Ben and I are doing something really exciting next week. We are going to attend the wedding of my dear Baylor friend Sarah in Madrid, Spain. The timing works perfectly, since it falls at the end of the semester, yet before Christmas. Spain!
|Sarah and Sergio listening to her dad's toast at their engagement party.|
Ben and I worked in Dallas for a year before moving to Haiti. In that time we took the Dave Ramsey "Financial Peace" class and got seriously "gazelle intense" about our money. We started a special savings account for a dream we had- going to Europe together. This was the trip we were going to take before having kids. We saved for a year and got together a nice chunk of change. Then we decided to move to Haiti, and just put the money on the back burner. Now, two years later, we have this amazing opportunity to attend Sarah and Sergio's wedding.
So we're going. And we're using old money that we saved from Texas. And not current support money.
It's not that we don't budget, in our normal Haiti budget, for R&R. It's just that support money is, in our "we're rookies overseas" current conceptions of things, to be used for normal life- providing for needs (not only bare bones either), but just not exactly for extravagances. For example, we use support money to fly home for Christmas. Just not first class. We use support money to buy new clothes. But mostly at Target. Do you see what I mean?
My friend Tara, a Haiti-dweller with a fantastic blog, once wrote a funny story about getting randomly bumped up into first class by her airline, and feeling that she almost needed to hide in the Miami airport so nobody saw her boarding first class. As if they would immediately think she was "living large" and betraying her supporters' trust. It's a funny story, but hits a nerve- I think we feel that way sometimes. I was blessed last summer to receive a French manicure and pedicure as a gift by a bride whose wedding I was in, and every compliment I received afterward I felt I needed to follow up with, "It-was-a-gift-I-didn't-pay-for-this-I'm-responsible-with-my-donations-I-swear-I-swear-I-swear!"
Something about that is right, and something about it isn't right.
We need to think more on this. Or possibly guidance from those who've been doing this awhile. In any case, we take very seriously the responsibility of being given donations on which to live by a group of friends and strangers. We believe that in addition to wanting to honor our supporters' trust, we will have to answer to God for our use of that money. Further, we're open to legitimate and sincere questions.
So, I just wanted to say publicly, that yes we're going to Spain, and that no we're not using supporters' donations to do it.