In this entry, we hear from Lisa Sanders, short-term missionary, author, and mother from Anchorage, Alaska. Lisa serves on the board of directors for Hope4Kids International.
At church today the pastor spoke of how our lives are entwined, like the mighty cedar trees in Ross Creek Forest in Montana. The trees are over 500 years old, and do not fall down in spite of their massive size because their shallow root systems support not only the individual tree, but the other trees around it. His point was that God created us to need Him and others in our lives, we are not to be alone. He then went on and spoke about a niece who wanted to travel to Mexico on a mission trip, and was worried about the fundraising. He explained how he helped her shift her attitude about asking for support. Many people, for many reasons, are not able to go on a mission trip. When you ask someone to make a tax-deductible donation to your trip fund, you are allowing them to experience the gift of being a sender.
I travel to Uganda once a year with a faith-based nonprofit on which I serve as a board member. This group sponsors children for education, has successfully drilled 300 wells, supports several orphanages, and has a Women’s entrepreneurial program.
On a trip last year, I became close with a woman who had children similar in ages to mine. Her husband has not traveled to Uganda with her, yet he is delighted to support her both financially and emotionally when she travels to visit her family’s sponsored child. Their family business also made a donation to cover the cost of land that is going to be used for a new primary school in the village where their sponsored child lives. While talking to her, I shared with her how my husband laughs that he is happy to send me, but probably won’t go himself until he retires because he uses his much-deserved vacation for golf trips, and the only golf course I have seen in Uganda is inhabited by cows.
My friend looked at me very seriously and said, “Lisa, your husband has the gift of being a SENDER. This is a very important gift. Not everyone has the gift to serve the sick and dying, but without sender’s God’s work would not get done.”
God has given us each very unique gifts. The gift of being a sender is a very important one. Don’t rob your friends and family of the opportunity to share their gift of being a sender because you are embarrassed to ask for money. After you return, think about putting together a photo book ($6 or so at Target) of your trip’s highlights, and deliver it to them with a thank you note.
This blog was originally published on lisasandersbook.com. Visit the website to read more about Lisa’s experiences.