Letter #641: Anonymously Thankful

Dear anonymous donor,

Words won’t even begin to express my gratitude for your generous gift. I had no idea how funding my trip to Africa was going to happen, but I took one step of faith, signed up and trusted the details would follow. Your donation not only helped make me visiting Zambia possible, but it also has been used in a huge way to show me God’s faithfulness.

About a year ago, the phrase “immeasurably more’ entered my world. I have watched more than I could ever have asked or imagined happen before my eyes. You made it happen.

I will never forget the moment I received the news. I was driving to Oklahoma State’s Homecoming. My mom happened to be in the car with me and we were waiting for my dad in a Tulsa parking lot. I hadn’t checked my phone for a couple hours because a cell phone even being within reach while driving with my mom in the car is an unforgivable offense! I opened my email to find a late afternoon note from the Dream Camp coordinator entitled “Good News.’ I figured it had to do with the Gospel, but instead I opened to find this.

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Dazed. Confused. Speechless. Awestruck. You name it, I was experiencing it. After a few moments of silence, my mom noticed the shock in my face and asked what was wrong. All I could do was hand her the phone.

The craziest thing about this whole story is that I have ZERO idea how you even knew I was going and then figured out how to donate. You see, I haven’t personally told a ton of people about my trip. Not because I don’t want to, but mostly because I’ve been traveling and haven’t had extended conversations with too many folks lately. Yes, I wrote a blog post about going, but it never asked for anything. It barely even gave details. There was one link at the very bottom directing folks to be able to see a little bit more about Dream Camp but that was it.

I say this to say, you were determined. You did your homework to figure out how to donate. Nothing that I have said or put out in public gave specific direction. It would make sense for me to receive money if I had asked people for donations. I haven’t.

You are a catalyst to how the Lord is showing me how He will do immeasurably more than anything I could’ve ever asked or imagined. Never in my wildest dreams could I have come up with this scenario. I really did believe the Lord would provide, but I did not know how. I sure didn’t foresee this coming.

I decided to go to Africa about six weeks ago. It was one step, one I didn’t know what the following would look like. Your generosity has stretched my faith in ways I can never express. How many times have I failed to take the first step out of fear and lack of trust? How many times have I missed watching the Lord’s provision and Him doing immeasurably more in and through me because of it?

Thank you. Thank you for your financial contribution. For making my trip a reality. Most importantly, thank you for allowing the Lord to use you to grow my faith, trust and obedience to our God.

I will never be able to thank you adequately, but may the Lord bless you as you bless others in His name,

Lindsay

***A story I couldn’t begin to make up. I wrote this in an attempt to express my thankfulness and sent it to the Dream Camp coordinator to pass on to the donor. This story was too good not to share and Thanksgiving seemed the perfectly fitting time. More than 60% of a nearly $5,000 step of faith provided by someone I can’t even thank in person. God is so much bigger than I remotely give Him credit for. I’m excited to continue working toward as well as watching Him provide the other 40%. Here’s more info on where I’m going, Family Legacy’s Dream Camp.***

Letter #430: $200 Finale

Dear $200,

It’s time for your last letter. You’ve already received two, found here and here. You are about to find a new home. A Ugandan home. My friend, Amber, is going on a mission trip to Uganda on the 28th and will return January 14th. You’re going with her…or at least allowing her to go!

Amber’s worked at K-West with me for the past two summers. She’s been a kitchie, an office girl and a counselor. She’s exactly the type of girl I want on my staff. The epitome of faithful. Sensitive to the Lord’s leading. Passionate about people and the Gospel. Loyal friend. Selfless. Compassionate. Strong. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

You are helping this girl get to Uganda to share hope and the Good News with people whose lives seem to have no hope. Kids who come from abusive homes, have been orphaned because of AIDS or have run away from the Lord’s Resistance Army. She will get to come alongside these children, play with them, provide safety for them and get to tell them about Jesus. Pretty sweet gig if you ask me…can I go with you?!

“You ($200) seem so small at times, and you are, but you are also a true testament to how small efforts can make a big difference.’ The check is in the mail, and because of the “small’ contributions of lots of people soon Amber will be off to Uganda. May the Lord use the time this group spends overseas to provide hope that only Jesus can provide as well as transform the hearts of those traveling.

Capable of more than we give you credit for,

200 bucks for good

Letter #425: $200 Update

Dear $200,

I don’t typically write two letters to the same subject, but you deserve it. A week ago I wrote about how you seem small but have the ability to make a difference. Somehow I concocted a really crazy idea of how I was going to put you into somebody’s hands so they could go be a catalyst for good. Please read the initial idea to completely understand where I’m coming from.

When I turned my random idea into reality, I had no idea what was going to happen. I had a feeling when I informed people I was giving you away I’d get some extra page views for the day, but I wasn’t sure how many people would actually respond.

