Come help us finish fundraising! We will hold an Open House event March 29-31 at Rockville Christian Church’s youth building. Shop our Mission Store of handmade jewelry and home decor, participate in a wrap bracelet make-n-take workshop, buy baked goods and get some great thrift shop finds to support this ministry. We’ll also have information about what we do with all this time we spend in Poland and, of course, a jar for straight up donations.
We welcome contributions of homemade goodies for the bake sale and can definitely use some help setting up Thursday morning and cleaning up Saturday after we close up.
We hope to see you there!
We are grateful for all of our many supporters – those who continuously pray for us, those who take the time to encourage us, those who donate supplies for camp activities, those who do their gift shopping through our mission store, those who help us with fundraisers, those who drive us to and from the airport, those who take care of our cat and mow our yard, those who make sure we come home to food in our fridge, those who come to serve along side of us, those who give financial gifts outright. We are blessed by your efforts to help us do what God has led us to do, and we pray God will bless you in return.
Sometimes, the task of saving and raising $9000 every year can be pretty consuming. I can truthfully say I don’t spend any time worrying that the funds will be there. God always provides, and if there would come a year in which He didn’t, we know that would mean He has a different plan. But we know we can’t just sit back and tap our foot waiting for people to give. In fact, there is ministry to be done in the very act of fundraising. So we spend the 11 months of the year we are here in the US working toward that end. Sometimes, it wears me down. Last Sunday, I’m ashamed to admit, a couple of dear friends had the misfortune of seeing me in the midst of a little frustration moment as I’ve been planning fundraisers to carry out over spring break.
Today we received word that a check arrived in support of our ministry – a rather large check from someone Ben knew well back in high school and I have only met once. Two other families have given generous financial gifts to send us to this mission field. Combined, these gifts total $2350. I’d have to make 195 wrap bracelets, about 83 hours, to raise those same dollars through mission store sales! I don’t want to diminish gratitude towards those who have bought from our mission store. Those sales have raised $2638 this year! But I am feeling an overwhelming sense of thankfulness towards these families who have just purely followed God’s leading them to give abundantly.
We still have a ways to go to meet our basic need for this mission ($1385 at the time of this writing). But there is a light at the end. I hope that our spring break fundraiser (watch for announcements!) will close that gap, provide additional funds we can use to give Ukrainian refugee children scholarships for camp, and allow me to shift gears from fundraising to really preparing for the work God has called us to do. Is God leading you to be a Sender? I promise you will be blessed for your obedience and role in spreading the gospel. Financial Support Page
So… I’m sure some of you have started wondering if we still exist, are still going to Poland, and are still fundraising. The answer to all of those questions is YES! It has been a little crazy in the Porter family – mainly concerning some issues with Ben’s back. Those issues aren’t resolved, but we don’t think they are going to keep us from serving in Poland again this summer. So we’ve finally settled on dates (June 1 – July 1) and are watching airfare prices (which are not looking too great at the moment).
Here’s the 2018 service plan:
- We will serve in Poland June 1 – July 1
- We will travel to and encourage Christian churches in Poland, planted and/or supported by Polish Christian Ministries, as time and opportunity allow.
- We will do everything we can to help with upkeep and projects at Ostróda Camp, including yard work, cleaning, preparation of cabins, fixing stuff, tech help, prayer room, and encouraging and supporting our friends who do full-time ministry at the camp year-round.
- We will spend time growing relationships and serving the Holocaust Survivors who will travel from Israel. Although some of these are Messianic Jews, many of them do not know Jesus Christ as the Messiah. We will participate in worship and teaching sessions, plan and lead activities/crafts with them, and travel to different sites with them in partnership with a mission team from Georgia.
- We will serve during the Ukrainian Children’s Camp alongside a team from Rhode Island – teaching, baptizing and disciplining children and teens. This year’s camp will include refugee children from the war in Ukraine. Our involvement will include crafts, teaching and getting to know the kids in small groups.
- We will plan and lead in a number of capacities during a week of Polish Youth Camp. We don’t know much about the plans for this yet other than that there is no US church mission team, so we will likely have plenty to do!
- We will connect with friends met in the past who have suffered infant loss, as well as looking for other opportunities to minister through Embracing Grace.
- We will pray for unexpected opportunities to serve and minister – asking God to provide them, open our eyes to them, and give us what we need to act on them.
