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The following are the pursuits in which this organization is involved:
The following people are presently voluntarily serving on our Board:
It has been my normal practice to not share the financial details of the organization I head unless it has been to satisfy Annual Meeting accountability. I hold this close to me. My goal(s) is greater than money. My ultimate purpose is not to recognize donors, although I am thankful and appreciative of those who contribute money; my over-riding purpose is to honor God and draw attention to Christ alone.
Also, giving undue attention to one monetary gift over another must be guarded against. A small gift of money may be a much greater sacrifice to the giver who provides it than a sizeable amount given by one who has great wealth. It is easy to pass over the ten dollar bill with scant notice and fixate on the ten thousand dollar check pulled from an envelope. Not knowing individuals’ circumstances and incomes, it is impossible to judge between the smaller and the greater as to who actually gave the most. I am habitually reminded of the widow’s mites in Scripture as lauded by Jesus.
Having said all of this, I desire to take a different path and seek a different end when considering money. Money is necessary and money is needful, but we must not allow ourselves to lose sight of what is truly important in the reception of money. Recently I was given the opportunity to put these values into practical use as were others around me. Money was involved. In fact a goodly sum was at the center of things which transpired. Actually the money was only a part of a sequence of events which no man could have orchestrated. God accomplished His purpose by setting in motion a series of connected happenings which clearly revealed His unmistakable fingerprints in the process, as well as in the outcome.
I have taken pains to be accurate and to share the facts without embellishment. I do not want to, in any way, try to force things to appear fantastic but simply write in plain fashion what happened.
We should not be surprised (although I often am) over God’s workings since we are talking about God. We should definitely be humbled and grateful when He reveals His mighty hand to us. He is a good God, a very good God who loves His people. As I submit the following sequence of events for your encouragement, as an opportunity for me to honor our Savior, and as a challenge for all of us to be attentive to God’s dealings with us frail creatures, our Lord is indeed at work in the lives of His followers. Here’s what happened:
The company truck I drive is a white Ford Ranger. It is a 2003 model and was purchased by the Mission in January of 2004 as a low mileage used vehicle. I came across the small truck for sale on the side of the road in the Shady Grove community. I’ve been driving the truck for twelve years to perform my duties and carrying out my daily activities. By 2016 the truck had in excess of 180,000 miles on the odometer.
Due to age and constant use, almost exclusively stop-and-go driving around town and in the county, I was having increased mechanical problems which made it difficult for me to effectively use my time and do my work (not to mention the mounting costs to the Mission). The truck was in two different shops in February for short periods for necessary repairs. This had developed into a routine state of affairs.
The regularly scheduled bi-monthly meeting of the Board of Directors was set for March 17th. In advance of the meeting I had compiled my report as usual. Among my notes under the heading of EQUIPMENT I had typed “Company truck (2003, 180,752 miles) needs replacement now.” I intended to bring this matter before the full Board in order to start the process of securing another vehicle for my use as an employee. Due to hazardous weather the meeting was cancelled per request of one of the Board members. I would have to wait on this request and other pressing matters until another meeting could be held.
On the day of the cancelled meeting another truck problem had arisen. I was forced to put the truck in the shop again because it kept losing water for some reason and I had to keep filling the radiator to avoid overheating. On March 18th I was called by the shop and told the problem was simple. They had traced the water system out and discovered the radiator cap was not making a tight seal so the water was boiling out through the reservoir. I picked up the truck, glad over such a minor repair.
Well, the truck exhibited the exact same symptoms of losing water when I resumed my constant city driving again. It was losing water and I had to add more to the radiator every day. On March 24th I took the truck back to the same shop for them to re-evaluate it. I was very frustrated by this time.
The following day was Good Friday and I was at work minus the company truck of which I awaited word from the shop. I was also minus my associate, Greg, who had taken a vacation day so I brought my son to help in the kitchen that morning. Late that morning, over the telephone I was told the truck had a cracked engine head. When I asked the mechanic what I should do he plainly advised me to get rid of the truck and “sell it as is.” I hung up the office phone while in thought over this defeatist conversation.