Readers, I’m happy to inform you we had six legitimate responders. Two of the six were Mama Roth and my sister, but I’m taking them out of the equation. Great ideas, but I’ve decided to invest outside of the Rother clan. Thus, we’re left with four. Here’s a quick rundown of our possibilities in no particular order:

  • Houston’s homeless: a friend of mine volunteers passing out food in downtown Houston. It’s starting to get cold (yes, Houston actually gets cold), and she is wanting to provide her friends with blankets.
  • Traffick911: another friend has started volunteering with this organization who’s on a mission to end sex trafficking of American children. Yes, this actually happens in the USA. She would like to use the money to help build Texas’ first safe house for juveniles.
  • Passion 2012’s quest against slavery: Since 1997, the Passion movement has operated with the desire to see spiritual awakening occur on college campuses around the world. Do Something Now is their way of connecting worship with justice to allow college students to make a difference. This year they have partnered with six organizations on a mission to set the 27 million people worldwide free who are currently in slavery. Passion 2012 is January 2-5. They have set a goal of raising one million dollars. Check out this video.
  • Uganda mission trip: a friend of mine is traveling here December 28th for two and a half weeks to work in New Life Homes where boys who used to be homeless can come to receive food, shelter and an education. They will also do ‘street reach’ where they will pass out basic goods to boys who have fled from abusive homes, been abandoned because of AIDS or have run away from the Lord’s Resistance Army all while sharing the Gospel. They are in need of a bit more support in order to make the trek.

Wow! I knew my readers were way cooler than I could ever be. More than them being cool, they are very tangibly making a difference and being catalysts for good in this depraved world. My eyes have been opened to new ways I can contribute and get involved in making a difference. More than that, I’m invigorated by the passion I see in my friends. In a world consumed by negative news, I’m elated to see normal, 20 something year olds impacting this world and the kingdom of God. Thank you for sharing your stories, dreams, hearts and causes.

Here’s the deal. My initial idea has gotten crazier. I’m still committed to giving you to one of these causes, but how do I choose? All worthy. All impactful. I don’t want to choose. I will if I have to, but how neat would it be if this community of readers could come together and bless all four of these? I can’t do that on my own, but I can be a catalyst and a venue for all of us to make this happen.

This started as a crazy idea and has turned into an even crazier one. I get that. I know what I’m asking for, but like I said in my initial letter, ‘You ($200) seem so small at times, and you are, but you are also a true testament to how small efforts can make a big difference.’

Readers, your small effort could be $50, $20, $5 or committing to praying for one or all of these causes. If we all commit small, I know the Lord can do big. I have no idea what’s going to happen with this, but I’m trusting the Lord is going to move and that all four of these causes are going to be impacted one way or another.

Prayerfully consider partnering with me to be a catalyst for good,

Believer in small commitments making big differences

Interested in joining: Email me at lindsay.rother@gmail.com about sending a check or hop on www.PayPal.com, click send money, type in your amount, click friends and family, enter my email address, fill out the rest of the information and the money is instantly put into my PayPal account. I promise this money will be distributed appropriately and a full update on exactly what happened will be posted later. Comment here or email me about committing to pray.

Letter #231: Hospitable Hostess

 

Dear hospitality,

The more I’m surrounded by you, the more I hope to be you in the verb form. I am humbled by people’s willingness to open their homes and provide you in my life. Time and time again, I’m invited to share a meal with a family, offered a place to stay on a day off from camp and given suggestions of ways to bargain shop and repair things in life.

Because of you, so many families and their homes have become home away from homes for me. If you’re new to reading, my family rocks. Spending time with them is easily in my top three favorite things to do, but I live five hours away. So “home” with my family isn’t possible very often.  Mom, Dad, Jamie and Dana, never fear, you haven’t been replaced, but know your baby girl and little sis is being taken good care of around these parts.

Of course I witnessed you on trail when I was traveling the country recruiting staff for this summer. People I had never met in my life were opening their homes and bringing out all their best with it. I sure was thankful for them, but in our culture you are expected in those settings. What I’ve been amazed with is how you are constant in so many of my daily connections. You are easy to wear out. Nobody wants to do something forever. It gets boring and time to switch to the next best thing, but these people are faithful.

“Lindsay, I know you’re trying to eat healthier so I bought and cut up extra fruit for you to take home with you.’ “Lindsay, I know you love the Thunder; why don’t you come watch the game on our big screen and have dinner and do your laundry while you’re at it.’ “Linds, I know your car needs fixed”…how can we help? Need to borrow our car?’ “You’re moving to camp soon, so you probably don’t have much food left”…here’s chicken for you to make.’ “Hey Lindsay, I know it’s cold out at camp right now, why don’t you come and hang out or sleep at our house so you don’t freeze. We’re just 15 minutes away.’

I’ve seen people do things that don’t make sense. I’ve witnessed more of you in the last year of my life than I ever imagined. Actually, I think I just understand and appreciate you more at 24 living in the real world than I did my first 23 years of life. Either way, I want to join your club. I long to be hospitable. I want to be armed with many tools in my toolbelt, and you’re one of them. I have been blessed in unimaginable ways, and I want to return the favor. Friends and family, thanks for teaching me about you and providing in neat ways.

Learning to be you on a low budget,

Hospitable hostess attempter

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