"One of the biggest things that God taught me throughout my time in college was that I had a part to play in the Great Commission"
What are your fears or obstacles regarding raising support?
What are tangible ways that you can overcome these thoughts or obstacles?
Who are people in your life that can help you while you raise support, whether it's through prayer, encouragement or sending a letter to a friend?
Ryan struggled with raising support.
What made you realize God was calling you to go on summer project?
One of the biggest things that God taught me throughout my time in college was that I had a part to play in the Great Commission- that despite my introverted nature, my self-consciousness, and my inability to articulate my thoughts clearly most of my time, He desires to use me. So when the campus director at my school suggested the idea of going on project to me, I really jumped on the opportunity. It was my last chance to go on one and I knew that it would offer an environment in which I would grow not only in my own personal understanding of God's love, but also in my ability and willingness to communicate that love to others around me.
What obstacle did you encounter along the way?
I was definitely uncomfortable with support raising going into my summer project. I was trying to trust God with it, but more often than not, it turned out that I just found myself hoping and praying that God would accomplish it all by himself without my participation. The idea of having to go out and send letters telling people about my project was already daunting enough, and calling people for follow-up calls was a downright terrifying idea.
What was the turning point?
Honestly, I don't think I really began to trust that God would be faithful with bringing in my support until I actually got to the Ozark Lakes summer project. Staff encouraged me to make follow-up calls and I made my first one there. Within a couple of days, the remaining 800 some dollars that I needed all came in, and a lot of that came from people that I had not even expected to give.
What do you recommend to others who face a similar obstacle?
The process of support raising is a lot less intimidating when you can remember that God is infinitely bigger than the sum that you need to raise. Praying, spending time in the Bible and talking with someone who has raised support before are excellent ways to do that. These steps allowed me to pinpoint where fear and anxiety had distorted my picture of God's goodness and faithfulness, and helped me realize that I could trust Him to provide for all of my needs.
Ryan attended Ozark Lakes Summer Project in 2012.