DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS?!?
A day or so ago, I received an email from Adventures in Missions describing a crucial need. One of their on-the-ground ministers in Swaziland is Pastor Gift. He is a Swazi pastor with a heart for bringing life to those who are walking in the valley that is shadowed by death. The area that he and his family live in is one of the poorest, hardest to survive areas of Swaziland. Despite that, this is what Gift says:
"We live in Nsoko, Swaziland where we witness the beauty of the Lord day-in and
He can say that despite the dark and desolate surroundings. For truly He and others, his wife included, are seeing lives transformed in amazingly beautiful ways by the power of Jesus daily. They minister in the homes to those who are too ill to get out, they help provide food for destitute widows and orphans, they disciple many, and they are partnering with others to build a village for orphans...a village that will not only provide them a loving home, but a place to learn about God's great love for them as they get an education, learn life and job skills, and get medical care as needed.
Plus Pastor Gift has a crazy-fun sense of humor.
I've grown to really appreciate this man and my children and I pray for him almost daily. One thing we pray is that God will provide for his family and also, my children often pray, that he'll have enough food to give the orphans.
So when I rec'd the missive stating the financial needs of Pastor Gift, my heart immediately responded. I wanted to give. But give what? I am already giving all I am free to give to Swaziland thru some other avenues. I say this not to brag on myself but to brag on God's provision.
For this is what happened. Over the last couple of days I kept thinking, "how can I help Pastor Gift?"
Even last night I lay in bed with a messed up eye wondering how I could come up with some money to give him and his family and their ministry. I thought about my old record albums. Maybe I could sell them somehow, someway?
But nothing came to mind as being THE answer.
This morning, before getting out of bed, I once again pondered this question. But this time I asked the Lord. I asked God to show me how I could give to them. I asked Him to provide a way.
Just a short bit later I was sitting at the breakfast table with my children as they ate and I read them their morning devotions and had prayer time with them. Then it hit me...God's answer!
I'll be going with my husband to be on a customer panel for a restaurant chain. Basically, we go, eat yummy free food, talk about the food, tell them our opinions of their restaurant, and then they pay us! And they pay us generously. Not just the free food, not just free food gift cards, but also money!
And then I realized that I could give that money to Pastor Gift! WOW! Did I ever start praising God! My heart was filled with so much happiness. God had heard my prayer and was faithful to answer.
So I say all this to brag on God but also to encourage each of you. I'm sure most of you are like me, there are ministries that you care about or people you'd love to help financially but you just don't see how you can swing it. Ask God. Ask Him to either show you how you can make the money or ask Him to just provide the money. I read a very good, though very short, book on just this idea. It's THE TREASURE PRINCIPLE: DISCOVERING THE SECRET OF JOYFUL GIVING by Randy Alcorn. The basic premise is that the more you desire to give away to help others, and the more you do give away to help others, the more God will make way for you to minister to others.
And let me tell you, my heart is full, full, full of joy today!
P.S. I forgot to tell you that when my oldest daughter A heard what I was going to do with the money, she said that I did't have to pay her to babysit as I usually do for our date nights. She said I could use the money instead for Pastor Gift. AND, she said if I go out for my birthday in a couple of weeks, that her gift to me will be the babysitting money... again to be given to Pastor Gift. She made the comment, "What is wrong with me? Why am I turning so nice?" And I assured her that it was just the Holy Spirit working in her life. He has a way of making some pretty amazing changes.
P.P.S. Anyone in the market for some old John Denver, Donny & Marie, or GoGo's albums? I know someone who will cut you a real good deal. ;)