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The GiveSendGo story

By: GiveSendGo on | Comments: 6
Hello Everyone!
Thanks for taking a minute to stop by our blog and learn a little bit about who we are and why we started GSG.  GiveSendGo was started by 3 siblings in a family of 12 children. Heather(#2), Emmalie (#4, and Jacob (#5). There had been some discussion around the dinner table one night about what the Church would look like today, if it operated like described in the book of Acts. Where instead of believers fighting with each other, we worked together, and shared resources to help demonstrate the Hope we have in Jesus with the world.

Crowdfunding got mentioned and it started the ball rolling.We hired a development company, 3- 4 months they said it would take to complete. 3 months came and went, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and then finally a year and our developer was still making excuses on why it was not complete. We were stressed out and wondering if this was even ever going to happen. If you scroll back on our Facebook page you will see us announce that we were going live, then nothing... then announce we were about to launch again... and nothing.. it was then we first had to practice what we had been saying all along- GSG is GOD's and we are just working for Him. Whether it succeeds or fails, we are just moving forward trusting God had a plan in it all.

We FINALLY launched in 2014, 14 months after conception. The first few months we were begging people to start campaigns. We were working out the kinks and switching developers. We were excited, seeing a campaign or 2 a week and praying that God would use GiveSendGo for His Glory. Not just to help people raise money, but to encourage the Church around the world to spread the hope and love of Jesus with the world. About 3 months in we were still gung ho as we were seeing a little traction, and the site was finally operating like it should .At that time campaigns on GSG were charged based on a sliding scale, as you raised over certain amounts of money, the percentage that we would take from each donation to help with operating GSG would lessen.

We had meetings daily and would talk about and pray for GiveSendGo and the direction we were headed. At that time we realized every time someone started a campaign we would encourage them to remember that God is our provider, money is just a tool, but God owns the cattle on 1000 hills (and more!!!)  We started feeling challenged. If GiveSendGo was God's idea that He planted in us, and this website was the journey He had us on maybe we should take our own advice.  We decided in the early summer of 2014 to change our fee structure. No longer would we take a percentage of the money raised through GSG, we would make giving to GSG optional. We would trust that God had given us the idea for GSG and if we were faithful, He would do His work through it and in us. We took the leap of faith and became free. And we all lived happily, ever after.... well not quite.

As with any start up, there are days where everything is working and great and you are on the mountain top, you feel encouraged and loved,  and then there are days when you just want to throw in the towel and give up. When a piece of code breaks and unhappy emails come flying in about a feature not working, or a marketing endeavor flopping. We started to realize that maybe God didn't just give us GSG to help others be and do what God wants them to do, but also as a tool God was using to make us a little more into the people He wants us to be.

We had a launch party in October 2014, once we felt the site was ready to be put out into the world.  We have seen steady growth thanks to all our friends and supporters who share GiveSendGo.com when they see a need arise.  We have seen many changes to the site over the last 3 years. Maybe you were with us for some of them:

A new site design. Anyone remember what we used to look like?

A whole mess of new features such as:
  • Being able to record an audio message on your campaign page from a computer
  • Allowing recurring donation to a campaign
  • A Pray now button 
  • Custom Urls for your campaign
  • Shareable widget on your campaign.
  • Facebook auto share
  • We changed the campaign creation process, now broken down in easy to edit steps, 
  • We recently added a recipients step so you can change who is going to be receiving the funds. 

and so much more, many behind the scenes fixes and changes, making the website work more efficiently for you. 

We are so thankful for your patience, those who have maybe been with us during an update or error that we had to scramble to fix.  We want GSG to be the best site out there for Christians to raise money, but not just so we can talk dollars and stats.  It is our heart that the world will be changed as the Church comes together during tragedies, missions trips, adoptions, building funds, education, family need, medical bills , community outreach and more to use money as a tool to share the everlasting Hope of Jesus with our neighbors.  Thank you for being a part of the journey with us. Thank you for your prayers, encouraging words and generous donations. Let's continue on working together to change our world!



 
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What can happen on your way to church?

By: Heather Wilson on | Comments: 0

I was reading in Acts, one of my favorite books of the Bible and read this:

Acts 3

Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o'clock prayer service.

Pretty neat.   Two of the disciples were headed to Church because there was a prayer service going on and they wanted to worship. They set time aside, because it was important.

There was a lame man at the gate that sat there every day knowing that the religious would usually toss some money to him, because after all you look really spiritual when you give to the poor in front of everyone on the way into church.  So, here come Peter and John on their way to the daily church prayer time.  They see the lame man.  They were headed in to worship God, but they decided to risk being late to the service by engaging with this person right in front of them. 

“Look at us” Peter orders the beggar. I can just imagine the beggar probably kept his eyes down most of the time, as it must be embarrassing asking people for money every day.   The beggar looked up expectantly at Peter’s words and thought he was getting another handout.  He holds out his jar… as the words come,

“We don’t have any money to give you…”

Eyes drop down again at the awful trick. No money?

“…but what we have we will give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, get up and walk”.

Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. 8He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.

