For a very long time I have wanted to go to another country and share God’s love and truth. Since travelling to Poland with my church in 2011, I have had a strong desire to combine travel with ministry. I have shared many times with friends that
‘I really want to just GO…’
and the next words out of my mouth would always be…
‘but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford it.’
Then, in January this year I was presented with an opportunity. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that I stumbled upon an opportunity. A friend of mine from the U.S. posted on Facebook that her team were looking for a photographer to go with them to the Philippines for just over 3 weeks to document their time there. Now, I am by no means the best photographer but it is something I am passionate about and I do own my own camera. So I told her I was interested, called my parents to run the idea by them and began looking at flight prices – all within the space of an hour.
With just enough money in my bank account to pay for the flights I had found, I declared to God that I would go no matter what. Once I was certain that I would be able to go, I began to tell friends. They encouraged me to try to raise some money by holding a bake sale or two in the 3 weeks before I left. So I did. I announced on Facebook what I was doing and organised a bake sale for the following week.
And that was when it began…financial blessing poured in from all around. People started giving me money – often large sums. In the few short weeks I had to fundraise, I made enough money to cover my flights and still have some left over. I can’t even begin to describe how overwhelmed I was by peoples generosity. But more than that I was overwhelmed by the understanding that God had been faithful to provide for me. He had given me my dream of travelling abroad and using my love of photography to serve him.
When I arrived in the Philippines, I realised almost immediately how wonderful His provision really is; that He blesses us abundantly so that we can pour that blessing out on others. But having spent all of my adult life worrying about my finances, I was reluctant at first to give my money away. I spent a few days wrestling with the idea but eventually God’s will prevailed and I began to share a little of the wealth he had blessed me with. Day by day my fear of being ‘poor’ on my return home decreased and my faith that God would provide for me once more increased.
Now I have a new financial goal to aim for which I will explain in more detail in another post. But I don’t doubt that if I continue to seek God and follow the path He sets before me – the money will come.
To all those who donated money towards my trip, I cannot thank you enough. Your generosity blessed me more than you will ever know. Not only did it allow me to fulfil a major goal of going on a mission trip but it paved the way for everything that God did for me while I was there. I will be updating this blog with more stories from my trip so please check back and read about just how important your donation really was.