I am reading and doing the Bible study that goes along with the book, Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. The last assignment to do for the first day was to journal about God's hand in your life so you could look back during hard times and be encouraged when you see how God has worked in the past. So, I journaled about three things from our past.
Several years ago we were still paying off the new church building. We had received money for half of it and borrowed the other half. Just before the rate of the dollar drop, an annonymous donor paid off the $20,000 debt that we owed. Just a few short months after that the rate of the dollar dropped drastically and we lost about 30% of our income and would not have been able to keep up with the payments on the church property. God is trustworthy and looks after His children!
Last December our old white van burned up. We transported people to and from church with it and took kids to camp every summer. It was a very old van. Our family vehicle only had seats for 4 kids so we were always either taking the old van with no seat belts or the new van and putting two kids to a seat. Baron had been pondering lately which vehicle to get rid of but he really didn't want to get rid of the old van. We just kept discussing it but never made a decision. God made the decision for us! The white van burned up and was beyond repair. In just three months enough money was donated to buy a much newer van that also seats our whole family and has seat belts. The van is much better then what we imagined or dreamed. God always blesses His children even when they aren't looking for it!
When we were moving to Romania almost 9 years ago now, I asked God to give us a house. We had two boys at the time and I struggled with the thought of living in an apartment. Little did I know that just 8 years later we would have six kids! Baron's parents came to Romania to house hunt for us. They found a house near the center of town for $28,000 with a nice big courtyard and plenty of space for a growing family. Just a year after we bought the house, housing prices went through the roof and we could have not afforded to buy a house. Our house now could sell for many times more than we bought it for. We saw our house for the first time the day we moved in! I didn't get to pick out my dream house but God picked out a dream house for me...much better than I could have ever dreamed!! God is trustworthy and brings about things more wonderful then we could ever hope for!
The most recent story is this: We have known all along we wanted to work with abandoned children but our first priority was starting a church. Our partners that are coming to Romania (Lord willing this year) will be a big part in this ministry to children. We have sought out many different opportunities but it seemd doors always closed on us. It is much harder now to minister in state run homes, they do not seem to welcome foreigners in any more. Baron was out visiting this past Saturday and he ran into a family we have known for years. In fact, the dad used to come to our church and then quit coming. They are a friendly family and always enjoyed when we visited them. Well, the daughter is now working at a state run home in a village very near us and she said they would love for us to come and help them out. We met with the director of the place just last Monday and he welcomed any help we could give them. They are individual apartments that house about 14 kids each with educators who work shifts. There are a total of 72 kids that live here and a majority of them will never be adoptable but they will also never go back to their families. Then Tuesday we received 10 boxes of children's clothing from a ministry in the states. Saturday, we get to go out and personally hand out all the toys and clothes to these children. God always has a plan for His children and brings it about in His timing!