This was in the last CCW newsletter which came out in October. I thought I’d post it here just because it seemed appropriate.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 5:1-5 (NASB)
per•se•ver•ance [pur-suh-veer-uh ns] noun
1. steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
I don’t know if it is fair to call this last year a tribulation. However, it has been a time of testing for me personally. One year ago, we began negotiating a lease for space to move Cool Water Bikes. Today, we still have not moved, and I am not sure exactly when we will. There have been many moments in the last year that have felt difficult and discouraging. I have wondered if I have been trying to force something to happen that is more about building my own kingdom instead of God’s kingdom. We ran up against obstacles that at first seemed insurmountable.
I believe God has been teaching me patience and trust in him through all the delays. More accurately, I have seen more and more how little patience and trust I actually have. My only hope is that God’s love through Jesus Christ and his sacrifice is sufficient to cover my lack of trust. Through it all, when I have been anxious about the future, about whether Cool Water Bikes would succeed or fail, I have been reminded, by friends and family (and I think by the Holy Spirit) that this work belongs to God. He has brought us to where we are for his own purposes, and whether this endeavor succeeds (however we want to define that) or fails, he will continue to be about his business of rescuing and redeeming the hearts and minds of myself and the youth we serve here at Cup of Cool Water.
Although Cool Water Bikes is part of Cup of Cool Water, we have been running it with a separate budget in order to gauge the sustainability of this thing we call Redemptive Development. Cool Water Bikes is funded by a combination of donations and retail sales and service. We hope that as the business grows we will be able to add paid job-training positions for youth then begin funding other programs within Cup of Cool Water. Right now, those plans are on hold.
This year, we have averaged more than $1000 per month behind budget. The amazing part is that retail income has actually exceeded what we expected for the year (and that budget was set assuming we would have moved into the new building part way through the year). While donations have increased slightly over last year, there is still a large gap to bridge. The Cup of Cool Water Board of Directors has been extremely generous in their encouragement and support, specifically by supplementing the CWB budget from the general ministry budget. I am grateful beyond words for their support for this project, but I know that the current situation cannot continue indefinitely. I need help.
Can you help? We need an extra $1000 each month to meet our current needs. We need one-time gifts totaling $3000 to cover materials, sprinkler installation, and startup expenses in the new location. If you can give either monthly or once, please make your checks out to Cool Water Bikes (to help our bookkeeper). We can also take Visa or MasterCard if that is easier for you. Also, if you think your church or other group would like to hear more about how we are attempting to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ through Cool Water Bikes, please let me know. I would love to come and share our story. If you know people who are interested in bicycling, please advertise for us. I would love to give you some flyers and business cards to hand out. Call or email to get in touch: 838-8580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what about the new shop? We are getting closer and tentatively hope that it will open this winter. We have a contractor lined up who has volunteered their time to oversee the physical improvements that need to happen. But there are still some hurdles to clear before we can open the new store. It is still impossible to make a very firm timeline because every time I have tried to do that before, each step has taken ten times as long as I expected. Will you pray with me for perseverance, character, and hope through the Holy Spirit?
I need it.