Fundraiser, Colorado and training, oh my!

So obviously I have been a wee bit absent on my blog the last couple weeks, but it’s for good reason I promise. As most of you know I had a fundraiser on February 2nd and then left just a week later for training in Colorado for this past week and four more weeks to come. I wanted to provide everyone with an update on both things and then hopefully next week I will be able to get back on at least a somewhat regular schedule of 2-3 blogs/week.

Fundraiser

After a ridiculous amount of preparation by myself and so many other people the fundraiser day finally came. When I woke up I saw the snow falling and I h ave to admit, I was doubtful that many people would come. It was coming down pretty hard and the roads were terrible, but my hope was in God, so no matter the turn out I was confident the event would be a success. Before the event even started I knew God was blessing me, my ministry and the fundraiser. There were over a dozen people who came just to help me set up, and boy did I need them. As the event continued, all but 2 of the chili’s showed up, but there were still 10 very good offerings available. All of the chili’s were awesome and we even had some rice and beans there too! The winner was my Uncle Mike and it wasn’t even close. His chili was my favorite as it was most people’s. Throughout the event Chris McConaughy and two of his amazing friends played music, we had items for raffle, a corn-hole tournament and a whole bunch of silent auction items. Over 70 people came and helped make the event a fun and encouraging event for me. Financially it was a success too, and it raised a total of around 12% of my launch fund bringing me to about 85% of my launch fund and 85% of my monthly support as well. With just a little more, I could be in Germany soon and this event was a huge part of that.

Thank you to all of those that helped, attended and otherwise made that day so awesome.

 

Training

This past Monday I left Ohio for Palmer Lake, CO to attend training at Mission Training International (MTI). The first two weeks of training is all about language learning and the last three weeks will be about the culture. All of my previous thoughts about what this training would encapsulate were apparently wrong. I thought I would be learning how to specifically learn sounds that are in German that are not in English and maybe then learn some German too. Boy was I wrong, but it is so much better than what I had ever thought it might be. I haven’t learned any more German than I knew before i came here, but I have learned some about phonics, some Russian and some Jeh (a tribal language in Vietnam). When I told my mom about this, she asked me why I would be learning a tribal language from Vietnam and Russian. I, at first, had wondered the same thing, but MTI has told us many times that what we are donig is learning techniques and tools to help us with our language learning. What better way to do this than with a language that few, if any, of us will ever use (Jeh). The fact that we can understand some Jeh after only a small amount of time of it being introduced to us that lets me know I can learn German!

I’ve got so much to do this weekend so I’m going to leave it at that for today, but I will try to be more regular updating my blog next week.

A small preview of my fundraiser Feb 2

February 2nd I am having a fundraiser that will be jam packed with things for the whole family. I wanted to give you a little heads up about it and encourage you to come back in January as I update you on the fundraiser several days every week. The fundraiser will have:

Chili cook-off – Prize awarded to the best chili in 3 categories, hot, mild and vegetarian.
Cornhole tournament – Prizes awarded to the winning team.
Silent Auction and discounted gift cards – I will give a sneak peak starting in January as to what I have already received.
Portrait sitting

 

Here is where I could use some help right now to make this fundraiser a huge success:

  • For obvious reasons I need prayer, because without God this will not be a success, plain and simple.
  • Save February 2nd from 11-4 on your calendar so you can come and enjoy this event.
  • Contact me if you think your chili is the best ever!
  • Advanced registration will be discounted so register early (just not until I let you know you can)
  • Let me know if you want to donate something for the silent auction or know a company who has an item or gift card to share.
  • Looking for a professional photographer right now who will donate time and talents to take family or individual portraits for a donation.

More details to come in two weeks so keep checking back!

Gratitude, shmatitude, double batitude, I hate gratitude

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!