"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Holy Spirit or Madison Avenue? (2nd of 6)

     As we had contemplated the multiplied thousands of dollars which would be necessary to buy and operate the Flying H, our hearts failed until the Lord showed us Mark, chapter 10, verses 29-30: "Jesus said, 'Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel's sake, but that he shall receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.'"
     The words just jumped at us and we replied, trembling, "Lord, You know the value of this property. We have dedicated it to You. Now give us back one hundred times as much."
     The state gave us a license and agreed to fund our program. The Lord gave us a staff and enabled us to pay off the original mortgage, erect and pay for a gym, purchase two adjacent ranches and pay off one of them.
     Then in 1981 we were stunned by the news that the state had decided to drop their contract with us. This meant that 95% of our income-- $20,000--would be cut July 1st.
     With no income from outside nor leading from above, we sat and fearfully viewed the future. We notified the eleven families and individuals on staff that there would be no paycheck after August 1 and that they were under no obligation to stay on.
     Although the state had stopped paying us, they had not removed our "guests" so our mission field was intact even though our pocketbook was not. We considered closing down the ranch but after much prayer agreed that God had called us and had issued no "change of work orders." We believed He wanted us to continue as we were and to trust Him.
     For a long time there was tension as needs continued and nothing seemed to break on the financial scene. The largest problem was that although staff saw themselves as missionaries, they did not have the prayer support usual to missionaries. They did however have the heart of true missionaries and accepted all things as from the Lord with a spirit of rejoicing.
     We did not have any liberty in our minds to tell others our needs but this drove us more often to our knees. We prayed, "Lord, speak to those who listen to Your voice and impress upon them the opportunity to be part of Your work here."
     It was with real amazement that we watched God stir up people from many walks of life to respond to His voice. Often He motivated missionaries to share with us. This was humbling as we knew what a sacrifice this was for them.

(To be continued)

Today I am thankful for people with faith.

1 comment:

  1. dear jessica...i am looking forward to reading the rest of this incredible story!

    i was so surprised today when i read the wonderful post over at tricias and while i read it, i could not help but to think of you, and so what i did was put what you wrote to me about tricia on one of her earlier post...
    and then i find that you had commented on her airport post...so so a coincidence or what jessica!
    these words i have held close to my heart since you first wrote them about tricia.
    "I don't envy Tricia's ability to write but when I started to read her blog I thought, THIS is how I want to write--tell deep things of the heart and spirit in simple words. Story-telling. Isn't that what Jesus did? I just felt her words were like snowflakes one can barely feel, full of truth and healing and beauty."

    oh! how full of sweetness these words are jessica!...you are a very nice lady....love terry