it was monday evening, on the 7th of this month, that i was sitting on the couch thinking about the impossibilities that lay before us. on the thursday night before our oven completely died in the middle of baking a loaf of bread for dinner. our glass top on the stove was already broken a year ago to the tune of $200 to replace ourselves (with one burner completely out of commission), and as we looked into the problem with the oven we discovered the part to fix it was $170 by itself.
almost $400 to fix an oven ourselves - you can buy a new oven for that amount.
...and in a month that was going to be a miracle to get through financially without the extra burden.
we live as missionaries in california (in my hometown even) and january is often an extremely low month of support as people are coming off of the expensive holidays and heading into tax season. somehow january always holds more of the once a year expenses for our family than other months. somehow God always comes through, but it is never without adventure.
as i talked to my mom on the phone on saturday afternoon, less than 48hours after the oven broke, i heard myself say out loud how we would look back on this time someday and be amazed at how God came through for us once again.
looking back, it sounds like i had great faith. i don't think it was as much great faith as it was the past 4 years of living on missionary support to do what God has clearly set before us (in one of the most expensive places in the world to live), we have built a history of seeing God provide for us in spite of our weak faith.
we have 5 kids... 5 little boys who like to eat a lot of food! we live on a whole foods diet, which means i make 98% of the food that we eat and in the winter most of that is in our oven. i knew that we had no means to replace or fix our oven, but i knew that God would make sure our kids ate even if it meant i was about to get really creative in my meal planning.
so on monday night, january 7th at 9:50pm i typed on my one thousand gifts app on my phone:
God is about to wow us.
little did i know that at that very moment He was dropping His plan to wow us into the heart of a friend.
i found out later that at 10:20pm on the very same monday night a friend, not even a super close friend but a sister of a close friend who is a reader of this blog and who i have been getting to know better over facebook, heard of our need and had a God idea. she decided to set up a facebook event to secretly let a bunch of our friends and family know what had happened to our oven and ask them to join her in surprising us with the money to buy a new oven. these are the words she wrote out on the facebook "event" to bless our family:
Bill & Charis are in need of a oven because theirs just died and it costs $400 to fix, so let's bless them with a brand new one!reading these words bring tears to my eyes. oh, a huge surprise it ended up being!
They run the prayer watch house here in Redding,Ca and are on missionary support. They have 5 beautiful boys.
We want to keep it a surprise until we give them the money for them to pick out the oven.
The goal is $600 (most oven runs $400 plus taxes etc.) If we end up going over $600, they will have more option to pick a nice one or use the extra money toward anything that they need.
If you are in, I will setup a PayPal or you could write check (mail or meet up) and when we reach $600 or more I will have someone or maybe me hand the money to them.
If we can get 30 people or more to give $20.. Or $5,$10 $15 is fine...or pray for them will be a huge blessing.
If you know anyone that works in the appliance department that can give discount or give a great deal on a electric oven ...please let us know! :)
Thanks! Pass on the Blessings!!!
Remember this is a surprise!
in less than 24 hours they raised the $600... in less that 48 they had well over the amount and still had others who said they had money to get to us.
at this point over $1000 has been given to us as a direct result of this friend asking those who love us to help out.
i am shocked and awed by the mercy and goodness of God.
i will let you watch the video my sister-in-law took while she and my friend michele, who organized the whole gift, hand delivered an envelop of cash and a card listing so so many friends and family, with some anonymous givers thrown in there as well, who gave to our family in our time of need. it is a bit embarrassing to me, in the most God way, but i want to show you and share with you to encourage you in whatever you are going through.
God wants to wow you. He wants to show you His provision is not up to you in any way. His goodness is not up to you. He sends rain to the just and the unjust alike. it isn't up to you to muster up a big faith. a small faith in the One who is Faithful is enough. He wants to kiss you with His kindness just like He kissed me just 11 days ago.
in one of the hardest times of my life, in a time that i have been crying out for God to make Himself really really real to me, He used those around me to answer my cry - a cry that wasn't even about money or provision. my cry was to know Him.
in the time of my weak faith, He is faithful once again to make Himself known.
if He could do it for me, He can do it for you.
we ended up getting both an oven and a new dishwasher for $600 - the amount they originally set out to raise. God is so good. even when you don't see how it is going to work, His ways are beyond what we can see.
still counting gifts to 1000...
825 - 847:
825. the opportunity to bless others with what we have been given by Him.
826. stove popped corn in coconut oil, butter, real salt, and nutritional yeast.
827. the sweetness of a sleeping baby in my arms. gets me every time.
828. the way giving thanks changes me.
829. letting go.
830. being crushed by the One who has my ultimate best in mind.
831. oat groats and backyard eggs - breakfast perfection.
832. mermaid colored nails.
833. soccer practices and soccer games and being a soccer mama.
834. tuesday bringing a box of new fresh yummy produce every week.
835. one day at a time.
836. God is good - all. the. time.
837. prophetic song - the Holy Spirit melting my hardened heart through the song of another believer.
838. 85% cacao dark chocolate.
839. new pair of toms.
840. gelato date with my oldest boy.
841. hearing his honest assessment of what he likes about me and what i need to work on.
842. staying up a bit late to try to write.
843. freshly mopped kitchen floor.
844. creative meals.
845. God is about to wow us.
846. and He did. and still does.
847. His faithfulness does not depend on the size of my faith.
i am linked up at a holy experience.
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please leave a link to your list of gifts in the comments and i will come visit your blog as well! i love to give thanks together.