I received an e-mail the other week from a supporter who had some questions about my mission. They had some vary valid questions that I probable should have addressed at some point, but either failed to, or didn’t know that I should have addressed them. At first I got a little upset, because I felt like I had the answers, but didn’t know the questions. Then I realized, with some help, that it is my job to answer your questions to help you better understand God’s mission for me so that you will have the same passion I do to team up and help reach the people of Europe! I am grateful now to that supporter for raising good questions so I can help others who might have the same questions.
I am going to add a question and answer page to this website. Here is the thing though, I don’t know what questions you have. I have a few to start the page off on Wednesday, but I will quickly run out of questions to answer if I don’t get any more.
Here is what I need from you:
- Ask me questions about what I’m doing now, what I’ll be doing in Germany, etc.
- Respond to this post
- Send me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Find me and ask me in person
- Ask questions you had, have currently or you think others might have.
Here is what I promise you:
- I will not be offended, no matter what the question is or how hard it might be for me to hear.
- It will be completely anonymous (unless you post it here with your name obviously).
- It will be completely truthful (unless I can’t discuss details about “creative access countries”).
- It will be completely exhaustive – I will find the answer and do my best to answer the question fully.
Apparently way back in the day “We’re strong for Toledo” was a motto for the city. There was a song of the same title and it is pretty cheesetastic, but I love it! I am a big fan of Toledo. When I was growing up I never thought that I would leave Toledo. I always imagined staying here, raising a family and retiring here too. Obviously God’s plan was a little different since He had me move to Maryland and now to Germany, but I still love this city and would be perfectly content with living here on a permanent basis if that was what I was called to do.
The other week I had the pleasure of going to a local charity that is doing some amazing things for this city and that got me excited. I am so happy to see people excited about this city and helping those who live here and are in need. Not only that, but this charity was also helping people see God’s love through their work. That got me thinking about local charities who are helping this city in whatever way they can while also trying to spread God’s kingdom. I am grateful for these charities and I wanted to highlight a few. This is not an exhaustive list at all so feel free to comment with any organizations that you know who are helping this community and reaching people for Christ too!
Pregnancy Center – The Pregnancy Center has served thousands of Toledo area women since 1984, and we’re here to help you! Dealing with a pregnancy, miscarriage or abortion can be tough, but you don’t have to do alone. At the Pregnancy Center, you can discuss your fears, options and questions with someone who cares about your needs. Your choices today will affect your tomorrows; you owe it to yourself to get the best information to protect your health and your future.
Journey of the Heart – Journey of the Heart’s mission is to provide a way for women whose hearts are wounded and broken to discover HOPE and Healing in their everyday lives. Journey of the Heart was created to meet the needs of struggling women in communities throughout the United States and around the world.
Young Life – I grew up going to Young Life and love this organization. For more than 70 years Young Life has been reaching out to junior high and high school kids around the world. Annually, Young Life impacts over 1,000,000 teenagers making it the largest ministry to adolescents in the world. They are in over 25 schools in the Toledo area.
Church of the Cross – Church of the Cross is the church I grew up in. In edition to the weekly services they offer a weekly program for preschool-6th grade students called B.L.A.S.T and a young adult worship experience called Quest.
North Point Church – In edition to being a church with multiple campuses North Point also serves the community through projects like Food for Thought which provides weekly grocery assistance in Toledo. Most weeks they serve an average of 400 people which amounts to 115 families.
Thank you to these organizations for serving the needs of this community that I love!
Throughout this month I have been keeping my eye open for things that I am truly grateful for. I didn’t want to come up with stuff that I should be grateful for and write about them. I wanted things that leave my heart happy. This topic wasn’t hard to come up with today. When I first heard about it, I literally could not stop smiling for a while. I got so excited, I could not stop praising God for His wonderfulness.
I am so excited and incredibly appreciative of Serenity Health and Wellness in Maumee, Ohio. I first contacted them about helping me with prizes for the Euchre tournament at my fundraiser. I had only been there twice, but my masseuse mentioned that Serenity likes to do donations for fundraisers. I figured they would do a 50% off massage, or $25 gift card towards their services, but they went well beyond that and that was just the start. For the winning team of the Euchre tournament they offered gift certificates for a free hour-long massage plus a 30 minute infrared sauna treatment. That was an $80 value for each person on the winning team. That alone was awesome. Then they went above and beyond that by offering to set up a referral program for me. For every new customer they get that mentions my name at their first session they will donate money to my launch fund (the fund that gets me to Germany including flight, shipping container, language school, etc.). They then handed me a stack of VIP coupons to hand out to people at my fundraiser that gives the new customers $10 off a massage (I still have some if anyone is interested). This means if you get a cheaper than normal massage, we both get a little relaxation!
I was completely floored by the generosity of Serenity Health and Wellness. I hope you all will join me in prayer to bless them for being a blessing to me.
Last Wednesday the owner of Plate 21 asked me how many people were coming to my fundraiser and I wasn’t quite sure what to say to her. I told her that around 30 people told me they were coming, but I honestly had no idea how many would come beyond that. I was a little nervous about how many people were going to show up. I was a little nervous until I just felt a peace about the whole thing wash over my body. I knew God had it and no matter how many people showed up it would be a success. Little did I know how much of a success He was going to make it.
I’m not going to go into every detail about the fundraiser and why I viewed it as a success, but the success of the fundraiser did inspire me to dedicate the month of April’s blog posts to one topic, gratitude. If you are like me, you view gratitude similar to the way Randy from the Christmas story viewed meatloaf. My all-time favorite line from that movie is “meatloaf, shmeatloaf, double beatloaf, I hate meatloaf.” I can’t personally understand his hatred of meatloaf because my mom’s meatloaf is literally the best meatloaf I have ever tasted. It’s just plain delicious! That aside though, I have been known to view gratitude this way. I mean, how can I be grateful when I’m sick, or when a family member dies, or even when I want to be in Germany and yet I’m not. How could I have gratitude during these times? I am more likely to hate the idea of being grateful, so I want to take this month, no matter what happens, and view everything with gratitude and look to the Bible to see just how I have been directed to do so.
Today is purely an attitude of thanks like the Psalmist says in chapters 106, 107 and 136:
Praise the Lord!
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 106:1)
It is easy to praise God for the good times and that is what today is, a good time. It is easy for me to praise God for the large number of people who came to my fundraiser to show their support of God’s mission for me. It is easy for me to praise Him for the new recipients of my newsletter. It is easy to praise Him for the donations that were made at the event. Just because it is easy doesn’t mean I always do it, or that since it is easy it isn’t necessary. It is necessary and I will say:
Praise the Lord! For He is good and His love endures forever! Amen!