Only A Mist?

We are looking at the first financial quarter of 2011 and see that we can again open up to accepting applications. It has been a year since we could do that.  I am so excited about this opportunity.  Unfortunately,  I am also heavy with thoughts on how we continue to give grants when we are not receiving donations?  I prayed very hard before our first fund raising effort asking God to show me the direction to go.  Back then I was still pretty “raw” in my loss of Anna.  The pain was subsiding, but the energy level was just not there to start raising money.  I will be honest in telling you that  I do not know if the “running shoes” needed to fund raise are ready to be worn even now.  I fear God has expectations of me that I can not fulfill.  I am not a salesperson in any fashion.    I tried to sell Southern Living at Home for the last few years and I have stunk at it.  It is now only a hobby of mine.  I do not have the badger and pressure tactics needed for serious fund raising.   So we have not been able to even sell 1/2 of the 500 cookbooks we had published.  I do not think we have even sold enough to cover the cost of the books.  I tried so hard to market our cookbook for holiday sells but the sells were limited.  I tried at a craft show and broke even with the booth cost but no profit really was made.

I am frustrated and do not know what to do!  We have tried to market our fund raising efforts and no one seems interested.  I feel like I have failed.  I really felt the fatigue of failure when we reached out to our  past grant recipients.  We only  asked for their help in spreading the word of our efforts.  We did not expect anyone to donate money.  We just wanted AFF’s button to be placed on their website/blogs, maybe a mention of our past grant and how we were selling cookbooks as a fundraiser….anything,  and not one family responded.  We are a very small non-profit and my hope was that it was the Lords plan to have us continue to glorify Him by helping families bring their specially made babies home.  Even if we only awarded one grant a year.  I feel like that might not even be possible at the rate we are going.  How do you emphasize to people the importance of assisting families in their special needs process that do not “get” adoption when the families that do “get it” do not even respond?  If anyone has an answer I would love to hear it!  I feel like I am letting Anna down.  Will Anna’s Forever Families be a small non-profit that ran for a season and then disappeared like the mist spoken of in the fourth chapter of James?  Is the handful of families that we have given monetary grants to going to be the only one’s we were able to help?  I do not know and right now I find myself somewhat lost to the answer.  I feel so strongly that the Lord has great plans, but where does AFF fit in those plans?  I am praying and petitioning and trying very hard to listen to His voice for an  answer.   So as wonderful as it is to once again be able to accept applications for grant assistance this quarter, there is a big, black rain cloud hanging in the horizon.  Will this be the last quarter of giving?  Will I have 400 cookbooks in my garage for years to come?  How did it not work?  How is the importance of continuing God’s kingdom through sweet, special needs orphans so overlooked?  Oh, if I had lots of money.  Oh, if I had talents that could make lots of money.  Oh, the things I would do and the children I would help. 

This New Year I am struggling with where I now fit and my place in this HUGE undertaking.   I want our family who has been blessed beyond comprehension with the Lord’s bounty to be in His complete obedience.  How do we keep from being only a mist?  Where does He want Anna’s Forever Families to go?  I pray that some of you that read this will feel the call to forward this to those who can help by giving………not just forward this to those who need assistance.  We need people to spread the word of our mission not just the potential of money. 

 Blessings to you in 2011!  I pray the Lord will light your path and guide every step of this New Year.

James 4:14-15 “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In Him,
JoAnna

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