In 2017, we experienced significant donor growth for the first time in several years. With our strong emphasis on the field, this kind of growth can be a sincere challenge. For the most part, our donor base grew out of partnerships with modest-sized churches in small town America. While it is not a surprise that we would find ourselves in a season of growth – we certainly believe that God is calling us to more – we are humbled and grateful. We see our relationships with those who support us as much a gift from God as the relationships with those in our care.
Stewarding our relationships in the field with excellence involves following the lead of the creative and resilient people we serve. With delight, we are seeing entrepreneurs spring up in and around the East Java cemetery. The most successful venture so far has been a clothing line started by four mothers.
A generous volunteer partnered with these mothers by offering sewing training. The women quickly mastered their craft, and the business took off. They are creating beautiful Indonesian batik-style clothing that now makes up “Ruth’s Collection.” The items are sold in local retail shops and online in Indonesia. You may have seen some items for sale here in America at our events or recently online on Mother’s Day.
A few weeks back, the women of “Ruth’s Collection” asked for a meeting with Compassion First leadership in East Java. Now that they are all making a good living, they felt that their business needed to be giving back. Their decision was to donate to Compassion First.
Together, we are investing in something that is much bigger than us.
I’ve been thinking a lot about David lately; the shepherd David, long before he was anointed King of Israel. The guy who served in obscurity and isolation for years and had nothing else to do, it seemed, but to set his heart on the things of God. The Scripture shows us what seemed to be a constant song that flowed from his heart to the ears of God. I feel like I get to work with a whole team of Davids. Dozens of them. People who serve in obscurity but breathe the song of God in all that they do. We love everything that this report reflects; both the work of our hands and the faithfulness of those who support us. We love everyone who has involved themselves with Compassion First and are grateful that we get to do this work together.