It was October. We had just returned to the States from Indonesia so that our daughter could start college. I, too, had reenrolled in college to continue my education. And then we got our monthly check.
Like many missions, we receive our support once a month. People sacrificially donate their money, Wycliffe takes out our social security, our retirement funds, our taxes and our life and health insurance payments, as well as 10% to cover office support. We receive what is left each month. We then pay all of our bills up front and live off of what is left from that.
When we received our October check after Wycliffe had removed our above funds, it was made out for $800. Ken and I stared at it and took a deep breath. “$800! How can a family of four live on $800 in one month?”
We had enough to pay our house mortgage and our electric bill. That’s it.
We looked at each other and then one of said, “Well, this will be interesting to see how God supplies this month.”
We decided to just eat out of the pantry and freezer, and to try not to purchase anything else except milk and fresh fruits and vegetables. I made bread from flour we had already purchased. We cut back on our random driving excursions and planned times to do our errands when we were already out. Ken rode his bicycle to work.
A week or so into this “adventure,” Ken sat down to put his shoes on prior to playing basketball with some friends. I don’t remember why, but he opened up his wallet, paused and said, “Look what I just found!” In the back of his wallet was a check. The month before we had spoken in a church up north and as we left the church, the pastor handed us the check. Ken put it in his wallet without looking at it and there it sat, waiting for us to find it at the perfect time.
The check was for about $200 or $250 as I recall. “Yay, we can pay the car insurance and the phone bill!” We deposited the check.
Each day that month, I ran to the mailbox with anticipation. I don’t know why, but I thought something would come in the mail.Several days later, I went to the mailbox and inside was an envelope from Duke Energy, our electric company. Inside was a letter telling us that everyone in our area had overpaid their electric bill for several years and that they were returning funds to us! Yes, we got a check FROM the electric company! It was less than $150, but we paid a few more bills with it!
The next thing that came in the mail was a check from the health insurance company. “Back in the day” we used to pay our medical bills and then got reimbursed from the insurance company. Yay, we can gas up the car!
The next thing I did, after praying and getting input from friends, was to get a part time job. I worked as a hostess in a local restaurant. While my checks didn’t start until the next month, each evening, the waitresses would give me a portion of their tips as part of my pay. I had cash in my pocket…$3 one day, $6 the next. I used it to buy milk.
Somehow, bit by bit, we made it through the month, and paid all of our bills on time. We didn’t go hungry and we had a roof over our head.
I think that because we were so desperate, our faith came easier. We had no where else to turn but God!! And we looked forward with anticipation to see how HE would provide. He gave us enough. We didn’t win the lottery, but we had our daily bread and more. Oh, speaking of bread, we got free day old bread at our mission every couple of days. Yup, we had bread, literally.
This experience and hundreds more like it allowed us to see God’s hand in our lives. We trusted and we made it through. Sometimes I find it easier to trust on the big stuff and get derailed by the small stuff. But our faith goes hand in hand with God’s love and provision.
As I read God’s words each morning during my devotions, I end with praying that God would make me more like Him and that I would know Him. When I know God, I trust Him, because His ways are perfect, every time.
Thank you for helping us to get the Bible into the hands of others who need to know God too. We want them to experience God as we do.