Last month, I wrote an article titled Coming Out. I shared how I encourage everyone to establish and share with a community of Christ followers in their life on all the issues in their life, based on James 5:16. I had a few people write me back questioning me on this, as it is a foreign concept for so many. This month, I am challenging you to Come Out for Hope for Wholeness.
Recently, I was once again privileged to attend the Carolina Pregnancy Center annual banquet. This year they moved their banquet from the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium to the Spartanburg Expo Center. The Auditorium held about 1200 people with round tables and stage, etc. Last year they maxed out at 1250. This year, they had 1750 people in the new location.
Wow—people are really willing to come out to save the unborn. I’m one of them. From the very little we have, my wife and I find money to support this work. Each year, I have tears of joy in my eyes while hearing the stories of lives changed as CPC spares lives and leads people to Christ. It is extremely moving.
Tonight’s speaker was Tim Tebow’s mother, Pamela Elaine Tebow. I cried through most of her story as she told of sparing Tim from an abortion which others urged her to have to save her own life. Videos were shown and many God-stories told of Tim using his influence as a football player to lead countless people to the Lord. They are a part of many ministries, and she encouraged everyone in attendance to support CPC because they were daily “telling the other side of the story of choosing life through Jesus Christ.”
As I sat and listened, I thought about our ministry and what we do. This is exactly what we do. We are daily telling the other side of the story of choosing life through Jesus Christ.
Each day, I am privileged to serve the Lord in this ministry capacity and to work alongside amazing men and women who have walked away from a past in homosexuality. Our privilege is to serve those that the Lord brings our way. On a daily basis we are meeting with men, women, teens, and families, helping them see the true hope and healing through the cross of Christ.
However, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t tell you that it can be overwhelming at times, between being shorthanded and having a lack of funds to cover all of the needs. After losing my assistant director, Tony Moore, last year due to budgeting issues and his desire to move on with his church, I am left to do the load of the office with the help of my office manager.
We have our hands in so many things that it is really hard to keep up. We’re managing a volunteer and part-time ministry staff spread over three states, responding to email and constant phone calls from hurting parents, along with counseling and trying to grow our video series, Hope For Wholeness, and more.
For a few years, starting about ten years ago, we had fundraising banquets like CPC’s. The first one was a success. That year we worked very hard as a team and were able to fill the tables and raised about $24,000 for the ministry. This was huge at the time and would be today. At this event, we had ministry partners who paid for the tables, but we had to fill them by inviting people ourselves.
After this event, a fundraising coach encouraged me on another approach, where people did not pay for the tables but invited their friends. Unfortunately, this did not work and brought in only a fraction of the previous year and in following years we actually lost money on the event.
At these events, including the first year, it was difficult to get people to invite anyone to our event, as people did not want to come out and be associated with the issue. They were willing to pay for a table but not invite anyone. The whole premise of a banquet is to get table hosts to not just pay for their table but also be responsible to fill it. This process grows the organization’s donor base. This is one of the reasons that there are very few ministries like ours in the country as it can be difficult to fund.
Since that time, our newsletter has become our sole venue of fundraising, in addition to the grants we received for our video series. Despite these setbacks with fundraising, we have grown a great deal over the years as word has spread and ministry partners stepped up.
I have decided that it is time to get back to having these events, as they are encouraging to the community and will hopefully grow our support base of partners. My intention is to have a fundraising banquet and a conference this fall. We must have your help for these events to be successful. We need volunteers, we need board members, we need new partners and monthly partners. We need partners, like you, that are willing to tell their friends about Hope for Wholeness and invite them to events and ask them to give.
I recently met with another fundraising coach that told me that the best way was to have a team of about 20 or more people. Each person on the team would ask 20 or more people to give to the ministry, to raise a particular financial goal. Afterward, we would have a celebration banquet. Because of my experience with banquets, I was skeptical.
Most people probably don’t think about how difficult it is to come out of homosexuality, when speaking against it. Last month’s article, Coming Out, touched on a part of this journey to “come out,” in not keeping your past or struggle a secret. If our struggles remain secret, we will fall continually because we are all alone. Our secrets have power over us. (2 Cor 10:3-5; James 5:16)
The question is—Are you willing to do the same? Are you, as a ministry partner, willing to have your involvement with Hope for Wholeness not be a secret so that even more can get the help that they need?
Are you glad that Hope for Wholeness exists? There are so many that would love nothing better than for us to shut our doors to silence our voice and stop telling the other side of the story. The gay community does not want us sharing our conversion to Christ and our walk away from homosexuality. However, our stories of changed lives are having an impact and now we are being able to grow our reach due to our Hope for Wholeness video series.
While the series has been a financial benefit, its costs have far exceeded its gains to date; please know that we need your help. We are now looking at retooling the series to make it more affordable and more readily available in an online application to individuals, but this takes additional funds that we don’t have.
We are planning for the fall fundraising banquet and one-day conference and will share all the details as soon as possible.
I would love to start hearing back from you that you would like to be a part of these events and a part of Hope for Wholeness. If you are already giving as much as you can, thank you. You are helping us make a difference. If not, maybe you could give more or become a monthly partner. Would you also consider speaking with someone about Hope for Wholeness and asking them to become a partner? Or if you are interested in serving on the board, we can send you that information.
If you want to be a part, in some way, I would love to speak with you. I’d love for us to be able to create a team of 20 or more people that would be willing to ask others to partner with us. What an incredible blessing that would be! Would you be willing to be on such a team? If so, we will meet as a team, encourage one another, pray for one another, and work together.
Are you willing to ask people to come to the fall banquet? Volunteer for the conference? Volunteer around the office? Make phone calls to pastors about Hope For Wholeness and Hope for Wholeness? We would be glad to train you in these areas and have your help.
Today everyone around this issue is being encouraged to “Come Out.”
Are you willing to COME OUT to help ensure Hope for Wholeness’s success, so that the other side of the story will continue to be told of freedom from homosexuality through Jesus Christ? I hope so and I hope to be hearing from you soon.