In honor of Valentine’s Day and the 2011 mascot, we wanted to send a special message from our staff to you:
Raising thousands of dollars can seem like a task you aren’t equipped for, but this is something you can do with God’s help. One valuable thing to remember with fundraising is that it’s all about relationships and sharing an opportunity (not a need). Needs don’t motivate. Opportunities do! Share the opportunity for people to join you in what God is going to do this summer.
As it is with almost anything, we seem to always look for the easiest way to do things. When it comes to fundraising, sending out fundraising letters is the easy way. Let’s be honest, we’d all love for every dollar to be raised from one fundraising letter, but that rarely, rarely happens. And in fundraising, the easy way is not the most effective way.
The reality is that you can and will likely raise some money using the fundraising letter method. But, I can guarantee you the most effective way to raise money is to actually meet in person with people who know you and love you. You will have so much more success when you share your calling and your passion about this summer and invite others to join you. When others see your passion, when they hear how you have answered the call to go, and when they are given an opportunity to get involved, the majority of people will.
One other encouragement I want to share with you is to ask specifically what you want people to give. People want to meet your expectations, so ask them to give a specific amount. The number you ask for may be different for each person/family you meet with, simply because people have the ability to give more or less than others. Evaluate each person/family you meet with and adjust the amount you ask for based on what you believe is their giving potential. You might ask for $50, $100, or $500. Whatever you do, ask specifically.
So again, as you are fundraising remember these two important things: 1) Offer the opportunity for people to join/partner with you in what God has called you to do this summer, and share the opportunity in face-to-face visits; 2) As you share the opportunity, ask for a specific amount you want each person to give.
These are just two strategies among so many, but the one thing that should probably go without saying is that you must pray. Ask God to move in the hearts and minds of those you contact. Seek Him continually, trust Him, that He’s faithful to provide for what He’s called you to, and then watch Him use your efforts to supply what’s required.
Let us know how your fundraising is going!
College Students! What are you doing this summer? Maybe you haven’t nailed down exactly what you want to do yet. I know, I know, it’s hard to commit to anything a few months out, but could it be that God is calling you to go serve on an iGo Xtreme Journey (XJ)?
We still have spots available for XJ’s in South Asia, East Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Think about it…you could be a part of the very beginnings of making Him famous among people where there is little to no witness of the Gospel.
Look, I know there are many things you could do over the summer months, many of them worthwhile. But imagine for a moment trekking with other students into a village of people who’ve never seen a copy of the Word, or teaching English to students who not only want to learn your language, but who are also eager to know every detail of your life. You could likely be the first person to share with them the name of Jesus and His story. Imagine standing next to a temple or mosque, seeing with your own eyes so many men, women, boys and girls bow down to false idols and false gods. You know just how worthless and meaningless their worship is, and as you look into their eyes you call out to the One Living God to move among them. Imagine a summer where God reveals more of Himself to you than ever before. Imagine coming home different- more in love with Christ and completely sold out to His global mission.
You may have an idea of what God has planned for you this summer, or you may not have a clue, but I wonder… have you considered and actually prayed what He has for you? I love this quote by William Carey, considered by many as the father of modern missions, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.” What are you expecting this summer? What will you be attempting for God this summer? The application deadline of January 31 is quickly approaching. Maybe, just maybe God is speaking to you. Maybe He’s telling you that this summer His plans for an iGo XJ are big, and those plans include you.
During this season of thankfulness, we wanted to highlight staff members and their families and let them share a few of the things they’re most thankful for. Let us know what you’re thankful for in the comments section!
- God’s unfailing provision
- Thoughtful family, friends, & supporters
- The opportunity to have some pretty amazing life-adventures
- The Lord’s provision in all things
- The people He has placed in my life, that I get to walk alongside each day
- Juice Boxes
- For the opportunity to get to serve the Lord and work doing things I love, through the church and through iGo
- For two really amazing kids who teach me so much
- My gracious and faithful, smoking hot wife
- The grace I’m shown daily that gives me a clearer picture of the Gospel
- A staff to work with that is encouraging, sharpening and like-minded
- Shoes. Cute shoes can make anybody look good.
