22 September 2014

Bummed Out and Burnt Out

I haven't been updating this blog very often since we started our monthly emails (you can sign up on the form at the top right of this website to get them), because a lot of my updates, photos and (limited) creativity have been going into those emails.  Now, however, I find myself mid-month and a little bit desperate.

I rarely talk about money here, but money has been consuming my waking hours of late.  Fred gets a salary from his projects which covers most of our monthly expenses, but I have to raise 100% of my salary and expenses for working for Lahash.  Over the past five and a half years that I've been raising support, I've always seen God provide for our needs, albeit on God's timing, not mine.  This is always stretching, but not particularly welcome.

Last week we found out that we need a letter from the Children's Court of the High Court of Kenya to prove that we have the permission of the court to travel out of the country with Innocent.  This is one of those government policies which I understand the purpose behind (to prevent child trafficking), but which make our life much harder.  Fred had to rush up to Nairobi yesterday to meet with a lawyer about this letter, and found out that it will cost us roughly $1,600 for lawyer fees, plus more for travel and hotel and food.  We emptied our accounts to pay the lawyer so that we can move forward, but it means that we have no money to pay for our family to travel to Nairobi next week for Fred and Innocent's visa appointments and Gretchen's passport appointment.

I don't know where the money will come from.  I feel like my faith for when/where money will come from is stretched to capacity, because we have this small, immediate need plus our airfare, which is coming in slowly but surely, and then money for travel and expenses once we reach the States.  I confess a little bitterness in my heart from stories of other friends living overseas who have had their total airfare raised by friends without their even asking or whose organization pays for their travel.  I'm so happy for those very deserving families to get to visit home, but I'm also pretty envious.  Sometimes raising money is just so hard, and I don't know what to do except come here, express a need, and ask for help.  I hate to feel like all I'm doing is begging for help, but we'd really like to come back to visit America for some much-needed rest and time with family and friends.

If you pray, please lift us up.  We need prayer for our finances, our continuing trust in God the Provider, and all the work that we're trying to wrap up in the next seven weeks before we are scheduled to fly out.

If you can give, please give.  You can visit our new fundraising page for these travel expenses, http://org.grouprev.com/otieno-trip, to give and to promote this cause.

This week, as Fred is in court on Innocent's behalf and I'm out in the villages for Mama Maisha, money is the last thing we want to be stressed about, so we just have to take a deep breath and cast our concerns on the One who cares for us.