The Pathfinders sell citrus five times per year as a fundraiser. This week was the deadline for placing our citrus order with our supplier. The minimum order for them to deliver it to us is 100 crates, but we’ve never come close to that. So we have always had them deliver it to another customer nearby. And by nearby, I mean a two or three hour drive. I’ve picked it up in Keene (two hour drive) and in Portland (three hours). Then I had to drive back and unload it (after having unloaded and loaded it once already). Not fun.

Our orders were down this month compared to last November, and in fact, our order plus the next nearest customer was less than 100 crates (by about 30 crates). So the supplier called me and asked if I’d be willing to up my order. I agreed to order 15 more assuming that the other guy would do the same. Only he was only willing to commit to 8. So I upped my order by two dozen to put the sum over 100. That almost doubled my order.

We try to sell all our citrus before we buy it because that eliminates a lot of risk. So now I have a lot of unsold fruit coming my way. I figure we can set up in front of Sam’s Club and sell the rest (they agreed to let us do this in principal some time ago). To that end, I swung by Sam’s on the way home and talked to one of the managers. She was very pleasant, and wrote us in on the calendar. The Salvation Army will be there on the days we have chosen, but she said she’d move them to the entrance and give us the exit (which is ideal since people who are exiting will be able to carry their fruit to their cars along with their purchase).

One upside to this development is that for the first time ever, our supplier will deliver the fruit directly to us. I won’t have to go ANYWHERE to unload it. I’m starting to really like this. My hope is that we are able to sell the extra two dozen crates at Sam’s in a couple of hours. If that happens, I am going to up the order again in December, maybe to 100 so I can get it delivered directly again. But we’ll have to see how it goes.

We are planning to go on a Mission trip to Latin America around Christmas 2010, so we really need to raise a lot of money for that – about $1500 per person, and I’d like to take a 20-person team. That’s an order of magnitude more money than we needed to go to Oshkosh, so something drastic had to happen if we were going to go.

I’m thinking that God must have had a hand in this. I was afraid to step out and order much more than we had sold, but now that I have done it, I’m feeling a lot less fearful. Instead, I’m feeling as pretty confident, as if my faith just received a much needed stretching operation. If He wants us to go to Latin America, He will find a way to send us. And I think He just did.