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Pressures of this time of year

This is a demanding time of the year.  For many, it starts with Halloween and the cost of costumes for the kids and candy for the neighbour’s kids.  Then we slide into Thanksgiving with the cost of a Turkey and the trimmings - plus travel costs for those of us with out-of-town family.  Black Friday comes next with pressure to buy the deal of the century.  This rolls into Small Business Saturday, then comes Cyber Monday followed by Giving Tuesday.  

We’re only on December 2nd and I wonder where the money is supposed to come from to participate in all of this.  Our in-boxes are clogged full (and, yes, I am aware I have added one more with this email.)   As I lead Orchard: Africa through the last weeks of the year, I pray.  

I pray hard.  Here is what concerns me. I am told that a major portion of non-profit money comes in during this time of the year.  I am aware that ministries are pushing hard financially so that they can end the year well.  Non-profits all over the country are asking for those Giving Tuesday and Year-End contributions. I see all of this and I am hesitant to enter into the fray.

Does Orchard: Africa need to end the year well?  Of course.  

I know that you,  our donors, are generous, thoughtful and faithful givers. Thank you so very much!!!!

Do I want to send out almost daily reminders from now until year end, competing for your attention in an already loud world?  Not really.  It just doesn’t sit well with me.  So, I turn to prayer and to scripture and this is what comes to me. Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not out of regret or compulsion.  For God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (1 Corinthians) Each one of us should give, not under compulsion, but as our heart leads us before God.   This kind of giving will produce no regrets and will give us joy.  In giving this way, we can trust in the grace of God to lead us to good works that will flourish.  We can also trust that God will provide for us when we look to him to guide us in our giving.

Orchard: Africa sent one email yesterday about our Impact Centre  We will send one more informative email this year about our goals for 2020 and how you can partner in this endeavour.  That’s it as far as donating is concerned. I have one simple request - that you hear from God about your giving and that you trust in his grace – as do we. May we think on these things!

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