"We can't do it." I argued halfheartedly. "Even if by some miracle God sent us that much money, we are committed to paying off all our debts."
Bruce wouldn't let it drop that easily. He wanted so very much to be at the ACE International Student Convention again. We had been going and judging competitions for the last five years and had been blessed every time we went. We knew that God had used us to bless others there, too, and I guess I was still hoping He could use us again, but I tried not to let it show too much.
Bruce was more openly optimistic, or maybe he just had more faith. "Well, what if we got money that was specifically designated? God could do that, you know." I had to laugh. I loved his optimism even if I didn't show it myself. He prayed that if it was God's will He would provide the needed funds.
The next day, on our 44th anniversary, the PSW worker was here, and she offered to go to the mailbox for us. Bruce looked over my shoulder as I opened a small envelop. "Is it a check for $2,500?" he joked. It wasn't, but it did have a totally unexpected check in it which someone had blessed us with. We were thrilled to see how God was providing for our needs, but this check wasn't specifically designated for travel or ministry. Bruce took the rest of the less interesting mail and sat down to glance through it.
Bruce had just started getting interested in the mail again. A year ago he had handled everything, but when he got sick eight months ago, I took over. It had been a bit confusing at first because of a charitable organization Bruce and a minister friend had set up back when they needed to give out receipts. There was money in it, but it wasn't for us. I learned to ignore any bank statements except our own personal joint account.
There were two bank statements in the mail that day. One was the personal account, and the other was the one I had presumed was the charitable organization. When Bruce opened the statement he started getting excited. "Hey! It says we have over two thousand dollars in this account!"
"But that's not ours," I reminded him. "That's the ministry account."
"No, you're thinking of a different account," he explained. "This is my own personal account that I kept for ministry. I had completely forgotten about it." All this time, when I saw those bank statements I ignored them, not realizing that God had planned for us to use the money when He was ready to send us out again.
The bank statement did more than tell us we had money to go to ISC. It told us that God still had a work for us to do, and that He knew we would be strong enough for a trip to Harrisburg Virginia.
But that's not all. You'll love this part too!
Just a couple of days earlier I had mentioned to Bruce that I wondered if the Lord was going to use us to do speaking engagements again. I have always loved testifying of what God has done, and Bruce loves to give his testimony, too.
I told Bruce in the morning that I was wondering if God would give us that kind of ministry, and in the evening I received an email from someone I don't think I have ever met, asking if I would consider doing a talk for a ladies event at a church a few miles from here. We used to live near there and attended there for a while but she didn't know that. I don't even know how she connected with me. I just know that God directed the timing of her email to coincide with our discussion.
Praise the Lord! He is not through with us yet!
For the next post see Encouragement from a FaceBook Friend
For the previous post see: Our 44th Anniversary that we didn't expect to celebrate