I'm so thankful I just might melt.
To explain why, let me give a bit of summary of what life has been like since I started this path:
August 2009 – I discovered TEN3, and realized this was where God meant for me to serve. I started volunteering as an editor. I also began a part-time job at South Plains College.
July 2010 – I went to Africa with the team for the first time, and fell in love with it. At the end of this trip, I was asked to become TEN3's curriculum department head.
August 2010 – discontinued the job at SPC. I realized I wanted to pursue TEN3 wholeheartedly, and my boss needed someone who could give more than I could.
October 2010 – At SIM's candidate orientation, I was accepted as a long-term appointee. I then began the process of support-raising.
November 2010 – June 2013: continually juggling four jobs: TEN3, support-raising, substitute teaching, and working "rush" periods at the SPC bookstore.
I've been content to have multiple "jobs to pay for my job"*. Content, but not satisfied**. I've been wanting for so long to get my full support so that I could serve with focus, hopefully go to Africa long-term, and no longer be living pieces of a life.
I've been raising support for nearly three years. I'm still at just 43% of what I need monthly pledged to come in. However, there have been precious people who have been giving faithfully, and that money, besides providing for my three short trips to Africa, has built up enough that I could be fully funded for a year. SIM has approved my going active for a year on these funds, starting September 1.
This means that instead of working four jobs and only getting paid for two, I now have just two jobs (TEN3 and Relationship Development Ministry) and can draw a salary for them. Oh, and those benefit things which are supposedly good for me ;)
This has been approved with the goal of reaching 100% support by the time the 12 months are over. With my time and energy less divided, I will be able to focus on visiting people about supporting my ministry, and also running mini mission trips as part of our goal to raise 2000 laptops. That, and the programming/database course we're working on will keep me plenty busy!
And after that? Well, if we get those 2000 laptops, TEN3 will be generating income. With that income, we hope to be able to look into hiring African writers to help us develop curriculum in the other areas that are needed. And if I have full long-term support then, I'll be able to go to Africa long-term to work with them on education that combines technology, the African context, a biblical worldview, and purposeful discipleship to be something truly transformational.
I hope you'll rejoice with me, that at long last I can "go active" as a missionary. Please pray that the Lord make this year fruitful in every way for His long-term plans, for me and TEN3 and Africa.
*An expression I got from the movie of The Freedom Writers Diary
**A lesson Anthony likes to teach from George MacDonald's Thomas Wingfold, Curate