Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Giving Sacrificially, Receiving a Double Portion




A Weekend in Los Angeles

This last weekend we were blessed with an opportunity to join friends at Clarity LA, a church based in Santa Monica (pictured above). We were a part of a weekend event called Compelled where they invited a handful of people from around the country to come check out what they're doing and be ministered to. It was absolutely a time of spiritual refreshment and meeting some wonderful people.
Of all the stories from this weekend, there were two that really stuck out to us and profoundly encouraged us...

A Thousand Dollars and a Keyboard

On Saturday we had shared with the group about our work in Tanzania and our upcoming return in January. Among those in the group was the children's pastor from the church. He is a musician who had been saving up for a keyboard for a few years. As soon as he got close to enough money something urgent would come up and he'd have to use his savings. After hearing us share, he felt God compelling him to give the $1,000 towards us and our mission to Tanzania. Though his income was limited and his desire was to buy this keyboard (and lead worship with it), he decided that it could wait. He wrote us a check and planned on giving it to us the next day at church.
All I can say is that God knows how to bless and love His children. The following morning was Pastor Appreciation Day and the congregants at that church love and gave sacrificially to bless their pastors. They first gave to the Lead Pastor then the Associate Pastor and lastly, they had the Children's Pastor come up and they covered his eyes as they rolled up a brand new keyboard for him (one that is apparently more expensive than $1,000). Not only that, but that same morning an anonymous donor gave him $1,000 to pay off some of his school debt. He decided in his heart to give and God literally returned to him a double portion! It definitely made giving that $1,000 to our ministry no big deal at all.

Two iPhones

On Saturday we had finished up our morning session together and were meeting up for lunch at a nearby mall food court. I called my friend to ask them where they were and he asked if I had a GPS on my phone, I jokingly replied, "No, I don't have a smart phone, I have a dumb phone." Well that little exchange must have stuck in his head, because that night he decided that instead of selling his old iPhone 4, he was going to give it to us. When we lived in Tanzania, we had looked for an iPhone that we could use, but found none that were affordable for us. With electricity so often being out, a smart phone makes it possible to still check email and use the internet. So thankful for that!
On Monday, we were about to head to the phone store to talk about options for using the phone stateside. As we shared the story in passing to our host here in Huntington Beach, she went back to her room and got another iPhone that belonged to her friend but no one had any use for anymore. So in two days, we now have two iPhones that will come in very handy when we return to Tanzania!
Receiving Prayer and Encouragement in LA

Need for Monthly Supporters

It blesses us so much to share about these needs being met, and at the same time we have some major needs still ahead of us. Without a doubt, our biggest need right now is committed monthly supporters. Being able to meet people face to face and share what we're doing is great and often leads to them making a donation, like the children's pastor from the story above. But when we return to Tanzania in January, we won't have that opportunity which is why we need supporters to give on a regular monthly basis; supporters that believe in discipling the nations, believe in orphan care and trust the ministry that we are leading at Global-Effect.
We LOVE sharing stories like we did above, because when people give sacrificially out of their own volition, it's beautiful. We don't love asking for money in general, but as our friends and family, we must make our needs known and hope in the Lord that you will choose to partner financially with us. We need monthly financial support pledges now, not just when we move back to Tanzania. We need one-time financial gifts now, not just once we get on an airplane to move back to Africa. Please consider giving financially to our family and the ways that God is leading us in Tanzania.
Be sure to stay up to date with us on Facebook where we post more regularly. It is an honor to partner with you in advancing God's Kingdom, in the states and in Tanzania.
Blessings,
Brandon, Melissa and Promise Stiver

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