Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Legacy of Love

Mission trips are funny things. Well, for that matter. . .missionaries are really weird people to begin with. Every  missionary has a story about how they came to be called to missions. Some of us have particularly trying experiences that brought us to this. But each of us. . .all of us in fact. . .have a legacy that God is fulfilling through our obedience to this calling.

This group has been a lot of places. We are truly a diversity

We've been in tornado torn communities surrounded by destruction and death.
We've been those same communities, surrounded by grateful families.
We've been in cities that are still recovering after a decade.
We've worked in our own backyards, serving our own community.

We are made up of:
Construction workers
Information Technology Specialists
Moms & Dads
Sons & Daughters

We're all missionaries. We all have a story. We're all part of a legacy.

A unique opportunity has opened up to our Motley Crew. In the shadow of two cancelled trips, it looks like we're wanted in beautiful Iva, SC. Michael and Tammy Kennedy, founders of Legacy Ministries & Children's Home, are eager to welcome a team willing to put some effort into the building of the children's home there. We'll be preparing space for 8-10 children to start with, potentially more to come. While they're shopping for the perfect location, we'll be busy divvying up the jobs, and recruiting plenty of willing hands.

Why? Because Jesus loves the little children. Because Jesus love us. Because Jesus gave us a legacy of love that we're meant to give away.

Ever though of going on a mission trip? Want to know more? Email ME!. . .I dare ya.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The COST to count it all joy

While I would much rather write about all the joy that happens on a mission trip, the reality is we have to address the one issue  most people would rather not have to think about - {insert gloomy sound here} - the actual cost to send 12 to 15 people on a mission trip.

Last year, we took a team of 7 for under $2000. That included our t shirts, our travel, fuel, all of our meals, and our silly incidental junk as well. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  We were able to keep our expenses low due to the generosity of Ridgecrest Baptist church (lodging us in their childrens ministry building) and North River Church (who provided us lunch each day and helped coordinate our trip).

The success of a mission trip depends on a number of factors - the least of which is funding. But without the funds, the mission trip can't succeed at all.

I like to be transparent when it comes to the cost of a trip, and what's being done with the money. So I create a budget, and offer line items to show where the money goes.  Below is our summer budget based on a 15 person team.

Budget: $6000
Goal is to raise about $500 per person. This covers fuel, meals, team shirts, etc.

$1000 Fuel – Around $800 - $1000
$2625 Meals - $25 per person (15) per day (7)
$375 Incidentals - $25 per person (15) total (this covers unexpected expenses)
$675 Shirts - about $15 per person (professionally screened) and each person needs 3
$500 Ministry Blessing – Variable, but would be nice to give them a $500 gift.
$5175 TOTAL

The "Ministry Blessing" is an important part of what we are about. We are asking other ministries to come along side of us, and support us while we are in NOLA. These are the people who live in New Orleans, and continue the mission long after we're gone. :-)

We use a number of avenues to raise funds for our trip; basic "ask" letters, facebook posts from our GoFundMe account, and auctioning off van seats. We also have a couple of fundraisers where we invite clients, friends, and the general public, and serve a meal, offer baskets for raffle, and silent auction items. Currently, we are working with some local restaurants to offer "flyer fundraisers" as well.

As funds come in, I post our running total one or two times a month. We also keep a sheet that tracks each person's donation, as well as their contact information so that we can mail them a year end giving letter.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tuscaloosa Week Update!

Sorry we haven't been able to update the blog, but we've had sporadic internet since we've been here, and this is the first time it's been good enough to actually "work."

Sunday morning we packed our van FULL - as in we couldn't have fit another single item in it kind of full.
Tetris Level - Boss!
Happy Travelers - and LOOK! Gabs!

Lunch Break!

 Our hosts for the week is Ridgecrest Baptist Church. The girls got the primo real estate, near the showers, close to the bathrooms. :-) We're all happy campers! And Uncle Bo Nanner and the Squid made it too!

The first day was a bit disappointing, but we quickly over that as we started to connect as a team. Holt Elementary was so welcoming to us, and we saw quite a lot of the devastation that happened as we drove through Alberta City to get to the Holt Community.

Midweek found us at Forest Lake Baptist, which was one of the first places I saw when I was in the city the first time. Gone are the broken stained glass windows, replaced by new ones. The roof is no longer bare, the steeple that was upside down in the ground has been replaced by a new one with a light that I hear can be seen for quite a ways.

More to come tomorrow. . .check out our album HERE

Friday, June 7, 2013

ONE month till GO TIME!!!

One month from now, we'll be sitting around a table in Tuscaloosa having dinner, and going over our Day 1 plan. One month. . .

This Saturday evening we are having a brief meeting, and we'll have one more on June 22nd, and again on July 5th before leaving. 

Our wonderful fundraiser is on June 23rd and tickets are now available. Let's see these and pack the Refuge!

Gabrielle will arrive on July 3rd, and Tara is supposed to arrive July 6th. I will be shooting a wedding on July 6th, which will mean others will have to jump in to load the van. 

Still needed - let's sell those van seats!! If you don't know what this is about, check our Facebook link HERE. You can also share this with your friends and family. 

We also have an auction that is live right now. It is on Facebook, and can be found HERE. We need to sell these beautiful pieces of photographic art! 

For more information, please contact me. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

As we are getting closer to departure, we still have so much work to do! We have an exciting Brunch planed for June 23rd! Did you get your tickets yet? See Holli's post below to order tickets! Can't make it? No problem! Make a direct donation to OUR Mission Trip below: DONATE

Thursday, May 30, 2013

End of May Updates!

So it's the end of the May and some exciting things have happened, and are happening this month.

 First of all - one of our interns turned 16 yesterday! I am the proud mother of a big hearted Elder boy who can now drive!! Unreal.

 Secondly, we've scheduled our Fundraiser Brunch! If you don't have plans (and even you do! cancel them, this will be better) you should join us on Sunday, June 23rd at 11:30 at Refuge Coffee Bar. Tickets are $12 per adult, or $20 for couples, Kids (12 and under) are only $5. There will be several baskets up for raffle (need not be present to win most of them) and we have some amazing items up for grabs; photography art, pasta baskets, a supreme Summer Griller's basket, etc. We'll also be offering a split the pot during the event. 

Brunch will be a classic Southern Brunch with a few twists; pancakes, french toast, sausage, Goetta, quiche, boiled eggs, fruits, muffins, etc. . .as well as an AMAZING cake from Delicious Designs for You by Jessica Castellini.

 Also this month, we were featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer in the local section. The infamous Tuscaloosa Rising picture was on the front page of the section, and a great story about our team and leader was on page 5. The link can be found here: Tuscaloosa Rising Story.

Please consider supporting our mission. We need to raise just under $4000 for eight people. . .and our return on the trip is over $125,000 for the week. That's what we're gifting to the community of Tuscaloosa.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Southern Style Brunch and More!

Check out our upcoming Fundraiser for June 23rd!

Come join us and delight yourself in a full, Southern Style Brunch, good music, dancing, and "take your breath away" basket raffles!

We still need to raise funds for our trip. We've had the added expense of lodging, but we're taking that out of our "incidentals" budget, so our overall budget hasn't changed.

We are polishing up some of our upcoming events. :-) Take a moment and check out this one. Who wouldn't want to come and stuff their tummies after church on a beautiful June Sunday? There are going to be tons of baskets for our basket raffle (all donated) and we're going to do one "split the pot" drawing as well. We'll also set up a small area in the back where we'll offer our benefactors a free family/couple/individual picture, and email to them as a symbol of our gratitude.