The benchmark of success is not how many countries we reach. It truly isn't just how many kids are in our orphanage. There are organizations that thrive on that. They thrive on the fame of "look at how many kids we saved". They thrive on the fame of "look at how many countries we have reached." That's not us. The benchmark of success for our organization is how faithful can we be to the call that God has given us. The benchmark of success for our organization is look what God has done through faithful people. It is not just how many kids we save or how many kids we have in this home or how many orphanages we have started or how many countries we have reached. It is about faithfulness to God, faithfulness to the call and that's it. God didn't say you are going to reach hundreds; God said you are going to help those in need. God didn't say you are going to go to all these countries; God said you are going to feed the sheep. The reality is, people want these huge callings in life to show that they have been mightily used for the Lord. Our benchmark is not so you can think how holy we are or how much God's presence is on us, its not about that. If God gives us very little ministry, we are going to be faithful to the end of that ministry; nothing is going to stop it. Nothing is going to stop us. Obedience and faithfulness is the benchmark for our ministry. That's what is successful to us. That is what we are going to do.
I want to quickly answer a question about why a goat and what I know now compared to what I was thinking in the beginning is completely different. How I would have answered that in the beginning of this project was I was looking for a pack animal and looking for a friend to come along with me, but the reality is I didn't really have a reason. I just wanted an animal; I wanted to bring an animal and a goat is a sturdy animal; they are self-sufficient, they eat what is along the side of the road. It was a convenience decision for me. But what I now know, being two years into this project, is this was God's profound grace and influence in my life that I couldn't even see. What I now know is that God was setting Needle2Square apart from other ministries. You know when I first started looking into organizations and raising funds and how to do that, I came across a couple of websites and I came across a couple of YouTube videos that bummed me out. There was this phrase that was being said more often than not and the phrase was "competing for the charity dollar." Those words, that phrase scared me because that is not what I want to do. I don't want to compete for the charitable dollar. I don't want to compete for other people to donate to Needle2Square instead of other organizations. I don't want them to donate to me and not to another organization. I am not going to compete. That is not my heart. The Lord always knows what He is doing. My problem was... How do I set myself apart? NOT to compete but to at the very least to be noticed. It was almost feeling like David and Goliath; among the sea of other well-deserving projects.... LeeRoy is all the difference.
I think it is important to note that I had no idea what I was doing at the beginning of this project. If I would have known what was to come, I probably, and I know people say this often, I probably wouldn't have done it; I would have done it differently. The reality is, I was weak. I was the wrong person for this job if you were to ask anybody with any kind of wisdom. I was the wrong person to step into this place and try and run an organization. I have very little administration skills, very little. I have no college education, really. I went to school, failed most of my classes. I went for four years off and on and wasted a lot of my parents' money. The reality is though, the Lord put me here. A thought I often question him about. The one skill that I think the Lord has blessed me with is the ability to articulate a message.
I am not trying to put myself down. I really want to point to Jesus. So, what I have been learning is that my weakness is what is setting this apart. If you were to somehow evaluate on a chart, a pie chart "oh he has this much integrity, he is this much smart, he is this much whatever," my pie chart would be 90% dummy and about 10% funny; that's it! That is all that is on my chart; that's all I got going for me. But in that is the most beautiful thing I think about this project. In that mess of a person is where God gets all the glory; and He gets it all. Only by God's mercy and grace has this organization not fallen thus far. I am not the right guy for this job. You know when I think about that last statement, that I am not the right guy for the job, I start to think of every other story of success that I know. Every other story of church planters, missionaries or just anything that I can think; other peoples' stories. When you hear them talk about their story, some crazy journey, they always start out with the disadvantages. You never hear a story like "It was always easy. I was just talented No struggles, no difficulties just smooth sailing." Every single story of consequence, every story I can think of in my head, of anybody that has done a crazy amount of things for the Lord or has been used mightily in some way, always their stories start out with the disadvantages. Their stories always start out with what was not right. "I went to this town, I knew nobody, I had no money, I had no opportunity, I had a stutter when I talked, I don't know the Word very well, I'm not very good at articulating the message, I didn't have a college education, I didn't have the money or resources, I didn't have the time, I was not good enough. I had no talents." That is how every story starts out. So when I think about that right now, I feel like I am in good company. What I want you to understand is that I hope that is the beginning of your story. I hope what happens in the beginning stages of whatever the Lord is calling to you always pushes you to the foot of the cross saying "I can't do this, I need your help, please Lord you are going to have to make something happen here." That is where I am on a daily basis. "I cannot raise this money by just walking across America with a goat. I can't make this happen Lord. You are going to have to do something. You are going to have to do something only You will get the glory for, that is all about You, has nothing to do with me. I can't do this Lord."