I would like to say a huge thanks to you for all you've done to support me and to help me spread the word of my fundraising for the missions trip. You have been a big blessing to me and my family. For those in my home church, Ottawa Chinese Alliance Church, thank you for your dedicated service to OCAC now, before, and also in the years to come. Thank you so much for encouraging me and being willing to be used by God to lift me up when I am weak, whether through small or big actions, intentional or unintentional; it really means a lot to me.
My fundraising has a checkpoint of $2000 at April 1st. I started scrambling when CTI, my music organization, started sending me emails in the beginning of March saying I should start getting going on fundraising since I only had $175 in my account.
Around mid-March, the 17th, they emailed me again to check in on me, saying it was completely doable to get the money in, as long as I acted fast and made it a priority. The balance at that time was still only at $766. That was a good amount, but with the deadline approaching soon, I decided I would have to really truly make it a priority. CTI encouraged us to mail out letters to peoples' homes, so I did that and received a bit of response and feedback so by March 22nd I was at $1162. In the process of mailing letters, I decided that I should send emails out as well, so I compiled a list and sent out my newsletter. That's where all my supporters like you came in and helped me to spread the word in doing things that I couldn't do myself. It is hard to fundraise for a cause in the church of a city I don't even reside in, but my home church, Ottawa Chinese Alliance Church, is a church that genuinely cares, loves, and supports each other. I really really appreciate all the effort and action you've put in for me. The reason why this missions trip is extremely encouraged to be funded through fundraising is because of all the things you learn in the process along the journey. I am so glad they send us through this process so that I can experience all the emotions, frantic and stressed, but also overwhelmed by joy and love. I knew before that OCAC was made up of caring brothers and sisters, but it didn't hit home in my personal heartstrings until now. I realized how much God loves me, how far Jesus' love extends toward us. I have been moved to tears many many times during my exchanges with people and seeing and feeling God's love through them that transcends all.
I'd like to share with you especially about my sister. Like you, she has supported me tremendously. At the age of 14, she is selfless, generous, and passionate. She took it upon herself to donate monetary funds in ways that were a huge sacrifice, planned out fundraising plans and ideas to help me generate support amongst the youth fellowships, and stepped up in leadership and service in areas all ultimately for God's glory. She means the world to me, and she always has. I didn't even think about loving her more than I did, but her acts of faith and love humbled me and made me love her even more. And it's not about all she did for me that made me love her more, it's that my eyes were opened to see how lacking I was: lacking in the areas of love, consideration, and understanding of people. My sister is just one of the many people who have encouraged me through their actions and way of living. Each and every donation received was received just in the right time; they lifted me up when I was going through rough patches of despair and disappointment.
One particular case that I struggled through was when I had $1247 in my account and I decided to start a fundraiser selling slices of homemade marshmallow cheesecake. One of my close friends came over to my place and saw marshmallows lying around and asked about it. I took this as a chance to say I was making it for my fundraiser for my missions trip and he could buy it to support me! My friend is not Christian so when I explained that the fundraiser was for my music missions trip this summer he asked what the money would go towards. I replied with the details of the trip. His reply was unimpressed and said, "so basically it's just funding your trip expenses? Aren't you going to go like spread Christianity? Yeah I don't think I'll take you up on this." The cold tone, negative stigma, and passive disapproval really threw a wrench into my hopes and excitement. My friend normally loves food and isn't even really stingy about money. Normally I would be okay with it if people didn't want to support me, or couldn't. However, this very close friend of mine went one step further and decided to be against me going on the trip. It made me question our entire relationship, reminding me that Satan is at work, but I know he only tries to work really hard when he knows how much glory it will bring to God. So nevertheless I will keep on running and fighting the good fight. God is miraculous in how he works to build us all up because literally a few minutes after that conversation with my friend, I got an email from a church leader saying he would be willing to support me enough to match my amount and give anything to ensure I would reach my $2000 goal. He even suggested being willing to provide the entire $2000! Praise be to God. I know people are praying for me because God is doing big things. I hadn't even personally emailed this church leader, but he was made aware through the spreading of the word by someone else who had passed on my newsletter. Right now my account balance is at $2753 and I am still anticipating the arrival of some other funds. God is so good when we trust in him. God is so good even when we don’t trust in him, because he is constant. Inside I knew that God would provide, but as a human with a sinful nature, I was weak and uneasy still. He has proven time and time again how much he cares about me even when I worry. But God has blessed me with a peace in my soul and comfort of mind that transcends all understanding. I know what that feels like now, and it makes me feel silly to think of all the times I didn’t come to God to rely on him when it’s so easy to just lay all your burdens on him.
All this to say, my journey has only begun, but God has been so ever faithful and I am learning so much each and every single day. Every single person’s prayer, comment, and donation are extremely precious to me. I’m learning to fall in love with God more and more so that through that I can develop an agape love for people, for community, for fellowship, for family, for those in need, for those that are hard to love, for those around me, and for myself.
This is my story,
Michelle Yin | April 3, 2017 | 8:18 pm |
I have a story. You have a story. And while these stories need to be heard, in the end..we are all more than a story but still simple wayfarers of life.
A blog cannot contain the entire person I am, it is just a colorful collection of my stories.
P.S. Please ignore all preview blog posts due to it being written by my high school self for an English class project requiring the creation of this blog. I only keep it for amusement purposes.
Thanks for bearing