If you have kids, are related to or live near kids or have ever seen a kid, you have experienced The Fundraiser. At this very moment, my child is expected to be selling cookies, popcorn and hoagies - all at the same time. I will confess that we are weary. We want our child to have “skin in the game” and to understand that goals worth achieving require work. But our view of what school and activities are like now as opposed to when I was a kid has made us very protective of our time and our sanity. Levels of stress and anxiety among teens today have never been higher. There is more homework, constant pressure to achieve 4.0 with 2,000 SAT, plus the resume of a bi-lingual Peace Corps volunteer with Pulitzer quality writing who is Olympic sports ma-terial. All this so you can get in to college and come out the other side ready to spend the rest of your life “fundraising” to pay off your loans. And in your spare time, could you please raise money for your team, your play, your troop, your band, and your church. Sigh. This is one of those days I’d prefer to go back to a trade and barter system.
Youth Directors through the ages have lost sleep over Fundraising. It isn’t what they pictured doing in Minis-try. Deep questions of God and your place in the universe, encouragement in hard times, being there for that lightbulb moment when kids see, feel, find God in their lives - That’s Ministry. Not so much with the shilling and fundraiser research and “robbing Peter to pay Paul”. It’s a struggle between your reality and religion.
You may have surmised by now, we are entering the season of Mission Trip Fundraising. I don’t love it. That’s the truth. It’s an entirely different skill set, and one I’m not great at. My Pastor in the church where I grew up was very blunt about what it took to fund ministry. Verging on cringe-worthy. He didn’t dance around the point, ever. But our confirmation class and our youth group and our mission trips were open to anyone at no cost. And I had friends there who I know didn’t have a dime, even though it was a neighborhood very much like ours. Our kids have those friends too.
Yet the pain of fundraising is such an extreme contrast to the joy and heart of a Mission Trip! Friendships are cemented, views on life are hotly debated, gifts/skills are discovered, prayers are whispered and hardships shared. It is a big, beautiful romp down the path with God. I want to move heaven & earth to make it possible for all who follow that path. I just don’t want to sell popcorn.
So here it is, the basics: If you can help us fundraise, thank God. We will put your investment to good use. If you can’t, you are not alone. Please let your child come anyway. We’ll figure it out. If you spent your last dime on that adorable cookie peddling girl scout, we completely understand!
If you feel you are meant to send a kid to discover Mission work, I have a few who will make you proud.
- Mission trips are a very big deal for our Youth Group, 25 people went last year.
- We are called to do this work. We teach it every Sunday. We raised them to want to do this.
- Kids see examples of how to talk with the hurting and then practice it themselves.
- Adults are reminded of that feeling of pure, unrestrained joy in moments of play. We need that.
- We learn to live and eat and work & play together in a way most folks don’t anymore.
- Kids need the adults on Mission trips in their lives. They take an interest, it’s vital to good growth.
- It is important. It can be life changing.
Please pray for this endeavor. Last year prayer was a game-changer. Really. God will get us where we need to be. In the mean time, we’ll pass the hat. It costs about $350 per kid to serve in mission work these days. That’s a lot of cookie popcorn hoagies;) Instead, let’s have a dinner together or we’ll babysit so you can have a date night. Sponsoring a kid or buying a “Piece of the Road” is also an option. Stay tuned for opportunities!
I thank you for listening and am grateful for your support.
Melanie Holcomb, Director of Christian Education
MONDAY, APRIL 30th, 5:00-9:00 pm - Eat dinner with us at Blaze Pizza (Settler’s Ridge) and they will donate 20% of the proceeds to our Mission Trip.
Look for the “Please donate 20%” flyer in next month’s Revelations!
Also on Facebook and www.cpcba.org.