Hi again everyone!
The day after I booked my plane tickets, I came home to find a check on the counter (from our church) that covered (and exceeded) the $18,000 goal I had set! I wasn't expecting it, and it was an awesome surprise!
Unfortunately, I recently found out I may have to pay taxes (income and/or Social Security - possibly both halves) on my missions support, depending on what I'm using it for, how it was given, etc. This rather took the wind out of my sails. Although I'm still most of the way on my support raising, this could add up to a heftier chunk than I'd like. I'm really struggling with this realization, for several reasons. One, I now don't know how much I need for sure. I'm leaving in six weeks. I'm speaking at churches and don't know exactly what to tell them. Two, your donations were given as gifts from all of you! It seems bizarre that if a sweet little old lady walks up to me after church and hands me $20, that Uncle Sam should get a chunk. People have been asking all along, "Where can we donate so that you get 100% of the money?" Part of me worries that now people will not want to support me. I know I need to trust God with this, but I'm struggling, so please pray for me. I try not to include too much negative stuff on my blog, but this has been hard for me. We're currently trying to get in touch with some CPA's who can help me figure things out.
I also wanted to let everyone know that I am speaking at Mecca Community Church on Sunday. Please be praying for me, and if you are local, consider coming out! The service starts at 10:30. I will be speaking for about 20 minutes, so it will not be as extensive as the presentation at my church, but I didn't cut out any of the cute baby pictures!