Recently an on-again, off-again friend asked me a simple question: “How can you be sure this is what God wants?” Her basic idea was this: With all of the 2018 failures, the lack of a knee to work with, the lack of financial support from the usual places, the lack of volunteer support etc., how can I be sure that God really wants Dirt ‘N’ Nails to happen? Even more recently, my classmates asked the opposite question, isn’t the large donation by a former board member, just enough to get us through 2018, indication that God does want this to happen?
Or, to put it another way, how do I know “the enemy” isn’t trying to get me to throw DNN to the curb?
Don’t get me wrong, there are no easy answers. As a counselor, I hear the old joke ringing in the ears that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Do I believe that? Absolutely not, but there is a good point in saying it. Stress is often bred out of frustration.
I put a poll up on Facebook and Twitter recently hoping for a minimum of a 10% return, just over 20 followers combined not counting reposting to my own Facebook page or other shares that may come of it. The result: A total of 7 votes over a week, just over 10% of those reported reached on Facebook with the post. To put it another way, few are truly following what is going on with DNN and fewer still are even willing to vote in a public poll about it let alone volunteer to help.
So 2018 is both a boom and a bust. It is a boom in that we were able to secure enough donations from one person to make it through the year’s expenses and it is a bust in that we do not have enough, apparently, to do anything more than that, not one new community garden, not one seed delivery, nothing.
Does this mean we end it?
That is the question that has been haunting me every since. Frankly, I don’t know. Do I see a continuing need? Yes. I just do not see continuing support. We asked for volunteers and nobody answered. We asked for board members and nobody came. We asked for help with rototilling this year and only received silence. James Klingensmith’s donation came exactly at the moment the state asked for their annual filing fee. It is not much of a leap to think that a person should be frustrated to the point of depression by now.
And I am.
But this has never been about me. In fact, I have tried very hard for it not to be about me, trying to find someone else to take the chairman position, someone who knows nonprofit work and believes in the cause. I have tried to make it very clear that I do not want a salary as a board member and would only take a salary as one of the workers of one of the farms, as a counselor or a chaplain, and not a penny more, maybe even less. If I am to be serious about that statement, it also means I cannot take this personally, cannot give up on the vision God has given me. This is not about me and is all about Him.
At the same time, I cannot simply sit back and wait for His provision to suddenly and inexplicably drop into my lap, either. As such, we are currently looking into building off of DNN a much needed subsidiary based on an already existing model on the East Coast, a non-profit counseling firm. This firm would be able to give to those who need and want the help a sliding scale down to pro bono mental health care while still maintaining a practice enough to keep up with expenses. This would fall under the same non-profit umbrella as DNN with an addendum filing to the State of Colorado.
As we do not have much of a running board at the moment, I pose this question to you, our supporters: Do you support such a change? If not, it is my intention to do it anyway under a separate non-profit, I feel this strongly that it could work, but I pose it this way because 1) I believe this to be the best course of action for DNN at the current time and 2) doing so builds upon an already established premise that homelessness alone, aside from the cause of homelessness, causes mental trauma that must be lovingly addressed as a mental health issue in order to break the cycle, meaning every farm will have to have counseling available on-site.
I admit that in asking this question in this blog, however, I am setting myself up for more disappointment. I do not expect anyone to reply to it. I suppose, in fact, that the only reason I am writing this blog is to make it public record that I tried, the rest only being a prayer to God that I keep going on this path He has given me. So with that, I thank everyone who has supported us in the past, in money and prayer and help, and pray for you every day.