compiled/edited by Paula Hemphill in Meet Other CAs
By now you've probably heard about our special campaign for this month: Ask August, where each day in the month of August, you do one thing for your World Vision ministry. If you're anything like me, this challenge is absolutely terrifying and one you may not want to participate in, but the one consistent thing for every CA in this ministry is that this work takes all of us out of our comfort zones and makes us do some things that we might think are crazy.
But that doesn't mean that stepping out into the challenge isn't scary. It is. And I find that the best way to combat fear is to sit down with my friends and talk about it. So, today I'd like to share with you the hearts of some of my friends. Here is some advice to keep you asking throughout August-- even when the going gets tough!
In this work-- even when I hear no after no-- I'm reminded of the scripture that says that we "have not, because we ask not." That's pretty simple. God is alive and well, He wants to move in His creation, but He wants us to be a part of it; He want us to be involved. He enjoys when we are involved in His wonderful works. With this in mind, He likes it when we ask for things that are close to His heart. The foreigner is very close to his heart. Leviticus 19:34 commands us to "treat [foreigners] as [our] native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt." Not to get too deep in this, but fast forward to today's Christian. We were foreigners in the land of captivity (Egypt), captive to sin, but we have been brought out of darkness and into His marvelous light," so now we have a responsibility to treat others, who are still foreigners as well as we would treat ourselves. We are compelled to move according to the Biblical command. In a more practical sense: How do I keep going after someone says no? Easy. Every no, puts you one step closer to a yes. Babe Ruth, the home run king was also a leader in strikeouts. Those who strike out the most, can also have the potential to score the most. Be ok with striking out.
If you're fearful, I think 1 Peter 5:7 says it pretty well. "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." The second suggestion is a bit more practical. Prepare. Know what you want to say and have it ready to go at any moment. Just start. Start with what you are most comfortable and then work up to things that are a bit more "difficult." You will notice that as you continue, your confidence will grow, and before you know it, you'll be doing things that you never dreamed of. But you have to start. Be nice to yourself. Within any challenge the hardest critic is always yourself. Don't be so hard on yourself if you don't hit a daily task, or make connections, or setup special services. Just keep going. If you forgot to do something, don't fret, just pick up where you left off. Remember, God loves you and cares for you.
- Javy Diaz (pictured left)
You might not know how to start these daily asks/conversations. I don't either, so I blame it on World Vision, CA’s! I say, "Hey, I have been challenged this month to make one ask a day, and you are lucky enough to be that ask. Would you just hear what I have to say? No obligation.” You might not feel like you know enough to make daily asks, but that's ok! Every time I share, I have to prepare myself with information. Looking for the stories of refugee children, learning more about the situation people are living in, learning to be a good resource for people who are seeking answers. This is always a growing experience for me….like the Grinch, my heart grows 3 extra sizes.
If you're afraid, remember you are not advocating for yourself. You are speaking on behalf of a forgotten group of people. Share your heart and your passion. Make it personal. What would you do if your sisters or brothers were forced from their home? Wouldn’t the church, your friends, neighbors all work together to help? People want to help, but don’t know what to do. World Vision responds to the need and uses our resources in the most effective way possible. Don’t be shy about telling all the good that World Vision is doing in the refugee camps (child safe zones, counseling, schooling). I talked to my friend today and shared about this video I saw last night (children of war, i think?), where the little boy who’s parents were killed, said: i love my parents and they USED to love me. If that doesn’t break your heart…..
Remember that if you're hearing no a lot eventually, there will be a yes. It is not my job to get people to do this. It is my job to inform and ask. God does the rest. When we take the pressure off ourselves to GET a sponsorship or an Refugee Responder our job becomes easier. I like to say that getting sponsorships is not in my job description. Asking is.
Ask August is a challenge. Make it a fun challenge and not a burden. Wear a key around your neck. maybe people will ask YOU! Remember, it's okay for people to say no.
- Celeste Sherman
Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.