Ok. Rachel (close friend from church that is also adopting ~ the most precious little girl JossLyn from China) and I planned to do a joint yardsale just over a week ago as a fundraiser for both of our adoptions. We gave only about 5 days notice to friends. We asked that they would consider donating to us this week instead of Goodwill.
We had no idea how God would move.
Yesterday we finally got into "preparation mode" at about noon. People started dropping off bags and boxes of stuff and we had lots to go through. My neighbors Amy and Courtney came over for a few hours as well and we all sat in the driveway sorting clothing and items by size etc. We spent hours and hours. Remember how Lance and Courtney decided to donate their entire sale to ours? That became quickly...overwhelming emotionally. I don't know what you picture when someone says that but I picture 'yard sale items' as kind of junk. No no...this was unreal. A leather couch. A new playpen and stroller system, beautiful home decor, clothing, toys...it was amazing. Courtney put her two young children in their car (age 7 months and 19months) so she could just keep driving loads back and forth even though they only live 3 houses down. At one point Rachel said we "needed to come inside and refuel" and she was so right. We were exhausted. Dean had fed the kids pizza so we had a slice and then went back to work as he put the kids to bed. He came out and the three of us were making progress. He had rented tables (many...and we used every one!) and we decided to start setting up IN THE DRIVEWAY and pray that God would 'keep watch' all night. We felt we had little choice. This yard sale was rather huge and there was no way we could move it all out in the morning.
By the time our night was done both Rachel and I were emotionally spent. Seriously done. We were both ready to start crying over nothing and everything. Everything was overwhelming. We were exhausted and we knew we only had a few hours to sleep. She went home after 1am, we came inside where I made several signs and baked cookies.
We left the garage door open so we could hopefully keep any thieves at bay. Dean slept on the couch in our bedroom with the window open so he could "hear" if anyone came by. Yah right. He was snoring within seconds. I..on the other hand...jumped up at every sound. It was awful. Finally I confessed that I could not keep this stuff untouched, God had to protect it and I closed my eyes and slept.
6am came VERY fast. We got up and got out there at about 6:15 while it was barely light. A neighbor was already there and made a big purchase. No joke. Rachel arrived and we got to work with signs etc. Her husband stayed home last night with their children and baked pumpkin and banana breads for the kids sale...some friends gave freshly baked cookies as well.
We committed this sale to God and decided we would trust Him to help us in our needs. We never added up money, we just kept selling.
The donations that came in...were seriously unreal. Friends and acquaintances brought bags and van loads...of shoes and clothes and toys and furniture and everything was amazing. It was quite the set up. At about 9am we set the kids up selling cookies and breads for a quarter a piece. We had signs everywhere detailing how all the proceeds from this sale was going to bring 3 precious special needs orphans home from China. People were generous. Yes people bartered. But even in the fact that we went through DOZENS of cookies ... we couldn't believe it but they sold out of everything. I think we had 11 or 12 dozen!
Friends came by and showed their support and it was at times...crazy. We were having people switch price tags from no-name-brand shoes to top name brand shoes and being smart enough to go to Dean to pay instead of us. We had a lady steal a purse then fly off the handle when she was kindly approached that she forgot to pay. Little Zion sat at that cookie and juice table for HOURS.
At the end of the day we loaded up the suburban FULL and Rachel's truck FULL with left over clothes and toys and trucked it off to Goodwill. By 3:00 it was OVER and our yard was pretty much empty, tables folded and signs taken down.
We had no idea how much we had raised.
One day of a yardsale. We thought $1000 would be amazing. Wouldn't you? $500 for each family?
Are you ready to hear what God did? The grand total is $2580. ....
I didn't know you could bring in that kind of money in a yardsale. Then again...maybe you can't. This was no ordinary yard sale. This was dozens of families all answering the call of not leaving 3 little children as orphans.
It was incredibly beautiful to see how God heard the cries ... of us, yes...but of three precious little people half a world away. He has heard every cry. We answered the call to rescue them from death. He moves in people's hearts to give...and look at the result.
$1430 per family. Wow.
Then... Jason and Rachel tell us their need for their next payment is just $1000 short so they will only take $1000 and the $1580 will "go to bring Tommy and Ethan home" (in her words). Ok I think my tears are going to stop working soon...
Ever have your heart so full with thankfulness you feel you could explode? Almost exhausting. No, it is exhausting. It's beautiful.
I have to share what happened tonight. I was feeling overwhelmed. And I pictured our sweet little boy laying in his crib sucking his empty bottle while he caressed his own head. I said out loud to God while driving "how can we rescue him fast enough...? He needs us now". And I looked at the radio and had the thought to turn it on. I quickly prayed God would give me something. Then I had the thought "ok ...but turn the radio off after the first song". Ok. Sure.
I turn it on and the moment it turns on this is what I hear:
"You alone can rescue...
You alone can save...
You alone can lift us from the grave.
To You alone belongs the highest praise."
Did I blink while I listened...? I'm not sure. I listened to the rest of the song and turned it off as I said I would. Oh it was so clear. We were called to rescue but we can only do it through Him. He alone can rescue.
I get goosebumps just typing this out. He's got us in the palm of His hand. Yes we stepped of that cliff but He's so close...we hear his whispers.
With hearts full and flowing over with thank-full-ness tonight...we sleep in peace. Praying for our baby boys in China. He will rescue you. Know in your little hearts that Love is here.
Here's the song "You Alone Can Rescue" by Matt Redman. (I had never heard it before).