The Ask

 

Freshman year, I was 3 years into playing the saxophone.  Aspirations of one day being a bald version of Kenny G flooded my mind.  I practiced.  I lugged that thing back and forth to and from school every day.  All in hopes that I would one day too be a solo artist.

Then, that time of year came.  The time of year, where your band director announces that they need money.  Maybe it was for some band camp, maybe it was for plumes on our band hats…who knows?  All I heard was that I was going to have to go door to door at ask for money.  Yes, donors would get a jar of pasta sauce in return for their generosity, but I still didn’t want to have to ask complete strangers for money.

After walking home laden with pasta sauce and a pep talk from my mom, I decided to call my uncle.  He bought 5 jars!!  I was on a roll.  I was ready to hit the streets.  I eagerly ran next door to ask our neighbor of 4 years.  He grumpily declined.

And just like that, I decided I wasn’t selling pasta sauce, I wasn’t asking for money. Therefore, I was leaving the band and giving up my dreams of becoming a bald Kenny G.

I wasn’t willing to humble myself, so I had to give up on my dreams.

Now here I am, 15 years later asking for money again, only this time, I have no pasta sauce to give you in return.

I can’t think of many people who enjoy bringing themselves low enough to stand before another man or woman asking for money.  Its awkward and unpredictable.  People work hard, so hard for their money, and its difficult asking for dollars that could go into a savings account or towards a new television.

However since my wife and I became full-time missionaries in 2012, our attitudes began to change.  Early on in my first days of serious fundraising I learned a few lessons that began to change my attitude.  I began to learn about trusting God and growing in humility.

My logical mind is occasionally lost in the mix and jumble of the Christian faith.  Even the word “faith” flies in the face of my mind’s systematic tendencies.  I want to see, hear, taste, feel, and speak with things before I deem them true or trustworthy, but then of course, if I was afforded that privilege, it would cease to be faith, right?

One day, God gave me a simple line of logic that makes so much sense that I’m embarrassed to share that it escaped me for so long.  God has commanded and commissioned me to GO into the nations for the sake of the gospel (Matt. 28:16-20, Mark 16:15, Isaiah 40:9, Romans 10:15).  God has promised to take care of my needs (Psalm 23:1, Philippians 4:19, Matt. 6:25-34).  Therefore, God will fund this ministry and enable my family to do the work He has set before us.  Of course, I don’t know if God plans on stretching us by giving us the bare minimum to survive or giving us a surplus, but its not my place to dwell on that.  Rather, I now know in faith that God will bless our stewardship and hard work because He has promised it in his Word.

Second, God has grown me in humility, which is an awkward thing to say.  Do I defeat that humility by claiming that I’ve been growing in humility?  In an effort to side-step the approaching headache, I’ll save that philosophical question for another time.  The important thing to point out is that before my days of living off the gracious gifts of others, my pride had been dominating my heart, which resulted in an abnormal level of fear.  I would secretly wonder, What will they think of me?  Will they think I’m incapable of taking care of my family on my own?  These thoughts are rooted in pride.  It doesn’t matter if someone gets upset with me for asking or thinks that fundraising is lowly and shameful.  I learned that while there should not be any shame, it is most certainly lowly.  That’s okay though.

Just like in Philippians 2, if Jesus brought Himself down from the holy throne of heaven to become a filthy man only to obediently die a shameful death on the cross for us, then I can bring myself low enough to ask for money to complete His command on my life.

Therefore, this is our appeal to you:

  1. You can learn about HighRise Ministries at our website HighRiseMinistries.org
  2. And you can give HERE.

Finally, you can know with complete confidence that the money will be used well and in accordance to the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as we wouldn’t be doing all of this for any other purpose.

 

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