People have wondered, "How does a couple, who has three kids, lives on raised support, and is struggling with debt, go on a trip to Thailand?"
So glad you asked, because it's actually a great story.
Toni, our boss, had really been hoping for all of staff to be able to come to this global conference. Then he gave us the good news that an anonymous donor had paid for the conference fees for all of staff. That meant that all we had to do was to GET there, then all was paid for. But flights to Thailand were $1,400 to $1,800, so it was still a pretty slim chance. Toni told us to go ahead and try to raise the money for the flight.
Then as it came down to "decision time," I had decided to tell Toni on Monday that there was no way that we could go, as I had only been able to raise $320.
The weekend preceding this Monday, I was speaking at a church, and the pastor said I should mention any projects or events. So I mentioned a training that was happening this summer in Calgary, and another one in Thailand that we probably could not attend due to the price of airfare.
Afterwards, a lady I did not know came up to me and said, "Tell me about this thing in Thailand." I told her about the conference, and then she said, "My husband and I have all these points on our card that we are not using - why don't we use them to pay for your flight?" I was dumbstruck.
The following Monday, when I had planned to tell Toni that I could not go, I walked in to find out that ANOTHER donor had anonymously offered to pay for my flight. This meant that Joanne and I could BOTH go.
Then we had to figure out what to do with the kids, and a friend who had been a nanny, and had babysat for the kids several times, said she would keep the kids for us, for free.
But we needed to board the dog, and that was going to cost around $400, and we didn't know where that money was going to come from. Then another friend said they would keep our dog for us, for free.
Then Joanne, who had previously donated toward the BC Children's Hospital, received a letter in the mail from the hospital stating that she had won something in their fundraising draw. We went down to pick it up... it was a suitcase!
It seemed like the final touch, the bow on the package, on this gift from God. And we are very grateful!