The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. ~ Psalms 138:8
In Scripture, the Lord tells us He is our provision. I remember the first time I witnessed God’s provision, working out all the details on my behalf.
I had never considered going on a mission trip; I didn’t think I had the required book knowledge, or boldness, to share the Gospel with strangers. When I shared my thoughts with a gentleman from church, he discredited my mindset. Missions, he said, was about showing the love of Christ to others by meeting needs, and if required, using words. Hum, I thought. Serving, I could do. Easily.
Two days later, the worship bulletin announced a meeting for a medical mission trip to Rio de Janeiro. Friday’s conversation played through my mind. Without a doubt, I knew I was to go on the mission trip. I got excited as the details were outlined in the meeting. As part of an ongoing partnership to provide medical care to the impoverished, our group was joining four other teams from Tennessee. When I heard the cost, my excitement momentarily waned. Airfare to Brazil was not cheap and, for safety reasons, lodging was in the pricey tourist district on Copacabana Beach. I was going to have to trust the Lord to provide financially. In faith, I committed to join the team.
A week later, I got a call from the staff member coordinating the mission trip; he was moving. He said if I would take over the administrative tasks, the church would pay for half of my expenses. In my administrative role, I watched the Lord meet every need. So many medical supplies were donated that we passed them along to another ministry. Work schedule conflicts were resolved. The most exciting was to see financial needs being met as monetary donations were received. From the generosity of my Sunday school class and anonymous donations, I watched my own funding balance increase.
With only four weeks to go, we got an urgent call. The missionary in Brazil had distressing news. The government official she worked with for permission to bring the medical supplies with us into the country, tax-free, was in Asia on a family emergency. His second-in-command not only refused us bringing the supplies on our flight, he would not waive the fees. The cost of shipping the supplies was substantial, the taxes prohibitive. The entire mission was in jeopardy. Then a senior manager of an international shipping company volunteered to pay all shipping costs. Before the crates were shipped to Brazil, the missionary made one final visit to the Brazilian official to plead. She was in the hallway waiting and praying when she learned her primary contact had come into his office - for only a few minutes - before returning to Asia. The missionary left with the necessary approvals and waived fees. The trip was a go!
Each team member’s account balance had to be paid in full ten days prior to departure. I still owed over $500. One morning, my boss excitedly told me I had been selected to receive a cash award. The amount? Exactly what I needed to pay my account in full! Similar scenarios occurred for my team members; only one team member ended paying out-of-pocket…seven dollars!
The mission trip was an amazing adventure, with stories for another day. Yet it was the experience of watching the Lord work out every single detail, for each team member, which encouraged me most in my faith walk. God is in the details, big and small, and He is always faithful to accomplish all that concerns me.