When I was 20 years old, Tony and I were newly weds, taking turns finishing school, and struggling to make ends meet on my meager income of $465 per month. Our rent was over half of that, we had a car note, medical bills, school loans, etc. and yet every month, God provided in miraculous ways for us to make a little extra to make ends meet. I didn’t realize way back then that God was preparing us to live completely dependent on His provision in the years to come….but I do now.
Five years ago, when we quit our “salaried jobs” and surrendered to a call to become missionaries to Haiti, we also surrendered our “control” over provision for our family. We have since then been completely dependent upon God to move others to contribute to our ministry so that we can have income to take care of our family as well as do the work He called us to do in Haiti. We have never had to worry over those five years whether or not we could make ends meet. He has ALWAYS provided for our every need. It is a daily miracle that we walk in, and there are so many times when we don’t know whether to laugh like Abraham and Sarah or fall on our knees and cry like King David, but we do always shout His praises when He moves in so many mighty ways. Many of you follow our ministry and shout along with us, and we feel so blessed to have so many people rejoicing with us.
Recently I posted a plea for prayer over our housing situation over the coming months. Many of you know, but I will share a little back story here so you can better understand. When Tony and I moved to Haiti 4 and a half years ago, our older son (Jonathan) stayed in the US to finish college and go on to marry, and our younger son (Jacob) returned to the US to finish high school and go on to college. For those first two years, I lived mostly in the US with Jacob, returning frequently to Haiti to serve as often as I could. Because we had sold our house in the US, Jacob and I moved from place to place wherever we could find someone generous enough to allow us to stay for a little while. Over those 22 months, we moved 20 times. It was not easy, but neither of us complained because God was making a way and providing all along. After he graduated, Jacob went on to college, but he still had no “home” other than our house in Haiti. When not in school, he still moved several times as was necessary, misplacing countless items and gradually ending up with things stored in no less than four locations. Every time Tony and I would return to the states and stay in a mission house, Jacob would breathe a sigh of relief to be able to move his things to where we were and live with us for a few weeks instead of as someone else’s house guest. It has been difficult, but God has always provided and we have been grateful.
Each year, Tony and I return to the US for a holiday break from mid-December to mid-January. Jacob always stays with us during that time and we soak up as much family time as we can over those weeks! This year is a little different, however, in that Tony is having to stay longer because he is in an online Nurse Practitioner program and he is required to get so many clinical hours for school. He will graduate in May, but he has many requirements that will make it necessary to return to the US often over the next six months. Jacob is working and taking online classes too until he can return to school full time in the fall. The two of them were needing somewhere that they could stay over the next six months. We began to pray and seek. Although I am sometimes proud and hard headed, God has taught me over the years to be specific in my prayers, depend on Him for miracles, and to make our needs known, and He reminded me through His word over the last few weeks. In Matthew 6:11 He says that when we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread,” we ask God to provide daily for our needs. His word also says, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). So when we have a need, we can also have a specific desire in our heart as well. Don’t be afraid to ask! We should never place restrictions and limits on our God and think our request is impossible to fulfill because Matthew 19:26 says, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Then the Holy Spirit just this week taught me something new about the verse James 2: 26 where it says, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” We usually interpret this to mean that we show our faith by the works we do in His name. It also means, however, that we should never say, “I have faith that this mountain will move” and then sit there and stare at the mountain. There’s work involved in seeing miracles happen. WE don’t make them happen, God does, but we are actively involved in carrying them out…that’s faith! Wow! I’ve never thought of it that way! I didn’t need to just pray, “Lord provide a safe, more permanent place for Jacob and Tony (and occasionally me) to stay over the next 6 months” then sit and wait. I needed to make our needs known, ask for prayer, then look around, check into things, ask people, seek it out! KNOW that He will provide!
Many, many people have graciously offered for us to stay in their homes, guest houses, rental houses, hunting cabins, etc. over the last few weeks. It absolutely BLOWS US AWAY that so many people are so generous and genuinely concerned for our well-being. It is humbling and overwhelming and we are grateful. As we have considered and prayed about each and every location, I just kept hanging on, asking God to provide a safe, conveniently located, spacious and private place so that the guys could stay in one place for the whole 6 months, be fairly close to work and school, feel safe and secure, have enough space for their “stuff” and yet at the same time have all of these things but not cost us a lot of out of pocket expense at this time. Ya think that was too much to ask? I kept being tempted to think so myself, but then God kept reminding me that He wants those things for us too, so we held out in faith….
Two days ago – just two days before I am to return to Haiti – God showed out! He provided a place that is all of the above with the exception of the last thing….we would have to pay rent. The rent wasn’t an unreasonable amount by any means, but it would definitely make our budget have to stretch considerably. We decided to go ahead and accept it in faith that God would provide. Provide he DID!!! Not only did He provide the place, but in that same day He provided the funds!! God used a precious, precious friend to bless us with the entire six month’s rent! Oh my goodness, my heart is jumping out of my chest RIGHT NOW! Praise His Mighty Name!! JESUS!!!
Tomorrow I will return to Haiti and jump right into a whirlwind of exciting things God is about to do in our village. We live in a world of daily miracles and I laugh in amazement of His works and blessings!! Next week, Tony and Jacob will pack up and move out of one mission house and into the new location, and God will continue to “meet all [our] needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19, and we will continue to stand amazed!!
Thank you to all who so faithfully pray and give and support and participate in our ministry to the people of Galette Chambon, Haiti, making His named known throughout our village and surrounding villages there. His name is GREAT!!!