A Rough Couple of Weeks

I have a had a rough couple of weeks. I mean that with sincerity. Aren’t rough times gifts from God? Circumstances have led to the loss of a member of the board of oversight for the ministry of If Only Even One. Because of a disagreement on what should have been tertiary issue (and my stubbornness played no small part in that). I have watched in dismay as people that I have always considered to be solid and friends turn on many other solid brothers and sisters due to disagreements over perspectives on several issues.

Recognizing Gifts When They Aren’t So Obvious

At one point I was ready to throw in the towel and shutter the ministry, such as it is, and call it quits. I really don’t think I have much to offer the Christian community. I am not sure what gifts I have to offer.  Yet, I know that we aren’t called to minister because of how productive we are and what we have to offer. Our work is all about the completed work of Christ and what He accomplishes through us in our fallible flesh and weakness…
So, throw back to Monday afternoon on the 4th of November. I worked the week-end, the 1st-3rd, on overnights. So I slept all day on Monday. I got up and got ready for my “day”. Frankly, I was excited looking forward to a visit from my beloved brother Ezrah from Cedar Falls Iowa.
I walked into the kitchen and saw the below pictured envelope sitting on the counter. It was addressed to me from a brother and sister in Christ from the Cedar Falls area. Frankly, the way the week had been going, I was reticent to open it for fear that it would contain a letter requesting that I stop coming to the Cedar Falls area because I was causing harm to the cause of Christ there. (It is how my brain works and I don’t know how to make it stop.)

God’s Gifts are Tangible

I took a deep breath and I opened the envelope and looked inside. I saw money. Not just a few dollar bills, but a sizeable collection of bills…
I reached in and pulled out the contents looking for a letter. However, what I found was the beautiful little note that you see in the picture. I could not count the bills as I was overwhelmed and tears started to pour down my face. I summoned Maggie and handed it to her asking her to count it. She too was overwhelmed at the sizeable gift contained in the stack. I was left speechless. In awe of the generosity that GOD had so wrought in the hearts in the ones so loving as to bless the ministry in such a way.

A Commitment to Never Beg for Money

What many of you may never know is that back before I officially launched the ministry I told the men of the board that I would never solicit financial support from the Christians I know. I even wrote about that last year in this article Again, I have never solicited financial support for the ministry. I have been asked about what I need. Consequently, all I have ever said is that I need bibles. That’s it.
I am not telling you these things to pat myself on the back. Heavens no! I am telling you these things because I kinda feel like George Muller. I will never take care of over 10K orphans. However, that doesn’t change the fact that God has seen fit to provide for the work. I literally have no idea who sent this gift. Admittedly, I grilled Ezrah about it but he was being coy and wouldn’t cave in.
I don’t know if it was a group of someones, or if it really was only two people. I do not know if it came from a wealthy believer or if it came from someone living the way most of us do, week to week, paycheck to paycheck. What I do know is that my heart was touched, not by the amount, but by the heart of the gifter(s). I will never know this side of eternity who did such a thing. What I do know is that it says far more about your heart for the LORD and the work of the Gospel than you will ever know.

Putting Gifts to Use

A quick note in passing. I will be putting the gift to good use. Due to the miles I drive to make trips around the region of Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa and whatnot, I run the tires on my vehicle ragged. Therefore, I am way past due for new tires and the gift will be paying for that. I will also be buying a case of bibles to keep with me when I preach Christ wherever I find myself. The rest will be used in such a way as to help me honor GOD through the work of Gospel proclamation and other tangible ways…

Whoever you are, thank you, and know that our Sovereign LORD and Savior has taken note of your kindness. It has not gone unnoticed. Please forgive the delay in my post as I have been overwhelmed this entire time as I weighed my words. I will never be able to repay such kindness and sacrificial love.

Thank you!
Thank the LORD!
Soli Deo Gloria!