Each year I take a group of people on a short-term mission trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to do a VBS with the children there. Our main mission there is not the VBS, but simply to build relationships and to love the kids there as much as possible in a week's time. We try to "preach the gospel always", and "when necessary, use words".
Each year poses it's own set of difficulties in pulling the trip off. The first year I was scared spitless because I had never before attempted anything remotely like a mission trip. Oh, I had been on some mission trips - to Romania, Haiti and to the Pine Ridge Rez., but I had never had the enoumous responsibility of planning one and seeing it carried out. The fear and self-doubt was quite an obstacle for me to deal with that year.
Foolish me thought that the second year would be easier since by then I had some experience. WRONG! It was harder. A LOT harder. The second year I had a lareger team and there were some on the team that, how shall I say it ..... were a pain in the butt. I'll not go into all the details here simply because it's all history now, and doesn't really matter. But it was challenge enough for me to give serious thought to stopping any future trips. The only reason I was inclined to do this again this year was because I can't turn my back on the kids at Pine Ridge.
So, this year, we're off again. It takes us about a year to pull together the money and plan this thing so I ask for a commitment from people really early on. This year the deadline for making the first non-refundable payment of $100 was last week. I had said that we really need at least 15 people for a trip to the possible. It is just too hard to handle 100 kids and do all we do with a crew of less than 15. The deadline came and we had 14 people. Whew! That was close. Should we do it?? I decided that it would be a stretch, but we would go ahead and give it a go.
Then last Sunday one of our crew told me he had to back out. He had asked for the one week grace period that I always give when a payment is due so he was supposed to give me his $100 this past Sunday. Instead his father told me that they simply didn't have the money. Too many things had broken around their house and made it impossible for them to come up with his payment. I understood. I hated it because (1) we really needed him, and (2) he is a great teenager who loved it there last year and hoped to go into missions full-time someday.
I came home from church Sunday and thought, "OK God, maybe 15 people was going to be hard, 14 a stretch, but 13 I'm just not sure we can do. Maybe You're telling us this is a year to stay home"???? I prayed about it and suddenly I remember that I've already seen ONE miracle regarding this trip. My friend was about to back out becuase she needed $300 for her families first payement and they didn't have it either. Just before the deadline a co-worker gave her a check for $300 - not knowing that was the exact amount she needed. So I figured God probably did want this trip to take place. At our evening service I went back to the mother of the teenager who had to drop out and told her that with her permission I would put him back on the team and that I would find his first $100 payment somehow by midnight that night - not to worry about it. They were extremely grateful and the trip is back on. And before I left the service that evening, I had $100 in my pocket.
I believe that God may be calling us to a higher level of faith. I believe He has enough money, it's just a matter of trusting Him for it.
What's the name of your God?