Learning to trust God for money has been an interesting and challenging journey. These are just some of the ways God has blessed us.
My two main jobs to earn money while at Freed-Hardeman College were washing dishes in the college cafeteria and working on the college farm. One Friday after working in the field I discovered that my hands and arms were covered in Poison Ivy. I had $2.00, which I could have used to purchase medicine. However, I had set the money aside to give in the collection on Sunday. What was I to do? I needed the money for medicine in order to work. However, I had promised the money to give to the Lord. As an act of faith I gave the money in the collection. First thing Monday morning, before the usual time for the mail, there was a letter and cheque with $10.00 in my mail box!
Just after the mid-term reports came out, I discovered that the man who had been entrusted with my savings for school was not trustworthy. Even though I had been working six hours a day, it was not enough to pay all of my school fees. I was upset and went for a walk. During the walk a sudden storm soaked me which triggered a physical breakdown.
A couple of days later, the Dean of Students and President of the college came to my room and told me that the doctor had revealed to them my serious heart condition and forbade me from working on the college farm and that I could only work two hours a day in the cafeteria. I told them about being cheated out of my savings and that I needed to work in order to go to school. What could I do? The Dean suggested that I pray about it! It never crossed my mind that God would be concerned about my attending school. However, I prayed, asking God to provide a way to complete my education if that was His will or show me what to do.
A week later I expressed my dilemma to some friends. One suggested that I apply for a scholarship, to which I responded that my mid-term grades were two B’s, two C’s and two D’s, which isn’t acceptable for scholarships.
Because no other options came to mind, I timidly went to the President’s office. As I was about to knock, the door opened and the President said “Good-bye” to a visitor. The President invited me in and asked what he could do for me. I laughed with embarrassment and said, “I’ve come to apply for a scholarship.” The President replied that man who just left his office had given a large sum of money to the college for scholarships to assist needy students. “There’s no grade requirement. You are the first to apply. It’s yours!”
Over the next five years of college, money would arrive just when I needed it. On my last day at Harding College I owed the school $200. When I went to my mail box there was a letter from a member of my home congregation in California with a cheque for $200 made out to Harding College. (No one there knew that I owed any money.)
Then came the challenge to raise support to go to Finland as missionaries. All of my efforts were unsuccessful. Finally I gave up. I prayed and told the Lord that if he wanted us to go, he would have to provide the money. As I finished praying the phone rang. A college friend from Mooresville, Alabama had been speaking on mission work to his very small congregation and asked if I would come and speak that Sunday on our plans!
The Mooresville congregation said they would support us. One of the members told us that the Franklin, Tennessee congregation might be interested in supporting us. Franklin was on my way back home, so I stopped by the church on Monday. They agreed to support us and suggested I contact Scottsville, Kentucky, which was also on my way back home. They, too, agreed to support us. Even though we lacked a third of the support we were told that we would need, we were convinced that the Lord would provide what was truly needed – and He did. Soon we were given enough money to purchase plane tickets to travel to Finland.
When we came to Canada in 1967 we had support promised for three months only. However, the Lord has continued to provide our needs.