Sep 14, 2012

And the story continues...

So in my last post, "Is your life a bank vault" I wrote about our finances and how the Lord had led us to make new commitments and renew old ones. Let me write a follow up because it’s uncanny how things worked out that following week. I believe I wrote it on a Saturday night and sometimes when you get specific with God, He’ll work in ways that are just as specific! Here is what I said last week:

What will we do if tomorrow we get in the van and it breaks down? The Lord will provide and care for us.

Well, true to His word He did take care of us because on the way home from church the next day, Sunday, we heard a strange noise. I shook my head and said to myself, “You just had to use the van breaking down as an example didn’t you?!” Come to find out the tension pulley had worn out and needed replacing and it was probably time to replace the serpentine belt as well. If we were to have taken it somewhere it would have cost us a couple hundred but David said he could fix it with the help of our friend therefore lowering the cost to just parts, about $75. But we didn’t have $75 at all.  Wouldn’t you know Monday morning we got a call saying a donation had arrived! Wow! However, when David began taking things apart he realized that the fan clutch needed replacing as well. Another $60 expense that we couldn’t meet! But we waited on the Lord and He provided for that as well. We made a commitment, and then within 48 hours we were faced with a situation where in the past we would have used the credit card to take care of everything. But we didn’t and God honored our commitment and made sure we had what we needed.

In addition we received another gift specifically for me to get an eye exam. I had been wearing the same contacts for 3 + months (for the fellow contact wearers we both know that that’s a big NO NO!) and hadn’t had an exam in a year and a half.  I finally went in and the doctor informed me that contacts probably aren’t the best for me to wear for awhile because due to over usage of a single pair of contacts and from wearing only contacts for over 11 years my eyes weren’t getting the oxygen flow they needed and thus blood was not circulating enough and blood was pooling around my eye. She said on a scale from 1-5 I was a 2 ½. The damage is reversible but only if I stop wearing contacts and switch to glasses. The donation we received was more than enough for an eye exam + contacts but glasses are a different story. Thankfully though with the exam and a new pair of glasses we had $6 left over. As always God knew ahead of time what was needed and provided a skilled Dr. to give me advice and warn me of where I was headed. Even though I am not at all happy about wearing glasses, I am thankful that I serve a God who not only knows what I need long before I even am aware of what is happening but provides and takes care of me!

In the midst of all of the above there was a brother in Christ who had begun e-mailing David. He lives in Iowa and works part time here in PR and was led to do a search for ministries here. He found our web page and read through everything. He shared that he would like to meet with us and get to know us better but Hannah and I had become sick and as a last resort David decided to meet with this brother by himself before he had to go back home to Iowa. David and this man had a wonderful time and David took him around town a little and they enjoyed lunch together. At the end this brother gave us $200 and told David to take me on a date when I am feeling better, take Hannah to the hot springs and then use the rest for whatever we needed to use it for.  We were so blessed and surprised. God used this man to provide a nice break in the midst of all our stress and answered another need we had, up until this point we still had not enough funds to purchase Hannah’s school books. This was a need we had no idea how God was going to provide for, let alone provide for it through a brother in Christ who is here all the way from Iowa! And at the time our cabinets and frig were empty, we found as many coupons as possible and went to several stores who had different sales in an effort to make every penny count. God took what this brother gave us and multiplied it like He did when He fed the 5,000 with only a boys lunch. God never ceases to amaze me!!!

So where are we now? Well after 2 weeks the van is finally fixed and my glasses are here. Has God snapped His fingers and made our debt disappear and all of our bills get paid? Nope. Do we have what we need to pay for this month’s bills? Nope. Are all of our problems gone just because we are obedient? Nope. God never promised us a problem free life in exchange for obedience and servant hood. BUT He did promise us that He’ll never leave us, forsake us or let us stumble. God’s timing is perfect and right now, when we are unable, God is doing and we are giving Him the glory and honor.

Does money and financial wealth equate Gods approval on what we’re doing? Not in the least. As my Dad reminded me last week, “There are thousands of churches/ministries who have more money than they know what to do with but they are spreading heresy and destroying lives”. We are here doing as the Lord leads us, we are obedient to His calling even though sometimes we don’t understand the reason or the “how”. For instance, when we tell people we started doing ministry in PR but we have 46 churches in Africa and Pakistan, we never fail to get, “How does that happen” response. It happens when His servants say, “Here am I, send me” and then put their faith in action.

Let me share this promise that encourages me every time I am faced with something I don’t understand:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

When God called us to the mission field, He didn’t call us to worry about paying the monthly bills and allow that to become our focus. He called us to be obedient as He leads us down the path that will prosper us and grow us. We can’t try to fit that into what we think it should look like; we must be willing to allow Him to shape and mold us as we serve Him in any way He leads.

It appears for now that this struggle will be with us for at least the foreseeable future. God has us where we are for our good and for the good of those we minister to. God has never not taken care of us. What we need to learn to do now is let go of our frustrations and worries about finances and focus on how God wants us to continue touching lives and discipling those around us for the glory of His Kingdom. 

His servant,