If you're going to read one blog I've written through to the end then please let it be this one as I think you'll be encouraged!
Many of you will know that this year we've been having gift days on the first Sunday of every month to try and raise £310,000 for a number of projects. In summary these were £100,000 to launch our Sandhurst site, £99,000 to pay off interest free loans on our reception redevelopment, £50,000 to improve our facilities in the Kerith Centre and K2, £30,000 to pay the deposit and legal fees on the house behind K2 and a tithe of £31,000 to give away.
Including the November gift day we'd raised an amazing £255,050, leaving us with £54,950 to raise in December.
The December gift day brought in an additional £30,700, giving us a total of £285,750. To be honest I was amazed with that total - if at the start of this year you'd have told me we'd get that close to the total I'd have been delighted. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has given this year - the generosity of our community never ceases to amaze me.
But God wasn't finished there. For the last two and a half years a group of us have met to pray every Thursday morning from 6-7am, specifically asking God for money and for financial breakthrough. Last Thursday, having a good idea what the total was, we prayed that God would do something amazing and bring in the rest of the money before Sunday. I think we prayed it with varying levels of faith, but it's amazing what happens when we take our little bit of faith and ask our big God for what seem like big miracles. Because on Thursday afternoon I got an email to say that an anonymous donor wanted to give £31,000 to the gift day. How amazing is that!
So the total is now £316,750 - £6,750 more than we asked God for at the beginning of the year. I'm so encouraged as a leader, both by our willingness as a community to give, and more than that by God again coming through for us and reminding us that he is Jehovah Jireh - our provider.
There's so much more that I could say, but for now I just want to encourage us to think bigger thoughts and dream bigger dreams for God - we just never know what he might do.
ps - if anyone has made pledges which that have still to redeem, or would still like to give to the gift day, then please still do it - everything that comes in beyond the total will be tithed and then go to improve the facilities in all our locations. Just fill in one of the envelopes on a Sunday and indicate it if for the gift day, or give online here.