s a family friendly environment that you should consider attending for sure!  My paper bead jewelry will be there and I’m also donating a few items for a door prize.

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On the 24th of October, I will be traveling to Murfreesboro to work a Bunco! night for my friend Tina who has offered to invite her friends on my behalf!  Do you see the types of friends I have?  Generous, loving…  My goodness God blesses me more than I deserve more times than not.  We are accepting vendors there.  Cover to play is $20.  If you would like to set up, it’s $20 and I will waive the cover for all vendors and you still get to play Bunco!  All I ask is that you donate an item to be used as a prize at the end of the night.  No percentage of sales is being requested.  If you are interested in either option, contact me via my facebook page, or if you know Tina, get with her.  Vendors are on a first come first serve basis, no double businesses allowed and we are reserving the right to limit product time (IE: jewelry, crocheted goods, etc).   Space is limited so please RSVP, ASAP!

October 24th, Murfreesboro!

October 24th, Murfreesboro!

The very next day, I will be the vendor at a team member’s Bunco which will be held here in our town.  I will be playing and selling that night.  She is having BBQ catered in and lots and lots of door prizes, just like I will have!  Nobody leaves empty handed.  Liz and her family are going to India but they are paying for THREE people to go.  Just when I thought we had a big bill to pay, shew!

I believe that’s it for October as of now.  If you need a speaker at a women’s event in the month of November or December, let me know now before those months fill up.  I’d be happy to give my testimony about how I experienced God back in March regarding India and bring my paper bead jewelry along as well.  If you would like for me to share with your friends in your home like Michelle did, I would be absolutely happy to do that as well.

I appreciate all supporters so much.  Each word of encouragement and each financial support just fills my cup more than you know.  It’s not easy following God’s calling some days.  Some days it’s downright hard and discouraging if you want me to be completely honest.  Some days I don’t think I can do it for another day.  And then I get a phone call, Facebook message or text from someone which spurs me on.  God tells us in the word that we are to build each other up with encouragement.  I believe it’s in Matthew but don’t quote me on that.  All I know is that each of you are so special to me.  Thank you for everything.

Cheers,
Andrea