Whoa! Crazy! Peter and John were on their way to church. They were headed in to do a good thing, attend a prayer service. But they did not let that stop them from doing God’s will outside the church building. 

So often today, the American church is so concentrated on how to get people to find their way into the building that they have built, they miss the people God puts in their path every day.

Peter and John didn’t say “why don’t we help you into our church, so you can see how awesome our music, pastor, and children’s ministry are.” No, they chose RIGHT THERE AND THEN to show how Awesome Jesus is. They offered HOPE to someone that needed the healing touch of Jesus.  And when he was healed, what resulted? The man worshiped Jesus! His Life was changed. He went running into the church dancing, jumping and worshiping! Crowds of people saw the power of the living God.

The reason the American church is dying is that we have come to a place where we have been told that in order to “witness” or share our faith with someone, we have to invite them to Church and let the programs, and preaching do the rest.  It has given us an easy way out. A way to feel like we are doing something for Jesus, while never having to talk about Jesus.  If I were to ask the average Christian in America, if their neighbors know that they are Christians, I believe most of us would say “Yes, they know I go to church.”  That is not a satisfactory answer. Your neighbors knowing you go to church does not bring life change.  

What if I changed the questions.  Do your neighbors know why you believe in Jesus? What He has done for you? How your life has changed?

Another popular idea the church has embraced is, “share Jesus with someone and if necessary use words.” You can never share your faith and the “why” behind the Hope you have, if you do not use words.  Never.  Nope.  It is impossible. Go to any courtroom. There is no such thing as a silent witness on the stands.

We have gotten things wrong.

We have made our religion “Church”.

We worship “Church”.

We invite people to “Church”, we make sure our Sunday morning “Church” is attractive and engaging.”

“It’s all about the weekend stupid” came out of the mouth of a prominent pastor a few years ago that encouraged Churches and church staff to understand we don’t need to spend our time on anything that doesn’t help our church flourish during the weekend services.  That is not how it was meant to be. That is not why Jesus came.

Instead our religion should be a relationship with Jesus.

We should worship Jesus.

We need to invite people to Jesus, we should make sure every day our lives are so full of Jesus that people can’t help but to notice and want to connect with us as we have something attractive and engaging.

Listen to what happened when Peter and John decided to stop on their way to church, see a need, open their mouths and speak about the Hope they have in Jesus and offer that hope to a lame hopeless man…

All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon’s Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.

12Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd.

 

Peter stopped for the 1 person God put in front of him, and in turn God brought him a crowd that he was able to share with. I believe that is going to be what we start seeing. Not people flocking to huge auditoriums, and church light shows, but communities flocking to Christians that are offering a real relationship with Jesus. Real hope. Real Love. The question is, will we be that Christian? 

Go ahead and read the rest of Acts 3-4. They were arrested. Then let go.  It’s a great story, and hard to imagine it happening to us.   

It’s not hard to imagine that God can do miracles.

BUT…

Hard to imagine because we would need to change what it looks like for us on way

 “to Church”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fearing The Big Picture

By: Heather Wilson on | Comments: 0
A couple years ago when the elections were happening, I went through a period of time where I felt depressed every time I went on Facebook or watched the news. It felt like no option was a good option and all there was, was bad news and accusations on every side of the coin. It caused me to start living in fear. Fear of the future, fear for my children, fear for my freedoms.

At that time I felt like I heard God say to me “Why are you trying to look at the big picture? Only I can see the big picture. I put you exactly where I want  you and I’m going to use you there. You don’t have to worry about everybody else and what they’re doing. You just worry about what I have for you to do.”

Well, I knew that GiveSendGo was something that God had for me to do, and it was amazing to see my perspective change as I started looking at closely at the Givers, Senders and Goers using the site.  I started to notice exactly what GiveSendGo was being used for.  Ordinary people all over the world making a difference. They were raising money to impact their communities, their churches, their neighbors and friends, they didn’t let worry about world politics or how it was all going to end stop them from doing what God was calling them to do in the moment, and they were making a difference. 

This year already on GiveSendGo, we have seen thousands of people utilizing our platform to spread the Hope of Jesus.  There is good being done in the world. There is hope being shared, despite what we hear in the media.  It is happening when people like you and I, in our own little circles of life, decided to step out and make a difference. Sometimes that calls for raising money to meet a physical need, so Hope can be shared, such as with these few campaigns : 

Here is Emily on an incredibly life changing journey. So many of her friends and family who could not be the one to "Go" right now are supporting her, many with recurring monthly donations: https://www.givesendgo.com/fromsactogreece

Here is a campaign raising money for a family dealing with a tragic death, and the body of Christ joined in to raise over $20,000. https://www.givesendgo.com/NickDehmer

Or this campaign for a Christian ministry start up wanting to provide assistance to families who would like Christian education for their children. https://www.givesendgo.com/dollarperchristian

It was hard to pick just a few.  There are hundreds more campaigns like these on GSG, and it is so exciting to join in and be used to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a world needing a little Help and Hope.  

Check us out today and be a part of making a difference where you are planted. 
 
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