Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Match Made In Heaven

Hi Friends,

Hard to believe we're almost through our first month in 2014. Life seems to be flying by. I wanted to back up a bit and post about something exciting I was able to be a part of over the course of 2013. But let's rewind a little bit first...so, back in April 2013 I received a message on Etsy from someone named Christie asking if I'd donate a print for an online fundraising auction. Honestly, I get tons of these. TONS. No lie. I've seriously donated more prints to fundraisers for ministries, sick families, adoptions, memorial funds, cancer benefits, you name it - I've donated prints for an auction benefiting "it". My husband doesn't always understand why I'm so giddy to send off prints for free {especially because I've given away more than I've sold}. And that's what I love about Red Letter Ink - how God is using simple 'ol me sitting in my basement with crazy-wild ideas pouring out of this strange brain of mine to touch the lives of other people around the country and really, around the world.

So, back to my message from Christie - I wrote back and said, "Sure, I'd love to!" like I always do. Then I had a few minutes before I was supposed to run out the door to a meeting so I clicked on the blog link she'd sent. As I began to read, I started to cry...then sob...then I was full-out weeping. I had to quick send an email and tell my client something had come up and I wasn't able to meet until later in the day - that's how bad I was. Something about this blog touched me at my core. After reading various posts about the work God was doing in Uganda through Ekubo Ministries, I was completely on-board, wanting to help in whatever way I could. I've asked Christie if it'd be okay for me to share a few of our early messages on Etsy...they're pretty great:


Aimee Libby wrote:
Apr 30, 2013 (after my initial "Sure, I'd love to donate a print" response)
Christie,
I just checked out your blog and I'm bawling my eyes out. Though I may be living a comfortable "suburban" life here in the suburbs of Minneapolis, my heart has ALWAYS been elsewhere. I see the photos and the sweet kids you're caring for and my heart screams "I'M SUPPOSED TO BE THERE!". But then I hear the *ping* of another email coming in from the Special Olympics team that I helped start just over a year ago in our community, and God reminds me that He has me here for a reason. We have a daughter with special needs and I felt so called to reach out to families of special needs kids that we started a Special Olympics team like I said just over a year ago. It's been AMAZING to see how God is giving us opportunities to connect with and come around these families and love on them! But then I find out about ministries like yours and I so desperately would give anything to fly there and stay for as long as I could to help. I strongly believe that one day, God will quench the desires of my heart to serve overseas, but for now - if all I can do is support those who are already there, so be it! :) All that to say, let's go BIG...why don't you show bidders a "Pick your favorite FIVE Red Letter Ink prints". Hopefully that'll help raise funds to cover the many needs that you have...and it'll pacify my aching heart that longs to be there in the meantime as I wait on God's timing! :)


Once again, thank you so much for reaching out to me!!! I love how God connects his children in such amazing ways.

Can't wait to see how much money the Red Letter Ink prints raise for your ministry!!

Talk to you soon,
Aimee


P.S. Not sure if you saw this yet, but my latest blog post was about our May adoption fundraising...check it out! You'll get to see a couple of my newest adopted nephews, too! :)
www.redletterink.blogspot.com/2013/04/may-is-kind-of-big-deal.html

Ekubo Ministries wrote:
Apr 30, 2013
Gaaaaaah! Now you have me crying. Oh, sister. Children with special needs are discarded in Uganda but organizations like ours scoop them right up. They're our hearts. They're HIS heart. Makes me angry how they're treated. Oh, sister! More tears.

We would absolutely LOVE to have you come serve with us. But like you said, He has you here for a reason - FOR NOW - but when the time comes, bring it :)


The more I keep looking at your work and realizing how stinkin' long we've struggled to get our t-shirt ideas from our heads into a design - people offer on FB for all our supporters to see and thank them publicly but then we never hear from them - the more I pray He'd use you to help us somehow. Your work is just amazing. Wow. Let me know if that's something you'd be willing to bless us with as well.



LOVE that He connected us. Oh, I am praising Him <3

Aimee Libby wrote:
Apr 30, 2013
One more thing - the comment you made in your last message - that special needs kids are discarded there, but organizations like yours "scoop them right up". Here come the tears again ... :) Oh, how that makes my heart smile!!! Knowing that there are people over there who see and appreciate these sweet children...and see their worth, I can barely stand it!! God is SO good.


Ekubo Ministries wrote:
Apr 30, 2013
Sister, I'm just a mess. Crying. Listening to our newborn snoring. Crying some more. Thinking about how heavy my heart is for special needs children. Thanking God for His grace. Thanking Him for having met you. You have NO idea how long I've prayed for someone to help us. Without wanting something in return. Just a pure heart. Like ours. We do SO much for people and when we can't anymore, we have to bury them. Children. Babies. Old people. But we give it our all. I have been praying - for you. You are SO excited to help. THAT is not a "yes, I can donate to help you out". Help me? Oh, no. You're not "helping me". You're bringing glory to Him. But YOU, sweet friend, are cheerful. I'm crying again. Thank you for being different. Grabbing your hand and running towards Him together. So thankful. Sooooo thankful.
 
Aimee Libby wrote:
Apr 30, 2013
What a beautiful thing to find a connection like this where we both just "get it". I've run in to a lot of different organizations/people over the years who have requested donations, and I've yet to turn one down. But most of them take whatever donation I send and I never hear from them again. This'll be different, though, I can already tell. Because God meant for the two of us to virtually "brush shoulders". I can't tell you what a relief it is for me to finally have found someone who doesn't think it's absurdly odd that my hearts' real desire is to SERVE. I don't want money. I don't want recognition. I don't want anything but to use what God's blessed me with to bless others. Period.

Here in the States when people hear me say that most of them look at me like I've lost my marbles. And that's probably why I've spent all 13 years of my married life feeling like a loner on an island serving, rarely finding others who have the same mentality/desire who will serve alongside me. Then someone like YOU comes along and restores my hope in what God is doing through all the chaos of this world. He had a plan to connect us. He knew we BOTH needed it. And I am so ridiculously excited and humbled. It's gonna be a GREAT ride, I just know it!! :) SO. EXCITED.

What a ride it has been!! There have been countless times since last April where I'll drop Christie a note via Etsy or Facebook only to get a response, "No way. I was just praying for you!" {like tonight when I messaged her to make sure she was okay with me sharing our private Etsy messages}. I have no doubt that when that day comes where Christie and I are able to meet face-to-face, we'll be instant best friends...and there will be LOTS of hugging involved. And maybe a few tears of joy.

Something Christie had mentioned in one of our conversations was their need for a new/revised logo that could be applied to t-shirts, postcards, brochures, jewelry tags, etc. We put our heads together and after a few rounds of going back and forth, we settled on the new Ekubo Ministries logo...and I LOVE IT!!!

Our next project is t-shirt designs {my favorite!} which will serve as a means to raise additional funds for Ekubo, but in the meantime, if you're looking for an incredible ministry to support - please take a few minutes and consider Ekubo Ministries {check them out on Facebook, too!}. They have hearts of gold and will gladly share with you one of their many stories of how God has continued to provide and bless them even during the most unbearable circumstances. He is good ALL the time. And He connects people for a reason...even those who are worlds apart. The next time you come across a situation that makes you think, "Whoa, that's a little crazy how that hit me straight in the heart", pause and see if God may have purposely led you straight into that situation. Because He has a way of doing that. And it's up to us what we choose to do with opportunities that arise out of nowhere.



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