$900,000…On November 1st of 2016, this financial need of Lifeline seemed insurmountable to raise during the final two months of the year. I sat across the table from Herbie Newell, our Executive Director, and I know the look on my face was not one of hope and thrill, but one of desperation.
Overwhelmed perfectly represents my feelings and emotions as I sat holding a piece of paper filled with columns and numbers with parentheses around them- we had a large deficit.
My mind was racing as to how this was going to happen. I knew this goal was not pie in the sky, but equated to real needs that impacted real lives.
The Lord never fails to speak into the seemingly dark and desperate moments we face through His word and His people.
Before we left the meeting that day a few of us prayed and committed to be focused on sharing the need and bringing it before the Father daily. Herbie closed his prayer with, “Father, you know what we need. You know it, and no matter what you bring or how you provide, we can praise you and trust you.” The posture of Herbie’s heart was something I knew the Lord had been teaching and affirming in Him all year based on stories and prayers he had shared with our staff.
We prayed. Each morning, five of us would join a call together and share hopes, financial needs, and give thanks to God. We prayed for specific people, conversations, meetings, financial gifts and wisdom. We prayed the Lord would use us to meet needs just as He was using the Body of Christ to meet Lifeline’s needs.
On November 16th I wrote this prayer in my journal, “The need of raising $900,000 feels insurmountable at times. I need your help, good Father. Desperately need you. Will you place Lifeline on people’s hearts over the next month and three weeks…Lord, I pray we see things that only you can do through our Year End efforts.”
The Lord provided. From a $900,000 need on November 1st, to a $494,643 need on December 15th, all the way down to only needing $90,370 today.
We saw the Lord move as each $10, $1,000, and $80,000 gift was given. Men, women, and even children gave far beyond what my small mind could conceive.
A couple of weeks ago, our team sat in my office in awe and speechless as we watched our financial need descend.
One of my main responsibilities and blessings as Development Director at Lifeline Children’s Services is to share the story the Lord is writing in the lives of those who we have an opportunity to minister to. I also have the joy of inviting people to be involved in what God is doing through serving on a board, volunteering at an event, giving financially, becoming a mentor, fostering, adopting and a host of other ways people can join with us.
The end of the year is a season of giving in the lives of people across the nation. I know people to be generous, and the Lord is the author of generosity, but I did not imagine He would take me from desperation to sheer delight through the generous hearts and gifts of others.
- Delight in the way people are responding to the invitation to give out of the overflow of their hearts and to give sacrificially.
- Delight in the fact that these gifts mean hundreds of children will be adopted through Lifeline and therefore, hear the gospel of Christ.
- Delight because these gifts mean the woman who called us on December 28th after giving birth to a baby she could not care for, has now heard the gospel and was overwhelmed to tears as she said, “Someone actually wants my baby!”
- Delight because children reaching an age that makes them ineligible for adoption will leave the orphanage knowing they have a Father in Heaven who is preparing them for eternity with Him.
- Delight because children who celebrated Christmas with a foster family this year are experiencing the love of Christ through the hands and feet of families who have committed to pray for the children in their care and the families who gave them life.
- Delight because little Sophie, who has lived in our China Foster Center, will be meeting her forever family very soon.
Thank you. These two short words are so brief, yet they carry so much weight for me today. To each of you who prayed with us and asked the Lord to provide, to each of you who mailed in a check, gave online or made pledge, to each of you who are living out the command of considering others more significant than yourself through your prayers, giving, adopting, fostering, and your life- Thank you.
You have helped to Change One Life: Sarah, Sidney, Steele, Silas, Sophie, Scout, Sailor, Simon, Namyalo Jesca, Katono Kenneth, Ssesanga Steven, Kasumba George, Ogoola Dominic, Luyobya Alpha, Nakiranda Gorretti, Mutebi Peter, Nabukenya Harriet, Senfuka Anderson, Nadunga Maria, Nalwanga Angela, Walugembe Jesse, Vianny Ssekayobya, Katamba Adam, Birungi Precious, Rebeca, Sunaina, Anita, Asma, Eva, and 2,823 more lives impacted with the gospel of Christ.
You have given a gift that will not just impact a life for one day or one year, but a gift that will make an impact that reaches into eternity as vulnerable children and families are hearing the gospel.
I am grateful for you, and Paul says in Philippians 2:1-10 what I have seen on display through you as I reflect on the end of 2016 at Lifeline and step forward in delight into 2017.
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
With a grateful heart,