From the moment the Pass It Forward Fund started God gave me a peace to trust in His perfect timing. I know that when we do something outside of ourselves- for Him- it always has the ripple effect and so I was excited to see what He was going to do. I admit that there were some days though where I would feel a sense of urgency to accomplish my goal. Days where I would become obsessed in trying to think of ways to raise the funds, putting it all on my shoulders. Then God would gently remind me that this was not at all about ME and accomplishing any goal I might have- but that it was all about Him and His glory.
He would remind me I needed to rest in knowing He was working and rest in knowing He was in control.
And so, I would wait and I would continue to pray.
These past couple months I have not talked a lot about the Pass It Forward Adoption fund because quite frankly, I didn't really have anything to share. Our family was still working and saving and praying- and trying to fill up our pickle jar here at home. Yet the money we were able to save wasn't adding up as quickly as I had hoped. And the spare time I had left to dedicate to working on the fund didn't seem to be enough. The holiday season was in full swing and we were adding blessing #8 to our family. There just didn't seem to be enough time in the day. And, while we had received a few donations (thank you so much to those of you who gave) the numbers on the chip in were not going up as quickly as I had hoped.
There were times where I wondered if we would ever be able to do it.
Times where I doubted what I had heard God say.
But once again- God would give me a complete peace and remind me that the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund means as much to him as it does to me. And I would remember that God cares about the orphans more than I can even understand.
And that is why God sent Mattie.
Through a path that only God could ordain He sent a beautiful 11 year old little girl with the smile that lights up the room into our lives.
This little girl didn't even know us-and yet God had placed a desire in her heart to make a difference in this world- and the courage to do it.
While I was busy praying asking God what He wanted me to do- He was already busy working through this amazing little girl.
And you know what blows me away most?
She listened- and she obeyed.
She could have chosen to spend her time on herself doing the things that many (most) 11 year old little girls do- and she didn't. She chose to give of herself and of her time to make someone else's life better.
Every day we are given the choice to make a difference in the life of someone else somehow. I wonder how many times we listen or how many times we just look the other way- hoping someone else will do it?
But not Mattie.
She didn't look the other way. She didn't place the responsibility in someone else hands. This little girl said Yes Lord, use me. She chose to do something. She chose to act. She chose to give of her time, her talents and her resources and do something for someone else that will be no benefit to herself.
Oh how I wish I could be more like this little girl.
The first Sunday of Advent Mattie's parents asked her and her siblings to pray about what their gift to Jesus would be this year. Mattie remembered her mom telling her about our story of the beans and rice challenge and knew we were who God was asking her to help. Over a series of weeks this little girl put her heart and soul into raising funds for the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund. Her goal was to earn $1,000- a steep goal for an 11 year old. Her awesome parents cheered her on even though they knew her goal was high. Mattie baked 27 pies and sold them. She babysat, went door to door asking for donations. She wrapped Christmas presents for donation and put cans at local businesses. Mattie also sent an email out to everyone who would normally give her a Christmas gift, including her parents and her grandparents, to request that she not receive ANY material gifts for Christmas. She just wanted to receive donations for the Pass It Forward Adoption fund. Her parents requested the same... as did their parents and sister and good family friend. They all requested donations to the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund be given in their honor instead of gifts. I am blown away.
On New Years Day I had the privilege of meeting Mattie and her incredible family. To blog about how amazing this little girl is doesn't even do her justice. The way she smiles, the way she talks, the way she acts REAPS Jesus.
I had no idea I could learn so much from an 11 year old little girl.
Once again I am changed.
Mattie handed me a check for $3,000 that day for the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund. $3,000 that this 11 year old little girl earned herself all because she decided she wanted to make a difference in someone else's life. All because of her love for Jesus.
As for me, I didn't just walk away that day with a check for the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund. I walked away knowing that the world is a better place because of people like Mattie Patterson who really CAN make a difference- and do.
Thank you Mattie (and family). I am blessed because of who you are.
If you'd like to meet Mattie and her amazing family you can check them out here: http://www.allarepreciousinhissight.blogspot.com/
Also, can I ask you a favor? Would you please say a prayer for them? Matties youngest sister, Chrissie, adopted from Serbia just 2 and a half months ago will be undergoing open heart surgery on the 19th of this month. Your prayers for complete healing are so appreciated. I have been so blown away and touched by each one of them. Their hearts are full of love for the Lord and even during this difficult time of uncertainy they are reaching out to others in such a mighty way.
(For those of you who are wondering- the total raised to date for the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund is now just shy of $10,000. Thank you all so much for all you have done! Go God!)