I began talking to a volunteer in the kitchen trying to be pleasant but said nothing to him about the truck or the news I’d just received over the phone. Another volunteer had just come in and sat nearby as the two of us chatted. I was told at this time that he was expecting a check for the Mission from a relative. He wasn’t certain when it would arrive but he wanted to give it to me immediately when it came to his house. I discussed this briefly and explained I had to go deliver meals as soon as we finished serving lunch. The long-time volunteer wanted to pass on the donation as soon as it came without delay. I did not understand the urgency (and thought to myself that he could give it to me on Monday). He never told me the amount and I never asked. I gave him my cell phone number so I could meet him that afternoon to receive the money.
Once everyone left for the day, my son and I were alone to put things away. As we worked to clear the kitchen another volunteer dropped by to visit. As we talked and worked, and before I could leave to take my meals, my cell phone rang. The money had come and the volunteer courier was on his way. The visiting volunteer exited and momentarily the caller appeared. He entered the kitchen carrying a FedEx envelope. Before me he opened the white cardboard envelope which had been expressed overnight for fast arrival. From this secure package he pulled out a regular mailing envelope. From this smaller envelope I received a check for $20,000.00. A scant hour had passed since I’d gotten off the phone with the shop and the time I held this check in my hand!
The following Monday morning I was again extremely busy as Greg had taken a second scheduled vacation day off. It was not until after lunch that I was able to water the truck and take it to another shop which does engine work. They assessed the situation and confirmed the head was cracked. I was given a price of $1459.72 for the necessary repair work.
That same Monday, following Good Friday, I contacted a Board member who has “car expertise” to explain the whole matter and related to him the sequence of events. We discussed the need for another truck. I suggested we begin looking for a low mileage used truck for the organization to purchase. In response he offered to research the availability of trucks and report to the full Board on his findings later that week at the re-scheduled meeting. He also requested that I hold the check so he could present it at the meeting as part of his presentation.
The re-scheduled meeting was set for March 31st following the observance of Holy Week. In preparation for this meeting I altered the notes of my report to reflect the new developments. By the time of the meeting, the truck in question was parked in my driveway and would not start. Our friend’s findings pertaining to the need for another truck were reported by him to everyone in attendance. He then asked me to explain what had happened to the truck before and leading up to Good Friday. I was pleased to do so and briefed those in attendance on what had transpired on that day. When I concluded, the truck expert presented the $20,000.00 check to the treasurer for deposit. He recommended the purchase of a new truck with the use of this money. His investigation during the week had led him to a Nissan Frontier which he was confident would meet our needs and was to be had at a very good price.
Needless to say, everyone was encouraged after hearing the story of the truck and the money. It was all presented in summary fashion to the Board members, not in the detail that I have written here. The Board enthusiastically unanimously voted to accept the recommendation of the one member, using the money toward the purchase of the new truck.
So much can be elicited from this sequence of events which no man planned. Our Father satisfied a real need in a fashion which pointed directly to Him as the Author and Provider. A Board meeting was delayed until the full need could be developed. A brother was prompted to send a large donation from another state while another brother was prompted to urgency in delivering the check. God’s timing in structuring this scenario could not be missed. He used it all to not only supply a pressing need, but to once again cause us to recognize his uncanny goodness as we humbly submit ourselves before Him. He refreshed us in taking up His cause. We cannot help but say, ”God is good.”
I set aside time on a Saturday morning, after going back through my journal entries and thinking through this whole affair, to write this account. I do so for several reasons. One is to send a copy to the donor of the $20,000.00 to make him aware of how God used his generosity and thus encourage the giver. Two is because I was asked to share what happened, by one of the Board members who heard the report, at the upcoming Annual Meeting for the benefit of those who are involved with the Mission. Three is because a wider audience of readers can glean profit from knowing this story of God’s graciousness toward a small group of His believers doing His work.