Thursday, July 29, 2010

we are not here alone

Last night Ben randomly decided that he would google our names to see what popped up. Well maybe it wasn't so random. Ben was curious to see how much of our personal information was floating out there for the world to see. In the results, was an article from the Alabama Baptist written in April. The story was written about an offering that was given at The Well to support our family as we made the move to San Francisco. I want to share that article with you as well as some thoughts I have about the gratitude that fills our hearts.


Calvary college students give big to help missionary

April 1, 2010

When Moses asked the Israelites to give and give and give to build God’s tabernacle (Ex. 35–36), they gave until he told them, “Stop; you’ve given too much,” explained Chris Brooks, college minister at Calvary Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, in Tuscaloosa Baptist Association.

So he passed the challenge to give along to his students, asking them to raise $9,000 to help support College Ministry Associate Lindsey Lee, who is moving with her husband, Ben, to serve a San Francisco church plant, Epic Church.

Brooks said at the same time he was praying for his students to literally step up to the plate, he was making “just-in-case” plans to pull $4,500 from the college ministry’s missions budget to make up for what they lacked.

“But I still laid the smack down and asked them to give,” Brooks said.

He told the students if they didn’t know where to start, then they should go to their closet and look at the most expensive shoes they own — “That’s how much you should give.”

When it came time to collect Feb. 3, the students didn’t give $9,000.

They gave $16,297.

They gave some Chick-fil-A coupons, American Eagle Outfitters gift cards and even some euros.

Some students pledged their entire summer’s paycheck.

“So when we added the $4,500 we were already planning to give just to meet our goal, we wrote a check to Lindsey Lee for $20,797,” Brooks said, “I was able to stand up in front of 600 to 700 college students and say, ‘You gave too much. It’s too much.’”

He remembers when he went into college ministry, people told him, “College students don’t pay and don’t stay.”

“It’s great to know just the opposite is true. They will give and they will go,” Brooks said, noting two of his students who recently graduated have already moved to San Francisco to help with Epic.

He plans for the college ministry to continue to partner with the church plant.

Tim Lovett is senior pastor of Calvary Baptist.

Ben and I are so thankful for the support we immediately received when we shared with Calvary about our plans to move to San Francisco to plant Epic Church. We were overwhelmed when Chris Brooks shared with us his plan for college students to give an offering at The Well. He said that he would challenge each one of them to at least give what they paid for the most expensive shoes in their closet. As you read, we witnessed college students giving out of their poverty to raise over $20,000 in one night!! We were humbled by their generosity and our hearts were so full of gratitude. We often found ourselves with no words to describe what this gift meant to us.

Now that we are living in San Francisco our hearts are continually flooded with gratitude because now we are experiencing the gift we were given. Day in and day out. Every time we write our rent check, load our laundry or transit card or buy groceries we are reminded that we are not here alone. All of these students and many of you who also support us share in this adventure with us. Thank you for your partnership. We sense your prayers, are strengthened by your encouragement and through your generosity our needs are being met.

Thank you for the part that you play in our lives, in Epic Church and in expanding God's kingdom!

With much love,

1 comment:

  1. Lindsey...this BLEW my mind! What an encouraging story! God is good and obviously has such a plan for you guys to be in San Fran! Love being able to keep up with you guys!