I remember like it was yesterday. I was 14 years old and signed up to go on a mission trip to Italy. The cost: $2400. There I was, a teenager, with no money and no job. To make it more interesting, I couldn’t exactly rely on my parents to just “give” me the money because they didn’t have $2400 lying around. What seemed like a mountain of an obstacle in the beginning turned out to be nothing short of an awesome experience. It was through prayer, trust in Lord, and fundraising that I was able to get a taste of missions at an early age.

So how does someone who doesn’t have money and a who doesn’t have a job expect to raise monetary funds to go on a mission?

  • PRAY – I can not focus on this enough. This is the single most important thing to do when planning on participating in a mission trip. Prayer that God is calling you to this ministry, prayer that he will prepare you heart for the mission, and prayer that He will provide support for you to go.
  • PLAN – I know I touched on these in my previous post, I just want to make sure that this is emphasized. I’m not saying that God will not prepare and provide last minute, but I really believe it takes time for God to cultivate that calling in a person. Planning ahead is key.

Here are some ideas that I did when I was fourteen to help pay for my trip to Italy with Saints Equipped to Evangelize:

  • Prayer Letters – Spread the word to those around you including friends and family. Let them know you are going and why you are going. Even if they do not give financially they can prayerfully support you and the mission. It can be simple and straight forward. You can mail it or make it as a post card and send it out. Christmas mail lists are a great place to start. Don’t just send them to Christians either, send them to everyone. Cards like these can be a great witnessing tool to those around you who may not have a personal relationship with Christ as well. Below is an example of what I did for a prayer card:

  • Spaghetti Feed – Our team went around to local grocery stores and asked for donations of spaghetti and spaghetti sauce. Most of them were willing to donate dented cans and a portion of the spaghetti. Garlic Bread was also donated. With the support of our church, we put together a Spaghetti feed fundraiser and raised hundreds of dollars toward the mission.
  • Car Wash – The ever so popular car wash. It’s so simple and so much fun. When you do a “free” car wash and ask only for donations, you can be surprised at how much people are willing to donate to your cause. Most grocery stores or other places of business have an outside water line and will allow you to use their water. On a good weekend, this can bring in hundreds of dollars.
  • Churchwide Yard Sale – This is a fantastic fundraiser. We had the support of the church to participate in a churchwide yard sale. If you are a person who enjoys Yard Sales, you can’t help but get excited to go to one that has a “multiple family” sign on it right? This is even better. If you can drum up the support to have people in your church family participate, you can create a HUGE yard sale and make hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars to support your mission.

Those were just a few fundraisers that the group and I did to fundraise for missions. The best part of this journey was the support from our church. Without them to come alongside us and help out, going would have been a greater challenge. Two weeks before we were ready to go our team fell short of raising all of the money by $2400. As we were commissioned out in front of the church one of the people on the team made an announcement that we fell short of our monetary goal. There was a special offering that wasn’t planned and the church body came up with $2600 in donations! God can and God will provide when He is calling you to the mission field.