I didn’t mean to be so quiet yesterday! Our internet was down. Alas! Anyway, I am learning to open up and be honest with you. And today I have something new to be honest about. Because I donâ€™t think itâ€™s quite right for me to tell you, the readers/friends here who have become very dear to me, all the good stuff that is happening and make it sound like everything is daisies and roses when itâ€™s sometimes daisies and roses, but also at the same time a pretty difficult time for us. So hereâ€™s the deal.
I recently wrote a letter to send to our ministry partners, (which I havenâ€™t sent yet) asking them to consider making a one-time gift to help with some specific needs, including the cost of flights to the States. We would like to go ahead and book our tickets to the US for Christmas around this time of year, because theyâ€™ll generally just go up and up from here till the holidays.
Now a funny thing has been happening recently. God has been providing for our needs in different ways — people making donations or sending cards with money, family and friends sending boxes full of goodies, other friends recently offered to babysit so we could have a night out!! Our needs have been met, over and over again, not the way we might expect or hope to see them, in our monthly paycheck, but through relationships, in family and friendship. What I think Iâ€™m supposed to take note of when I see this is that the Lord is working through others to provide for our needs. He was doing that already. Clearly. We are missionaries and our salary each month comes from the gifts of awesome, generous people around the world. It is becoming more and more apparent lately that He is moving through others to provide for us in different ways from what we expected. (Remember how we received the gift heard round the world? 🙂 )
Since thatâ€™s the case, it seems to me that I am missing the boat if I donâ€™t give you guys the opportunity to give. You have been such an encouragement to me and some of you have asked about giving already. If I donâ€™t tell you that we have these needs and we donâ€™t have the finances to cover them, then you wonâ€™t know, and you wonâ€™t be given the opportunity to give. And if I donâ€™t tell you that our finances are really tight, and we could really use additional ministry support to make our very frugal budget come together at the end of each month, then youâ€™ll never know.
So today Iâ€™m telling you. I donâ€™t intend to tell you every day, but today it seems to be the right thing for me to take a moment and say â€œHey, maybe the Lord wants to provide for this through you, and you wonâ€™t know if I donâ€™t tell you.â€ I know I need to listen to Him when He tells me to ask. (I really donâ€™t like doing it sometimes!) This is sometimes what it looks like to live a life of faith — we are in positions where we donâ€™t know how weâ€™re going to make it unless the Lord shows up. I look forward to telling you how all this comes together!
So. At present, our monthly income is covering our basic monthly needs and little else. We have three major needs right now:
- We have a non-existent travel budget, and would like to be able to go home for Christmas this year.
- We will soon be paying our taxes (fortunately later than you guys because we live overseas.)
- We are working very hard to pay off the car we had to purchase outright when we arrived in SA.
We donâ€™t (yet) have the finances to cover the first two things. (Help with #3 would mean making ends meet each month would be a lot easier.) The flights are about $3,000. The taxes, about $5,000. The car, closer to $10,000. (We needed a reliable and safe car in this part of the world — and cars donâ€™t come cheap in SA!)
My friends, I donâ€™t want you to feel obligated or pressured to open your wallet. If you are happy to give and want to, please do. The good news is that sharing this on the internet makes it about as non-confrontational as possible! I also want to mention that if youâ€™re the kind of person who likes to pray, we would appreciate your prayers. (If youâ€™re not and would like to try, weâ€™d appreciate that too! 🙂 )
If you would like to help with any of these needs, will you let me know? You can give online at www.samaritansfeet.org (Just note that your gift is for Mark & Caroline Collie). Or if youâ€™d like to give in a different way or you have questions, just comment here or email me. Should you decide to give, please shoot me an email or forward me your receipt so that we can make sure your gift gets credited to us. (And, yes, if youâ€™re an American taxpayer, itâ€™s tax-deductible.)
I have no idea what might come of me deciding to be very honest and open with you guys, and share our needs with you. I hope itâ€™s gonna look like me putting a little pie chart up somewhere and rejoicing with you about whatâ€™s happening! But I appreciate you reading and perhaps taking a moment to pray and to share this with others who might like to help. Your comments and encouragements through this tough season have meant more to me than you know. I will keep you updated on what happens. And I want to say thanks, again and again!
P.S. I thought some happy pictures of the Bear would liven up all this money-talk. 🙂 And if you are a worrier, don’t worry! God has always come through for us. And we know He will.