Well, that is how it feels right now with the Pies for South Sudan.
It's a bit of a scary place to be, but daring to step forward because he said so, and do something that makes absolutely no logical sense, without having any idea how it can all work out is when miracle dust starts to fall from heaven and you just have to smile--well, laugh, actually, with joy.
I ended my last proper blog post with these words from my journal:
"I just need to remember to relax and breathe--and stick closely connected to his heart and voice. This is how radical obedience works in practice.
And when we place our trembling hands in his great strong one, it is an opportunity for him to be shown to the watching world, right here, right now; not in the pages of the past."God had nudged me to bake pies to raise funds for our district project, a guest house in South Sudan, and at the point that I wrote that, I had 81 orders for the pies, which are priced at $20 each. The orders kept coming in. At 100, my boss, Dwayne Milley, said, "Belinda, I think you should stop taking orders."
That made sense, but since when has God ever, "made sense?" I found that I couldn't bring myself to stop taking orders; even though I didn't go looking for them; because it felt like turning off a tap that God had turned on. I had to trust that he would make it possible to do what he was giving me to do.
People have donated boxes, pie plates, flour, sugar and apples. Our cell group put together over 100 pie boxes one evening and put on the labels that someone else had designed so beautifully. They say, "Belinda's Homemade Apple Pie...Enjoy Locally...Give Globally."
I was sitting next to Michael, a young dad who is our church treasurer. "What's all this about pies, Belinda?" he asked, having seen many pie conversations going on via Facebook.
I explained what I was doing--and that I had just over 100 orders by then, which had raised over $2000. He said at first, "That's an awful lot of work for $2000."
Then I told him about the guest house and how it only cost $10,000, and how many people had pitched in to help in so many different ways and his eyes took on a gleam that told me he was inspired, and he said, "If you have another apple peeling party, let us know. We want to teach our kids to help others.." A few minutes later he smiled and said, "That guest house only costs $10,000. That means that almost a quarter of it has been built by pies."
"Spoken like a true accountant," I thought!
We had bagged and frozen over 100 pounds of apples for the pies. But my friend Susan had given me her Mennonite grandmother's recipe for Schnitz Pie several years ago and word got out! So I made an experimental couple of them, just to be sure I could, and people started ordering them. The only trouble was that the apples needed to be sliced thicker for this kind of pie.
So I sent my friend Brian, who works at the Ontario Food Terminal, and who had donated a very generous 3 boxes of apples already, a message. I said that if it wouldn't be asking too much, could he possible get me another box of apples? He responded right away that he would get me some more, then yesterday he told me they'd be here on Friday.
I was so grateful and excited, that I wrote back:
"Yay!! I have 500 pie plates and a Lee Valley Tools Apple Peeler Corer Slicer is on its way by mail! Thank you SO much. We have raised over $2000 with pie." and I told him, "The guest house we're building in South Sudan only costs $10,000, so almost a quarter of it will be built with your apples. How cool is that?"
This was when Brian wrote back to me, and with his permission I am sharing what he wrote:
"So a seed that came from God gets sold for less than a penny; gets picked and packed for the cost of say, $15, then through the journey it somehow increases to less than $200 wholesale, which has a net worth of $2000 after they spend time on their journey with you...have somehow paid one quarter of the price to build a house...2 fish 5 loaves?"How very cool is that?