Thursday, July 26, 2012

giants in disguise

One of our favorite parts of being missionaries is meeting godly men and women with deep faith and big hearts for what God is doing around the world. Remarkably, some of them have begun praying for us and supporting us without having met us! That’s true of three women from different time zones who (I’m convinced) are giants in the kingdom of God. They may prefer to be anonymous, so I've used pseudonyms here, but God knows who they are and their rewards are waiting in heaven!

Laverne heard about us from her son, our dear friend and mentor. She had a big heart for missions and a thriving business, left to her by her late husband. When she heard about our ministry she began supporting us right away. She was our biggest giver for several years before we finally had a chance to meet her. Her community service and hospitality matches her generosity. What a blessing to know her!

Charlene heard about us from a mutual friend in SIM. She began praying for us regularly when we lived in the Philippines, and has answered every one of our prayer letters with a hand-written letter. Recently her husband passed away and she moved to a retirement home. She took the time to tell us her new address, and it just happened to be right on my way home from Notre Dame. What a blessing to finally meet her and thank her for her faithful prayer support!

Anna Mae took her niece’s word for it that she should support us. When we first met we were struck by her gracious and cheerful spirit. Like Laverne and Charlene, Anna Mae had aged with grace and looked for ways to share joy with those around her. We’ve seen her several times, and always her selfless joy shines through.

Just after my visit with Charlene several weeks ago, I was in a minor car accident. Though I wasn’t hurt at all, our van was totaled. Our neighbors generously offered us the use of one of their cars until we found a replacement. Saturday we finally found it: the exact same van in excellent condition, one year newer and with 32,000 fewer miles. The price was much lower than we expected. Already confident that God had provided this van for us, we had no idea that he had another surprise up his sleeve. While we were out looking, he was silently arranging to help us pay for the van behind our backs. Imagine our shock when we found a check in our mailbox on Monday morning from Anna Mae. We can now pay for our van, taxes, fees, new tires and trailer hitch, with money left over!  Anna Mae simply saw a need and decided to meet it.

The giants in God’s kingdom are not who we might expect. They don’t necessarily live in major cities, hold positions of power, have a large following, or command attention. Some of them live quiet lives of faithfulness in small town America, praying fervently, giving generously, and letting the joy of the Lord splash on everyone they meet. Their noiseless acts of service are changing the world, one radiant smile at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Great story about God's provision with the new van! Remind us next time we see you to share a story of God's provision for us last week. It was amazing!

    Thanks for your comments on my blog last night. I enjoyed hearing your cravings during pregnancy. :)