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The Birthing of GapFill.org

But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ (Exodus 3:11)

I’m not sure when it hit me that I was to start GapFill.org.  I know my husband and I were talking one night and he mentioned that he always wanted to work for a nonprofit (we currently own a UPS Store that he runs and often reminds me is NOT A NONPROFIT as I ask him one more time to ship something to Papua New Guinea at no charge …).   But the conversation that night got me thinking and I was soon signed up to start a master’s program in nonprofit studies at Arizona State University.

My two girls were both living away at different colleges and I thought I can take one class a semester and just plug along at it while I continue to work full-time.  But what I wasn’t expecting were the great students I met in my classes (notice I didn’t say kids even though most were in fact my kid’s age).  Each of them were giving back to this world in some way.  Now, I expected that to be true when you were with a group of Christians but these were people from all walks of life, some from religious backgrounds and some not.  But one thing they all had in common was that they all were passionate about some type of cause.  Most of the students currently worked in nonprofits.  Several worked in different shelters and human service areas.  Some were building homes for the poor and still others were helping to change laws. So where did I fit in?  What was I passionate about?

I began to reflect back over my life to see if I could find a trend in my volunteer work and my financial giving.  Then it dawned on me.  My husband and I have been involved in Christian mission work since we first got married (almost 29 years ago).  It started with my old college roommate Kathy Vanaria who is a missionary involved in Bible translation in Papua New Guinea.  Then my husband and I joined the mission committee in our church and began being involved in different work to help missionaries.  Next there was a need for a bridge to be built in Papua New Guinea, then a tin roof needed replacing, after that school supplies to furnish all the schools to teach people how to read the new language that was just developed, then a new battery for a laptop and on and on and on….how could I say no to missionaries who had already given up so much.

#SayWhat? and #YestoGod

So there was my passion but now what?  So I began asking God what the next step was.  Then one morning while I was getting in my morning run I had a SayWhat? moment with God.  I believe God gave me the idea and the name for GapFill.  I didn’t tell anyone for about 2 weeks.  I was thinking I must have heard God wrong.  Then I emailed my friend Kathy and ran the idea by her at the same time I told my husband.  Both agreed there was a need to help missionaries in this way.  So, I started reading about Moses’s call in the book of Exodus thinking I will see what Moses did when he didn’t feel ready for his call.  After all…who was I?  I’m just learning about nonprofits now….I don’t know anything about starting a nonprofit ….I work full time, how will I ever find the time…but there it was….Moses went even when he didn’t feel prepared.  So I had no choice but to tell God “yes”…..and with that, the process of “filling in the gap” for missionaries in need started.

Joyce is the Founder and Executive Director of GapFill.org with a masters in nonprofit management.  Visit our “Items Needed” tab on the GapFill.org website to see if God is calling you to “fill in the gap”  for a missionary in need. To receive our blog posts automatically via email, enter your email address in the “FOLLOW GAPFILL VIA EMAIL” box on the right-hand side of the blog and click “Follow”.

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