Jami Lee Gainey
- The first ever iGo conference, and how it reminded me of how blessed I am to work with people who love and encourage others to love the church
- The undeserved opportunity to be a part of a church plant alongside my husband and other great friends
- The blessing of experiencing the TSSG trip this past summer in Japan with my husband, mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law
- For a little girl in Ethiopia who will soon become my daughter
- Thankful I was blessed to have 12 great years with my lab, Mo (he passed away in August).
- For Napoli’s Lunch Special. 2 slices of round Italian food for only 4 bucks.
- A son that’s potty trained
- Friends who faithfully petition the Lord on my family’s behalf
- Grace and hope that come through Jesus
- Getting to spend time with family
- Pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin candles - basically anything pumpkin flavored
- My wife
- The people around me who have pointed us to adoption
- Getting to work with good friends and leaders
- Parents that live out the Gospel
- iGo Partners that give financially and walk alongside me
- Cute Aprons
- The Word of God
- My husband
2003 began with us doubling the size of our staff. We went from one to two full time staff members. Brad Cardwell joined the team after a series of meetings. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted Brad to join us, but that was only because I didn’t want to be held responsible for messing up his life. We still didn’t know if this whole idea was actually going to work. However, we both came to an agreement that God was calling him to do this, and we stepped out on faith once again. Kent Jones was around as well that year, but he was technically working for The Go Foundation, a ministry partner. He spent the majority of that year on a bus with Mercy Me with The Go Show tour calling students to go global.
We also left our office at Lake Point Church that year and moved into an office building in Rockwall, Texas. Brad and I shared one small office in that building for half of the year, which was perfect for us since we only had one computer and two small desks. We didn’t even have a printer. One of my favorite memories of that year was checking Brad’s new iWitness email account since we only had the one computer. Sometimes I would answer his email for him when I knew the answer and it was quick. I would sign it Bradster and let him proof it before I sent it. I watched his eyes and when I saw him read his name, I would click send before he could do anything about it. I am still waiting for him to see the humor in that.
God also began rewarding our efforts that summer by sending us more students. When it was over, we had mobilized 60 students that year, almost double the number from our first two summers combined. But He didn’t make it easy. He had more lessons for us to learn and challenges for us to watch Him overcome.
When our staff thinks about 2003, we think about SARS. Maybe you remember something about that, maybe you don’t. It was basically the Swine Flu of 2003, but it was almost exclusively isolated in Asia. While no big deal to most of the Western world, it became a huge factor for a young ministry preparing to send teams to Asia. As the summer drew close, we began to realize that our team headed to East Asia needed to be relocated. With about a month before departure, we were introduced to some M’s in Thessaloniki, Greece that were willing and able to host our team on such short notice. Looking back at the end of that summer, it was interesting to see all the similarities in that team and the small team Paul led in Acts 16 and 17. Some of those similarities are better left unwritten, and I’m sure that team would agree.
After finally getting the college team settled, SARS showed up in Taiwan, where one of our high school teams was scheduled to serve. (This team, was actually first recruited to serve in Russia, but were moved when authorities in that area of Russia closed some doors.) With a little over three weeks left, we made the call to move this team as well. Once again, God connected us with an M who was just crazy enough to say yes to hosting this team in Cologne, Germany. And when I say crazy, what I mean is he was in the process of moving his family to Cologne. He moved to Cologne the same week that our team showed up.
This was such a huge lesson for us regarding the sovereignty of God. Russian authorities and respiratory viruses are all at His disposal to accomplish His purposes. He used all of that and more to connect us with a new friend in Germany. In fact, our JSI program was named after this M partner, and we still work closely with him today. But that part of the story will come in the next few weeks, as the countdown to our 10th Anniversary Celebration continues. I hope you will tune in next week as we continue to demonstrate this clear and constant theme: God has faithfully sustained, grown, and developed this ministry every step of the way.
At some point during this decade it seems that most of our pictures from 2003 were misplaced. We do have a good selection from our Japan high school team (Japan was not affected significantly by SARS). You can view those pics right here.