Will you please, as we are, cover all of these aspects of ministry in prayer before we even board a plane?
We do still have a financial need to be able to do this. Currently, we have saved, raised and received enough to cover a little more than our airfare. But we need approximately another $3300 (as of the time of this posting and depending on the price we end up getting for airfare) to cover ground transportation, lodging and meals. The money we would normally be spending on food, gas, etc. at home during the month of June, will certainly go towards this, as well as all other funds we can personally set aside, but we still won’t close that gap without the generous support of people like you. We ask that you prayerfully consider being a “sender”. Everyone knows I struggle so much with the asking. But we can’t do this without you, and I know what a blessing it can be to play the Sender role in fulfilling the Great Commission. In fact, we will pray for you to be blessed for your generosity! See our financial support page for a current graph of our fundraising and for information about giving.
Also, this is the bare minimum cost of spending the month on the mission field. There is so much more we’d like to do. Our mission organization, PCM, is raising funds to cover costs for all of these camps, including scholarships to give as many kids as possible a life-changing experience at church camp. So any funds we can raise beyond our initial need will go towards these important goals. There will also be expenses for craft and activity supplies that are not included in our fundraising goal.
Ok. So this has turned into a really long post. Hugs to those of you who are still reading! Watch for updates on fundraising events as soon as I figure those out!
Love & Gratitude
Ben, Rachel, Anna & Ethan
For my Montezuma Elementary friends or anyone who loves purple!
Purple and silver European lampwork glass beads accented with silver spacer beads on an adjustable snake chain.
Purple & Silver European Style Bracelet
Adjustable 6 1/2" to 8" - fits most female wrists
You’ve heard of “Black Friday”, no doubt, and probably “Cyber Monday”. I don’t know who makes this stuff up, but I especially like today’s label – “Giving Tuesday“. The idea is, in the midst of this season of gift exchanging, we take some time out to really give – helping others through our time, donations, goods or voice. I hope you will consider giving. It isn’t hard to find someone around you that is need, or people who want to do good but need your help to do it. To make it even easier for you, I’ll give you five ways to give today from right within my own family’s involvement in ministry!
Consider giving your time, donation, goods or voice through…
- Africa New Life
- Polish Christian Ministries
- Both of these ministries benefit when you purchase your Amazon goods through https://smile.amazon.com/ choose them as your charity
- Best 8 Days
- 4 Smiths On A Mission
- The Journey Back
Of course, it doesn’t HAVE to be this Tuesday… or a Tuesday at all! I’m getting this post out pretty late, but don’t let “Wednesday” stop you! The important thing is that your giving this Christmas is more than just presents wrapped in pretty packages. The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 God will bless you for your joyful giving and multiply it in ways you could never imagine. Watch Him.
HUGE thank you to all of our 2018 Supports as well as those who have supported us in countless ways in the past! We are so grateful for you!
Gift giving season is upon us. The shopping, commercials, and decorations have arrived too early in my opinion. I’m a firm believer in Thanksgiving having the attention it deserves, the attention we need to give it. But that soapbox aside, the Christmas Bazaars are here and The Journey Back Mission Store will be open for your gift-giving needs. Which brings me to another thing I’ve become passionate about… shopping local small businesses, handmade and nonprofits – “Shop Small” as they say. When you choose to buy gifts from people like us, you’re giving big.
Your gift means even more to the recipient because it is unique, handmade and carefully designed.
Your gift means something to us – you’re supporting our mission, helping us do what we love to do and what we believe we’ve been called to do.
Your gift means something to the Holocaust survivors, Ukrainian children, camp and churches who will receive our message of love and hope.
Isn’t that better than growing the bottom line of a big company? I’ll admit that a number of my gifts this Christmas will come from Walmart and Amazon. But where I can, I’ll be shopping small, and I hope you will too.
The Journey Back Mission Store will be set up and well stocked at these great local events:
You can preview and even claim your goods online by clicking here, but we will have a number of items only available at these in-person sales. Come see us!
European glass lampwork beads in pink and silver accented with ornate silver spacer beads on an adjustable silver-plated snake chain
Orders placed after December 15 will arrive after Christmas
Pink & Silver European Bracelet
Adjustable 6 1/2" to 8" - fits most female wrists