God is passionate about me. He loves who I am, my own unique gifts and talents and the deep, deep longings of my heart. I can trust him to fulfil those desires because he is the ‘dream giver’ – and I dare to believe that he is as excited about them as I am. What the fulfilment of those desires looks like doesn’t matter. They nearly always exceed my expectations.
I knew God had called me to be a Proverbs 31 kind of woman. If you don’t know her already – look her up – she’s amazing! Industrious and creative. Busy and wise. Whilst caring for her family, her staff and businesses, she also remembers the poor.
I had no idea how I would ‘remember the poor’. Not a smidgen of a clue. Or how I would fit it in with everything else I was doing. But I desired it with all my heart and knowing it was even more on God’s agenda than it was on mine, I was able to wait without straining for it – it would come in time.
That time was May 2008! I had been invited to exhibit at Christian Resources Exhibition as an artist in residence. I was given a booth on the exhibition floor to turn into a ‘Susie Poole’ space and see what happened. An experiment kindly provided by the organisers.
WER (World Emergency Relief), now called Emerge Poverty Free, was my neighbour. They were advertising their brilliant ‘Be a Good Egg’ campaign, which encouraged children to empty an egg box and use it to collect a total of £6.00 – enough to buy a laying hen – giving a family around 120 eggs a year. It was brilliantly constructed and I loved it! As I talked with the WER staff I heard for the first time the story of Sister Lucy, the amazing young woman who was building a farm, starting with chickens, ultimately feeding a great big family of 250 children who she cared for through her ingenuity.
Lucy’s story knocked me sideways! It was so visually and lyrically strong and had a great appeal for the age group I write for. Perhaps I could do my bit for the poor by telling the story of this Sister and her wonderful work? Maybe it could tie in with the ‘Be a Good Egg Campaign’ and promote it?
I could see it so clearly. I plotted to create a partnership between my publisher and the charity; both benefitting from each other, making the project viable and strong. It made total sense and they went for it.
WER sent me to Kenya to do research and a year later Authentic Media published the story – Sister Lucy’s Great Big Family. Sister Lucy wrote to me recently to say that the book has been a wonderful gift to them and part of their fund-raising effort around the world. She encouraged me that I was a part of her ministry.
Too easy? Maybe! But it was using my unique skills to create a model for reaching the poor that was unlike anything I’d seen before and it was the best fun ever!
I am so grateful that I know God the ‘dream giver’ well enough to trust His intention to bless me – working with my gifts and abilities. If I trust Him completely, He is able to reach beyond the negative ways life has shaped my expectation – to create something entirely new and wonderfully unexpected!