Today, I post for the purpose to encourage the Lord’s people.
As I approach the anniversary date of a most spectacular season in my life four years ago. I want to show you evidence of the Lord’s provision of a work he began during a most unsuspecting encounter with danger.
No one would have planned our gospel engagement in Haiti the way God did. We would have planned it in a way that would have been comfortable, easy and I’m sure would have appeased the worldly man. Then we would have mapped out a financial plan that would likely not include much faith at all.
For the past several years I have been invited to speak in various places about those God ordained days. Now, by the leading of God, Eastside Baptist Church, a simple church by the world’s standard, has begun a journey of faith that was never expected by us when we said yes to the invitation to go. In 2013, the Lord called Eastside Baptist to plant a church, open a girls home, and partner with other gospel driven people as we put our hand to the plow of sowing the fields of the souls of men (in this case 20 girls in Port-au-Prince and a neighborhood with no gathering for believers) with the gospel.
In 2013, Eastside Baptist Church asked God to help us. This people, known to few, believed God calling them to plant a church and establish a girls home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This, in spite of tight financial restraints. There were a few months when our regular operating budget would fall short, a month where payroll was delayed for 5 days, and a deadline to the city of Twin Falls with more of our building project was met as we continued to build debt free.
Our first step was to ask God for help… Even with a tight, and sometimes short financial budget, we adjusted our budget in mid year to include $200.00 a month to give to the church planting work and girls home.
Our next step was to ask God for help… We knew that $200.00 was not enough to cover all of the needed expenses. We Asked God to provide $1,225.00 per month from outside of our budget to start the work. We committed to not ask anyone for help but God. In doing so, God has given us many opportunities to talk about His work as people and churches call and write for more information. We are always pleased to speak of God’s work. Toward the end of our first month, we were $90 short of the needed $1,225.00. With one day left in the month, tempted to ask and spread the word to men, I closed my office door in fear that I had not heard properly from the Lord. As I wept and cried out to God for help, the church treasurer came to the office to prepare the check, she checked the money box in the office and there was a check for New Horizon Home for $100.00. The Lord had already prepared and answered our need. My faith has been increased.
Our next step was to ask God for help… The discovery of medical needs for the girls began to become evident as some were diagnosed with tuberculosis, dental needs for their failing teeth, nourishment for their fragile bodies from neglect and endangerment began to surface. These were no surprise to God, but not part of our financial plan. Even though it was established in faith, it was evident that our faith was still too small. As we asked God for more and above each month, he always provided.
Our next step was to ask God for help… In October, after returning from Haiti, we found that we were still needing to include more toward the growing needs. Now the questions of education and ongoing care for the girls would require us to once again increase our faith and establish a budget of $2,250.00 per month. Keep in mind that our operating budget within our church was still only $200.00. (We couldn’t even afford the $200.00 per month without God.) The temptation was high to send letters to churches and people we know asking for help. But we remained steadfast by the power of God to plead our case before the Almighty. So we asked God for help…
Our next step is to ask God for help… Since beginning in April with $200.00, to $1,225.000, to $2,250.00 per month, God has met ALL needs.
It’s a good thing that IRS requires churches to give financial receipts to people who give to churches.But for me, the most exciting part about addressing and stamping letters to those who have given to Eastside Baptist Church and New Horizon Home is a visual reminder of the kindness of God as I prepare to walk to the mail box.
My next steps this morning will be steps of joy and praise as these letters are actually to people who are not members/attenders of Eastside Baptist Church. They are going to individuals and churches in Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Idaho. They are people who have given one time or multiple times. They are people who respond to the prompting of God. This picture is a sacred picture. It represents, to me and the people of Eastside, a gracious God who moves an obedient people to do His glorious work. May the Lord be pleased, His church rejoice, the Gospel go forth, and His name be praised.
We follow God to the uttermost… Oh Lord, we believe! Now as we take the next step, help our unbelief.