In addition, we thought it might be fun to show you some of the logos and artwork we have used over the past 10 years as well. Feel free to comment on these gems as you view them here.
An estimated 18,000 people proved their warrior status at the two day event this weekend in Forney, TX. Among these were six of our staff and several friends.
“It was the craziest freaking day of my life,” said Shu. “We all looked like new born giraffes out in that mud. You could NOT stand up. The coolest part was how every part of my body was hurting until I stopped running and then I felt fine.”
Ky said, “The coolest part was the mud slide - you get cooking on that thing. It was just like going down a water slide. Another fun part was when you swam over the logs and got out of the water and felt refreshed - ready to go again.”
“Hopefully we’ll make this an annual tradition and more friends and staff can join us next yaer,” said Allison.
Below are some of the pics Allison took during the event:
We decided to record one of our staff meetings for the three people that read our blog and who might wonder what a day in the iGo office is like. None of this is planned, staged, scripted or any other synonym you can think of. We tried to filter through the boring stuff. Hope you enjoy the ridiculousness that is our staff:
The day Allison edited this video was the SAME day we found our new office! Praise the Lord! Be praying for us as we transition to the new location in Wylie.
At iGosia we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas. Check out this sweet video!
In case you can’t understand us due to all the laughter, here’s the list:
1. Suitcase full of T-shirts and Jeans
2. Fake Bus Passes
3. iGo Dollars
4. Flying Footballs
6. Payment Deadlines
7. Different Accents
8. Busy Jimmys
9. iGosian apples
10. Awesome T-shirts
11. Mustard Bottles
From iGosia to you - “We hope you have top of sweet celebration with families this season of holiday!”
“You will be the same person next year except for the books you read and the people you meet.” I’m not sure who said that, and I’m not sure I completely agree with the statement, but I have to admit the quote does have some truth to it. I like what Shu has said, “Readers are leaders and leaders are readers.” It’s hard to argue with the truth of that statement.
I’m not a guy who really loves reading. For the most part, I have to intentionally make myself read. Over the last several years, the practice and discipline of reading has become much easier and something I enjoy more and more. I want to be a guy who is constantly learning, and one great way to learn is to read. So, I do my best to read at least one book a month.
I recently read “Wild Goose Chase,” by Mark Batterson, and it has made a big impact on my life. In fact, it was one of several books God used as my wife and I prayed about and ultimately made the decision that God was leading us to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia. Many things stuck out to me as I read the book, but one specific thing continued to come to mind as I read: “What do you feel God calling you to do now that if you don’t do, you will regret later in life?”
When I look back at my life thus far, I have had my fair share of regrets, especially regarding risks I didn’t take, times when I played it too safe. Yet, I was challenged as I read this book, that as a believer, God hasn’t called me to live a safe, comfortable, risk-free life. His desire is that I be a risk taker for Him, to not always look for the comfortable and easy way, but to trust Him and step out in faith and obedience when He calls.
The decision for us to adopt was one I wrestled with for a long time. But as I continued to go to the Word, realizing that it is God’s primary way of speaking to us, I asked for wisdom. As I prayed and sought what God desired for us, I could not get away from the prompting and voice of the Spirit nudging us to step out in faith, to trust Him. So, although we are uncertain of what God has in store for our family, we move forward with confidence and assurance that He has called us to adopt, specifically from an “unreached” people. No matter what may come our way, whether it be joy, pain, or some combination of the two, we are excited about what God has in store. We are determined as a family to walk in obedience to Father, living our lives with no regrets.
As I mentioned, God’s primary way of speaking to us is His word, and that should always be the first and last place we go when we need wisdom. But, I’m so thankful for authors and books God also uses to challenge, stir, and inspire me. He used “Wild Goose Chase” in my life, and I expect He will use others as I take the time to read and learn from other authors. So….what are you currently reading? How has God used what you have read to impact your life?
Kent’s currently reading: “Killing Cockroaches: And Other Scattered Musings on Leadership” by Tony Morgan
Next on Kent’s reading list: “Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters” by Tim Keller