WHAT a Mighty God we Serve!
There are times, moments......when it is difficult to sit behind the screen and share. Instead of a warm hug and a friendly greeting, I am met with nothing personal. The iPad offers no response. And ya know? As I was reflecting on that and lamenting how much I miss connecting with others face to face over a meal or a coffee, I thought perhaps it’s from MY end that I can bless, encourage, and build up.
Dressed and ready for the Christmas program at church!God has been beyond gracious to us as of late. Not very long ago, we were made aware of an opportunity to help fill a 40’ shipping container that is headed to PNG by boat. It will take several months to arrive, but Lord willing, it will arrive in the first half of 2021. It was then crunch time! Brian spent countless hours researching and trying to find good deals on equipment and tools that will be needed in the future for Goroka Baptist Bible College in PNG. He traveled north, south, east and west from our location in southern MN acquiring supplies and filling the garage with an array of needed items. Friends and family came to help us pack things into totes and then God opened a awesome opportunity for us to use a friends truck and large cattle trailer to make the trek out to Pennsylvania where the shipping container is to be loaded. The loading will, Lord willing, be taking place this week.
Livestock trailer loaded and ready for the road trip!Will you please join us in praying that it will arrive in God's time and with things intact and undamaged? Please pray that the ministry tools will be a blessing that God uses for the glory of His Name! We have had many conversations with many different people about God's working and leading as we gathered, itemized and packed items. Please pray for faith fruit to become a byproduct of our conversations!
God has blessed in the big items that were purchased as well as the smaller ones. I think my favorite one (as of today) was a personal one. Giving to the Lord has been something I’ve learned and practiced more as an adult than I did as a child or teenager. When I became an adult (aka-18) I am embarrassed to share that I recall very few instances in which I gave generously.
When I made our sending church, the First Baptist Church of Waterville, my place of church membership, I was challenged to give in different messages by our pastor. When I became a member, I was in college and was stretched pretty thin financially. However, our pastor suggested that there was a place and a way to give of OTHER resources....like what? My time, my energy, my knowledge, etc. I was satisfied with that for a short while, but then? I felt God leading me to follow Him in giving a different way.....materially.
My cash flow was limited, but I felt God prompting me to give of what I had and surrender it to Him rather than focus on a sizable cash gift. I had a college friend who shared with me a need she had for a bed frame. She shared it as a matter of prayer, not that she was asking me to do anything about it. We prayed together that night, and I went home.
The first bed frame I remember choosing was given to me by my mom after we had moved into town after dad died. When mom moved from that home, we rented a storage unit to store some of our items and my bed frame was among them. After hearing this friend's need, I considered and prayed about letting her use it. My own selfishness had to submit to the promptings of my Savior, and so? I 'gave' her the bed. Long story short, I didn’t get it back. It was a challenge to try and remain joyful in giving because I had really wanted it for myself.
I forgave my friend, and we moved on. However, the initial itch to give wasn’t satisfied. I felt compelled to give more and it slowly became more and more natural. After all, none of my 'stuff' would be going with me into eternity!
In PNG, bed frames are not a common item in most homes from what I gather. As we were praying about what to send to PNG, I wanted to send a bed frame for Moriah. Previously, her mattress and box spring had been on the floor because on most nights she preferred to sleep on the floor, and I was paranoid that she would fall out of a bed and get hurt. So? We started looking on craigslist, buy and sell, etc. to find her a bed frame on a budget.
My condition was that I wanted a metal frame.....nothing cloth or wood because I know this handy guy and metal is his preferred medium. 😁 I looked and looked and came up empty....nothing grabbed me or was in our price range. I shared with Brian that I was giving up looking and that it wasn’t a priority. The next morning he had found a metal frame, in our price range and not too far away. I couldn’t see it very well in the pictures because the bed was covered with pillows, but I told him to go for it. When the bed was unloaded, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It LOOKED like the bed frame I had previously owned! I have to confess that I was skeptical though and so I checked out the manufacturer label.....no kidding, it was made by the very same company mom and I had gone shopping at!!!
I share that story because it causes me to marvel at my God....big OR little, significant OR seemingly insignificant.....He cares about it ALL!!! It was at Christmas time that God Himself ‘gave' us a very precious gift....His One and Only Son. Humanity was less than grateful as the Biblical account of the story testifies. And yet? God has NOT given up on us! There is STILL time! I know we have readers who don’t know the sweet intimacy of knowing Jesus, and I want you to know we are praying!!! I would challenge you to not waste another Christmas focusing on materialism and pleasing others.....instead? Look to Jesus. HE is the One worthy of celebrating!!!
Some other great finds included the above cement mixers...we give God the Glory for it all!!!
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