Church member finds creative way to raise money for mission trip

Posted on: March 29, 2012

BY DIANA GORIN

Mission trips can make a difference. They show the extreme poverty of people who are thankful for one meal a week, while we eat three meals a day. Mission trips help change society for the better, all across the world in places like Nicaragua, South Dakota, South Africa, Ghana and Brazil.

With change comes a cost. Mission trips are expensive and can cost anywhere from $1,600 to $3,000; sometimes a person who is interested in joining a trip can change their mind depending on the cost. However, there are ways to do your part in helping the world without emptying the bank.

For example, Jenni Keller, a member of Northview Church’s Carmel campus, has been selling scarves made out of old t-shirts that she purchased at Goodwill. After buying 80 shirts out of faith she got to work on turning them into chic scarves, an idea she was able to get through brainstorming with friends and receiving a scarf as a Christmas present. She posted these scarves on her blog and Facebook where she began selling the scarves. Soon she was able to sell them in a coffee shop in Ohio and now, at our very own Capstone Café & Bookstore.

Through selling these scarves, she has also been able to reconnect with old high school friends in 10 different states. Jenni said the project has also been a humbling experience as she sees the power of God working through all these people who bought the scarves to allow her to go serve.

Going on a mission trip is something that you can’t just decide overnight. This choice requires prayer, faith, and a heart to serve. Jenni and her husband had been thinking about a mission trip for a long time, but thought of it as just a dream, as they had four young kids at home. However, with their 10-year anniversary approaching, they really began considering the idea.

“We always said we’d do something really cool. I was always kind of thinking a cruise or something, but one day I thought about Africa and I told Andy,” she said. “We knew that it would be easy to miss the opportunity and just go to the beach, but we also knew we would really regret it. We are so young and have so much time to travel for fun, but we want to experience things that are going to shape our lives, open our eyes to God’s work throughout the world and learn what God wants our part to be in it all. What cooler way to mark our 10-year anniversary and look ahead to our next 10 years together?”

Jenni’s current progress is at 214 scarves, with a goal of selling 20 more. If you would like to buy a scarf, you can visit Jenni on her Facebook page; as well, you can buy one at Capstone.

Mission trips are a great experience, and you can find creative ways to cover the costs, whether it’s a bake sale, homemade jewelry, or even just emailing a bunch of friends and family members asking for help. Those planning a mission trip also have 90 days of confirmed notice before leaving for their trip, so that’s three months of raising support that one can find.

A lot of times in life we miss the important parts because we are so caught up on the little insignificant details. We want to stay in our comfort zone to try and stay out of the stress that taking a risk might bring. However, when we do take a chance on something, we are able to experience what God intended for us: the true magic of what being a follower of Christ means.

“If you want to find life, give it away,” K. Paul Maurer, outreach pastor, said.

Jenni offered advice for people still a little apprehensive about the travel costs.

“If you are feeling compelled to go, you can’t let money be the reason you say no,” she said. We’ve been amazed at the family and friends who have come around us in support. It’s such an important part of the process of preparing for a trip, stepping out in faith and watching God do His thing. We never dreamed that we could raise all our funds, but that is where we are headed.”

For those who have trouble coming up with ideas on how to raise money, Jenni encourages people to brainstorm with their friends.

“I had also considered cleaning houses, offering childcare or running a half-marathon and raising support per mile,” she said. “You don’t have to be crafty or skilled, just willing to invest yourself and tell your story. People always connect with a good story.”

For more information on mission trips, please visit: http://www.nvcl.org/goodneighbor and under the bar labeled “opportunity type” select Global.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: