Attending a food server’s training at the Union Gospel Mission recently, we heard the powerful and compelling story of a young woman whose life was scarred by abandonment, abuse, and addictions. Through the love of God and His hand bringing people who were truly following Jesus across her path, this young woman found hope, healing, and restoration in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Surprised, Chris realized he could relate to the struggles of the young woman, having experienced the pain of abandonment, isolation, and the desperation that leads to functioning in survival mode. He, too, shut off part of his heart because the pain was more than he could bear, all the while desperately seeking something that would help relieve the misery and fill the void in his heart. As we drove away, he said, “I could have ended up at the Mission.” It was very sobering.
The Union Gospel Mission has a fantastic ministry to men and women who are desperately in need of hope. Their ingenuity and intentionality have transformed many lives. But, what if we could change stories like Chris’s and that young lady’s before the wounds went so deep? What if we could introduce the hope and love of Jesus in the midst of the pain that led to destructive choices, instead of simply repairing the damage?
Answering that “What if” question is why we’re in Spokane. We are working to help Christians gain confidence in initiating conversations with those around them, transitioning to and sharing the Gospel clearly, and taking those who come to faith in Christ from being wounded and broken to being able to walk in the hope and healing of a relationship with Jesus. As more and more Christians confidently engage in helping fulfill the Great Commission right here in our own Jerusalem, we can see Spokane become a city of hope, where everyone knows someone who truly follows Jesus and we won’t be asking those “what if” questions any more.
If you have been reading this blog, then you know of God’s amazing provision for us, first with a dryer, then with a freezer, and most recently with a beautiful 2003 Suburban. While the dryer and freezer met desperate needs, the Suburban was an answer to almost a year of prayer. It also requires much more faith to receive, in a way.
A 2003 4×4 Suburban loaded with all the bells and whistles is much more expensive to insure than a 1991 uber-basic two-wheel drive Toyota pick up. A Suburban of any sort is much more expensive to fill with gas than just about any other kind of vehicle, besides a Chevy Express van. So, I started to worry. How will we be able to pay for insurance? How are we going to pay for gas? Oh no – what are we going to do?!
Then, as I was pouring my concerns out to God, it was almost like He laughed at me. Peace filled my heart as I was gently reminded that God has provided the Suburban. Surely He will take care of the details with driving it! Now I have a little more understaning for the Children of Israel as they wondered in the desert. So God had taken care of details to that point, they were frightened, they were starving, they needed water, they were tired of manna! Seeing God’s provision in one area didn’t automatically transfer to trusting Him in another.
I have a feeling I will repeat this class on faith and trusting again. How thankful I am that this lesson was so easy, and that God’s heart is one of compassion and understanding for the struggles of His children, whether wandering in a desert thousands of years ago, or worrying about details of His blessings in the 21st Century.
Just a little update: Chris called our insurance agent this morning and insurance for the Suburban will be $20 more than the truck, every six months!! So, the difference in our budget will be a little over $3/month. And I was all worried. Guess that is why God says not to worry – it certainly doesn’t do me any good.
Chris in his new 2003 Suburban
This is the Suburban we were just given
Wow. That word is completely inadequate, but words fail to communicate our true sentiments. Yesterday afternoon, a couple we’d never met drove up to our house with a beautiful 2003 Suburban. They walked to our front door, accepted Chris’s invitation to come in, then, after making some small talk, handed my husband the keys and owner’s manual to the Suburban!!
The story is amazing, but I haven’t had the opportunity to write out all the details completely. Be checking back regularly so you can read the entire story. In short, God put it on the heart of a dear couple from Boise to purchase a wrecked Suburban, rebuild it, drive it to Spokane, and give it to us! The girls and I have been praying for a new vehicle for Chris for almost a year, but never expected God would answer this way.
Chris is, understandably, delighted. All of us, and all those who have heard the story are amazed. Please join us as we celebrate Jehovah Jirah, our provider!! Wow.