I have a confession to make. Here I am, needing to write a year-end donor letter to encourage you to give to a worthy cause. But I am stuck, not really knowing how to write it or what to say.
I look around, and see so much hype about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and who knows what else. How can a letter like this compete with all that? How can it encourage someone to support yet another cause?
So I thought that perhaps this year I should just say thank you. Yes, thank you for being part of the work of the Lord. Thank you for joining us in making a difference in so many people’s lives. I want to say thank you because this is not a popular nor a flashy cause. It’s only a small church with a biblical counseling center and a ministry of the Word, which gave all it had to the Lord for His service. What’s so popular about sacrifice? What is so flashy about self-denial to serve others in need? Not much, really, but you saw it as being important. Thanks to you and others like you we are still here, and we are still making a difference as the Lord leads.
I wanted to say thank you because it is through your prayers and your sacrifice that the Word of Hope ministry continues to reach people in all continents of the world, including pastors and schools who share it with others. There are no cameras, no flashing lights in the hills outside of Manila, Philippines. That’s where the most poor and desperate people are receiving the gospel and the message of the Word of God. There are no banners along the dusty roads of Africa, where hope continues to be shared.
I wanted to say thank you on behalf of the many silent voices of people you know — and others you don’t — who have been touched by hope and a new purpose in life. They are the voices of marriages mended, lives turned around, drug addicts who have given their life to the Lord instead of a substance, parents who found their children changed, children who found their parents repented. These are voices who are raised to the Lord every day in grateful prayer, and that prayer makes mention of you, because in some way the Lord has moved you to pray for this ministry and to support it.
While I offer you thanks for what you have done, I raise my heart to the Lord as I know many of you do as well, looking forward to new lives that will change through some of the ministries the Lord has led us to be part of. It is a heart filled with gratitude, because it really isn’t our work, but His, and He has given us the privilege to be part of it. It is a heart filled with joy, because you have joined Him, too, and can share in that privilege as well.
So, no, the 1628 biblical counseling sessions we have been able to offer without charge cannot possibly compete with the lure of a Black Friday. The hundreds of people who receive the Word of Hope messages may not be as appealing as a Cyber Monday. A small church planted by the Lord in an area where others did not want to go may not compete with the change left over for a Giving Tuesday. But if we look at it we’ll see that there is no real competition, is there? Because a Black Friday, a Small Business Saturday, a Cyber Monday and even a Giving Tuesday will all be gone, but the changes in people’s lives will remain, and like a ripple in the water will continue to affect others as the Lord wills.
Well, here we go, then. Thank you for giving to the Lord even without the lights or the glitter. Thank you for your sacrifice. I know your reward will be great.
May the Lord bring joy into your life, now and in the days to come.