Just Showing Up

By Guest Blogger, Heather Bauer

“His power is made perfect in my weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

My husband, Chris, and I have enjoyed the privilege of traveling to Ethiopia several times, the first trip to adopt and bring our son home, and subsequent trips to visit orphans in Zeway.  Our lives have been forever changed by Ethiopia and all God has taught us about Himself along the journey of adoption and in caring for orphans in Zeway.  While we have been involved in this partnership from the beginning, the “busyness” of life and struggles of inadequacy have distracted us from being more involved over this past year and we have missed being engaged.

In December, we learned of an anonymous matching fund donation of $20,000 to Hope in Ethiopia.  As we were looking to reengage, Chris and I felt God prompting us to host a fundraising party to help bring in donations to match the fund in hopes of raising $40,000 by the January 31 deadline.

Really, right before Christmas with everything else going on?  I thought we were nuts and several times wondered if we had heard God correctly.  In fact, I was feeling so overwhelmed with juggling our 3 young children, their various school activities, gift shopping and preparing for holiday travel, that I admit, I considered canceling the party several times, including the night before the event when I found myself unexpectedly at the hospital with a friend.

What am I doing, I asked myself?  I felt completely unprepared to host 40 people in our home, one week before Christmas.  “I will never get everything done, people are busy, what if no one shows?  This party is going to be terribly disorganized.  What kind of speech or presentation are we going to give?  We are so unprepared.”  These thoughts and more were running through my head over and over.

I had lost sight of Christmas with my nose buried in my “to do” list.  I felt more than overwhelmed, inadequate and weak.

Ah, ha!  Yep, right where God wanted me – to remind me that “His power is made perfect in my weakness” and to remind me that Christmas is about love and HOPE, the hope of a Savior, a King.  It is not about being bound by a burdensome yolk but about being set free!  It is not about my cooking, cleaning or presentation.  It is not about me.  It is about God working through insufficient me because He is more than enough.  He just asks us to show up….and then watch what He does.

I can’t say I felt any less nervous as the door bell rang and our first guests arrived while I was still blow drying my hair.  And I can’t say the presentation Chris and I made, or our words were anything short of jumbled.  But I can say that we showed up, we walked in faith and trusted God to show up and do the heavy lifting.  And He did.

As we totaled the donations in the days and weeks that followed the Hope in Ethiopia fund raising party, we were blown away and humbled by friends, family and neighbors who gave generous financial contributions totaling $4,500, to bring hope to orphans in Ethiopia.  With the matching fund, that number doubles to $9,000!  It was the best Christmas present for Chris and I to receive – to have people in our community support orphans in Ethiopia, to see God use our meager efforts and bless those efforts in great abundance.

We are less than $1,500 away from reaching our goal to raise $20,000 by January 31st – which will double to $40,000.  Please join us in maxing out this generous matching fund donation!  Skip Starbucks and give $20 to bring HOPE to orphans, living on their own and raising themselves.  What better way to start this New Year?  Donate now via this link:  http://www.grouprev.com/2011matchingcampaign.

 

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