“It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer… ” Isaiah 65:24
Unsolicited gifts from donors have kept Together Ministry Center alive and thriving since the first day we said “yes” to this call. I will never forget the day John and I met with the district superintendent to tell him our vision for ministry. We shared with him that instead of seeking pastoral appointment to a church, we were stepping out in faith to a new (unfunded and as yet unestablished) non-profit ministry to an underserved population in our own area. He released us to do what was in our hearts to do. And since the moment we launched out into these unchartered waters, life has never been the same!
Driving back to work after that meeting on September 3, 2014, I made a call to some dear friends and prayer warriors who lived hundreds of miles away. No one but God alone knew we had been seriously considering this change. Although I felt overwhelmed by the unknowns ahead of us, I also felt bold with excitement. As I told them of our decision, the husband and wife spoke encouraging words of support. And when I asked them to please pray for us, they went a step further. The husband said, “We’ve already been praying for you and John. And we want you to know that we are committed to supporting your ministry with monthly donations every month for the next two years.” As he told me about their commitment, he was so moved in spirit that he began to weep. I began to weep, too.
How did they know? God spoke to their hearts before we ever called. And before we called, God answered! What a confirmation it was to us in that moment.
From our first years to the present time, God has continued to move mightily in our midst. Let me share two recent stories of God’s abundant, on-time supply.
In late spring of this year, our church’s missions coordinator contacted me to ask about specific Together Ministry Center needs. The committee desired to strengthen TMC and those we serve. Although our church has generously shared their van with us the past several years, in order to meet expanding ministry opportunities we knew we needed our own 15-passenger van. Immediately the church began to mobilize, and by the end of July we had been given enough money to purchase the 15-passenger van pictured below. What an overwhelming gift! Before we called, God answered!
I will finish with this story. Just a week ago Monday, I became aware of a mother’s need for beds for her three children. The very next day I heard from a friend. She texted me asking if I could use two twin beds! Yes! That night after delivering the mattresses to the children, this same friend texted me again: “I was so glad to find someone who really needed those mattresses. I’ve held onto them since April for no apparent reason, with my husband asking me at least once a week what I planned to do with the mattresses. I kept putting him off with distracted responses. I couldn’t make myself get rid of them, and I didn’t know why. Today I woke up knowing it was time. So I texted you. And now I know why God wanted me to hold onto the mattresses. It was for these children! It humbled me to see it… How does HE do it so perfectly, weaving the three of us together to make this connection? It really is remarkable.” Yes, it is! Before we called, God answered.
The next morning, I was at a prayer meeting and I shared the moving story of God’s provision of mattresses. The man sitting across from us immediately asked if the children needed bed frames for those mattresses! He happened to have two twin bed frames that he’d planned to take to Goodwill that day. But instead he took them to the mother and her children. Before we called, God answered!
Later that day the mother sent me a grateful note with this photo of her daughters’ new beds.
A couple days later, I got a text from another friend. She wanted to know if I knew anyone who needed a twin bed with mattresses and a frame! Yes again! Provision for child number three. Before we called, God answered!
So within a week’s time this mother had the beds she needed for her three children. I didn’t make a single call or solicit help from a single person. It was all God connecting need with supply. Before we called, God answered.
Isn’t the Lord’s love breathtaking? How great and powerful a witness it is. This is no mere coincidence. May those who give, and those who receive, and those who hear the stories and see the abundant supply see His glory! We are grateful for each and every story He is writing, each and every life He is touching.
“For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36