"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
Like it is said in that verse, God is truly a God who provides, even in ways we don't expect or see! I'd like to share a testimony today about how God really blew me, and my mission trip team away with His provision.
From the 2nd to the 11th of December, 12 of us from Hope Church Brisbane will be making our way to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to support the local church there in their work with the community. On top of physically going there to lend a hand, we also wanted to bless them financially.
We brainstormed for different ways to raise funds, and eventually settled on doing a sausage sizzle at our University or different supermarkets, and busking at the Davies Park saturday markets in West End. We contacted Woollies, Coles, the University, everywhere we believed that we could get a stall to do our fundraising BBQ. We applied really late, and really rejoiced when we were told by one the supermarkets that had we secured a spot! Half of us got busy with all the preparations for the sausage sizzle, while the other half practiced for our busking.
However, the day before the sausage sizzle, we received very shocking news. Another team from our church had also previously applied for the same thing as well, and unfortunately, the supermarket had double booked us, thinking that we were from the same group. We really did not see that coming. In all honesty, it caused a lot of us to question where God was in this whole process. We wondered why something like this could happen, especially when everything seemed to be going so well. Our goal for the fundraising amount was $1000, and now with one avenue gone, it seemed so impossible to even reach a quarter of that goal. It did not help knowing that a group of friends who tried busking at West End before only received about $50 in an hour of busking; and boy were they talented. One was an excellent guitarist, the other a great singer. We looked hard at ourselves, and felt like we really lacked the practice and the talent to be able to appeal to the listeners at West End. But we did it anyway, with whatever faith we had in God to make something good out of the situation we were in.
And so He did.
We arrived at West End later than we hoped to, and all the "prime" spots were taken. So we settled with a cramped area along the walkway opposite some fruit shops. With nervous hearts and complete uncertainty in how people were going to respond, we started performing. Our friend had told us that the first 15 minutes or so would be the hardest, and nobody gave them any money until one of their own friends put in some. But within minutes, not even after our first song, a lady came from one of the fruit stalls and gave us $10!! My jaw dropped. She even gave us a bag of apples. And that just went on. The money just kept pouring in. Some people even put in $20 notes, and that took my breath away every single time. Many people stopped by, read our posters, chatted with us, and asked us what this 'gig' was all about. We gladly shared our mission for THE mission with them.
We were just so thankful that these people saw that we were doing all this for a cause. We were decent, but weren't amazingly good at whatever we were doing, yet people still gave because we believe they saw our hearts behind it. There were even times when we were clamouring, trying to think of the next song to sing, and people still dropped coins in even though we weren't actually performing! It was just, wow.
We made more than $500 that day, Imagine that. This amount just completely blew our minds; none of us ever imagined that we would be able to receive such an amount! It was such a humbling experience. We all learnt how it really wasn't our talent that got people to give. These people gave out of love and support to a good cause, and we thank them so much for every cent. We also saw how God multiplied what little we had to offer, and made it possible for us to raise this much money from simply busking for a few hours! On top of it all, we had such a good time and really bonded over this whole experience. And I'm sure all of us would say, we'd do it all over again in a heartbeat :)