It seems fitting that this post would follow one I just wrote about God’s provision and walking by faith. Ah, God’s timing! We are getting to live it out now, so here’s the scoop…
It’s time to say goodbye-
to our beloved touring van. 200,000 miles of love, music, laughter, and ministry. She will be greatly missed!!
This 15-passenger Ford Clubwagon has also doubled as our second family car, so we’re in quite a pinch. We’d love your prayers as we seek God these next few weeks for His direction. I’m touring less with the band these days, so we mainly need an around-town family car that gets ok gas mileage. Should we use our small, emergency savings to buy an older 7-seater for around $3,000 – Or, do we wait to see if God will provide somehow in another way? We’re going to take a few weeks, juggling one car and praying for what God has next…
Will you pray along with us? If you know of any cars that could fit our family of six, we’d love to hear about them. Also, if you know someone that fixes and replaces engines, who’d be interested in buying our van, please let us know! Our non-profit ministry can receive tax-deductible contributions, and we’d be hugely blessed with however God directs you.
Have you been fortunate enough to experience a road trip in our well worn van?? Or, do you have a favorite memory? Send us a comment here or on Facebook, and we’ll send her off in grand style!
God provides. It’s His nature, it’s what He does. God and His loving action are inseparable. Dogs bark and wag their tails – God rescues and saves – it’s who He is. One incredible thing about God’s provision is that it is coupled with His wisdom, which is higher than ours, and we’re sometimes left in mystery as to the why and when of His care. For those of us who’ve walked a while in God’s ways, though, we’ve seen over and over that He’s always right. His love for us is perfect, flawless. He’s like a master chess player, making each move with every other move before and ahead in mind. He knows. He knows everything.
It’s interesting to read the stories of God’s provision throughout the Bible. Most often, His action occurs just in the nick of time. He seems to be partial to the cliffhanger rescue. In fact, when He rained down bread from the sky for His people wandering in the desert, He didn’t even allow them to collect and store it. He made it good for one day only, leaving them to rely on Him every morning just to eat. Jesus taught us to pray; “give us this day our daily bread”. He knows this sense of dependence is the best thing for us and our relationship with Him, and He plays the theme like a catchy, pop chorus – repeating again and again and surprising us every time. The Red Sea, water from a rock, a ram in a thicket, a baby in a manger – God’s specialty is the dramatic, last-minute save.
No wonder we experience His provision in our lives this same way. For us, as a missionary family in Southern California, we often find ourselves praying for God’s provision in the quite literal sense; finances. It seems even with all our budgeting and planning, we still meet many months with not enough money for the bills, and we’ve learned to trust in the unpredictable, recuing love of God. A couple weeks ago, my wife and I were going over the finances on a Sunday afternoon. Our accounts were slim, and we decided by faith to cut our grocery budget in half for the week. We’ll see what happens, we said, maybe we can make it and God will help us… Not more than fifteen minutes later, my wife got a text from a friend who owns a catering business. She had just cooked for a massive wedding, there were tons of leftovers, and did we want any? That food fed our family of six for half the week!
A few years ago, our house payment was in danger of not getting paid. Our mortgage was due the next day, and we were a couple thousand dollars short. We needed a miracle. We prayed and put our cares into God’s hands. We surrendered it all, and I slept like a rock that night. In the morning, I waved to our kids from the porch as they walked the couple blocks to school. Lingering on the step, I was at peace even though I wasn’t sure of God’s plan. I drank in the warm, sunny morning and noticed something in the bushes near my feet – a dirty, frayed, grass stained piece of paper. I picked it up, realizing it was an envelope, fallen from the mailbox, who knows how long ago… It was a check for the entire amount and then some! He had provided. My heart leapt with thankfulness once again to a God who loves us, who rescues, who saves.
As a pastor in our city of Costa Mesa, I’m always looking for needs that can be met and people we can help. My wife and I have been making friends with our Hispanic neighbors on Baker St. for several years and our appreciation for their rich culture continues to grow. We’re amazed at their warm family bonds, their passionate work ethic, their exuberant generosity, and of course, the incredible food! Some of our neighbors live with economic hardship, and yet their simple joy and giving hearts inspire us.
We have seen that many of the moms in these homes speak very little English. They’d love to communicate better with their children’s teachers, understand the computer more fully, and have a more confident grasp of the language, but there are obstacles; inconsistent ESL classes, limited childcare, lack of transportation, and intimidating environments. This scenario sets up an incredible need and a powerful way to be a blessing. We have a profound opportunity to share ourselves in the simplest way possible; sharing our English! It’s really that easy. Do you speak English? You can join in!
Along with our community partners, we’ve developed a weekly curriculum that any English speaker can use to facilitate a fun, casual, English class which builds relationships, embodies God’s call to care for others, and impacts the life of a parent, potentially shaping the course of their family for generations to come. On one of our first “Share Your English” nights, we had almost 10 adults (and a battalion of kids) come over to the house. We set up different seating areas, told them to imagine themselves in a restaurant, and had them sit at each table depending on English proficiency. We then went around the tables as “waiters”, taking their “orders” and guiding them through conversational English according to their skill levels. It was a blast! All the while, the children were finding places to run and play in the background. Another time, we had a couple older Hispanic moms practicing English by telling my friend and I (two six foot-plus white guys) how to clean a kitchen. They bossed us around with glee and lots of laughter…and they gained some valuable life skills, too!
Our Spanish speaking friends have been blessed and cared for by this effort in profound ways, and so have we. It’s been such a hit for all of us. A request has been made for a class each week, but our small leadership team can only host one night a month. In order to pull off a weekly gathering, we’d need three more teams to come forward and help in the effort. Would you and a few of your friends be willing to give one night a month toward this Kingdom cause? You don’t need to speak Spanish, and you don’t need to be a trained ESL teacher to jump in. We’ll equip you, walk you through the curriculum, set up the venue, time, and location, and in no time you’ll be experiencing the joy of generosity, making new friends, and joining a brand new dance that you’ve already known the steps to all along; sharing your English!
To help out, contact Heidi or myself…
Justin Fox / firstname.lastname@example.org / 949-294-7039