Reflections from Fall Share 2019
God is full of surprises, isn’t he?!? I think that’s my takeaway from my fifth Fall Share during my time here at KCWN. I told someone last week our annual fundraiser is one of God’s very visible ways of exercising my “faith muscles.” I’m a little ashamed to admit that every fall I get a bit anxious and nervous in the weeks leading up to the big event, because despite what’s happened in the past, the future is always an unknown. I have a high level of confidence that our listeners have responded in the past, and they’ll do so again, but what if… Then every year I’m humbled as I join Bev, Lisa, and the rest of the team as we gather to give thanks for God meeting - and then exceeding - our needs for the year through the generosity of our listeners.
It reminds me of a quote I read this morning in the Christian Broadcasters Group on Facebook - “Nothing is too big and nothing is too little to spread before and cast upon the Lord.”
I have so many thoughts floating around my head as I think about the past three days. I’d say my absolute favorite moment had to come from our first day - that Tuesday we had some very special visitors in the studio. Caden is a young man with special needs who listens to the station; he had $5 to spend, and his mom said he could choose between ice cream, McDonalds, or giving to KCWN. Caden came to the station on Tuesday because he wanted to give his $5 and join our mission of sharing hope. It reminded me of Jesus at the temple, pointing out the widow who gave her two pennies to the temple - a sacrificial gift that came from the heart. That was Caden on Tuesday - a very special boy God used to touch all of our hearts here at 99.9.
So maybe you’re wondering, “Ok Ryan, what’s the part about God and surprises?” This was the 24th time KCWN has done a fall fundraiser; I’ve participated in five of them, and Bev has been part of almost all of them. For the first time in the history of KCWN, we met our goal before the advertised finish time (and a long time at that)!!! We have what’s known as “block programming” here at KCWN - most of the time we play music, but on weekdays during the 9am, 1pm, and 6pm hours we air various preaching/teaching programs. We had a $5,000 match challenge during the noon hour, and when the 1pm preaching block started I had a pile of donations to enter into the spreadsheet, on top of many that had come in online. Several people dropped off some large checks as well, and when I got done entering everything in my master spreadsheet around 1:50pm, I looked at the total and stopped. “Wait, is that right?” I said to myself with a smile on my face, “I think we just met our goal!”
I updated the grand total on our internal website, and when Bev, Lisa, and the volunteers in the studio saw the number they erupted in cheering and applause. Lisa asked if the number was right, and I said yes, I’d triple-checked the math and it was indeed correct - God had helped us meet our goal four hours early! What happened next still makes me chuckle; several of us walked around the studio shell-shocked with a “what do we do now?” look on our face. This had never happened before - so do we stop? Do we keep going? How do we proceed? After announcing on the air our goal had been met, we had a number of listeners contact us via phone and text message, letting us know they felt the Lord was telling us to KEEP GOING. He would provide a special “overflow,” some rainy-day funds for those unexpected expenses that inevitably pop up as life happens during the year. So for the remaining four hours the calls kept coming and our original goal of $95,000 became a final total of $105,685!!! Now THAT is a “Wow God!” story!!!
I also come away from each and ever Fall Share with an enormous sense of gratitude - to both God and you, our listeners. In July of 2015 I was a depressed wreck; I hadn’t worked in almost 4 years because of chronic pain, and I was convinced my life was basically over and I had nothing but pain, suffering, and misery in my future. Then one day (thanks to a friend in a chronic pain support group) I get an e-mail from Bev, asking if I’d like a job at the radio station. I thought the idea was so crazy and preposterous I didn’t even bother responding (in fact I think I deleted the message!), but when she followed up again two weeks later I (with the Spirit’s nudge) figured I had nothing to lose and decided to meet with her.
The rest is history - here I am, over four years later, still working at the station and a life transformed by God’s goodness! On “The Bev and Steve (and Lisa) Show” this morning Steve mentioned how often God uses the hard things in our lives to bring about very good things. In response I sent this text message to the crew in the studio:
Hear hear! I wouldn't be on the radio at KCWN if it wasn't for chronic pain. I hate pain but I love what God has done in my life because of it.
A listener came into the studio yesterday who shares my journey through chronic pain; it’s humbling to think this microphone and blog enable me to turn my own pain into a tool God is able to use for healing. Someone hears me share my story and in doing so experiences the reality of II Corinthians 1:3-7: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God…” I get to take some of what I’ve received and pass it along over the airwaves and Internet; who would have ever thought?
Certainly not me - but then that’s how God works right? His ways are not our ways, and boy am I glad for that! Another Fall Share is in the books and watching God provide right before my eyes I once again feel my faith stretched and strengthened. I pray you do too; after all, you’ve been a part of this since the first day KCWN went on the air back in 1995. Can you believe that? Next year Lord willing we’ll celebrate a quarter century of sharing hope here at KCWN - thank God for such wonderful surprises!