God has given us the opportunity to be part of the volunteer staff at Shiloh Bible Camp in Donnelly, Idaho this July. We will be involved in various ministries and camp sessions. We have visited my cousin and her husband who are full time camp staff at Shiloh. I can hardly wait to spend time sharing giggles and ministry with my family and to also be back in that beautiful part of the country!
The last 2 months have been a whirlwind of activity. Early in May we made the decision to be a part of the summer camping season at Shiloh. It was easy to say yes because we want to go see my cousin and her husband and to spend a month at Shiloh because it’s beautiful! Nestled in the mountains with mild temperatures and postcard perfect scenes around every turn! It was easy to say yes to teaching basic sewing to adults and teenagers! It was a “mostly easy” decision, mostly!
The hard part was coming up with the resource to follow God’s call. We had planned for a summer mission trip back to Arizona working with the Native Americans there. We had already budgeted those funds. As we prayed about the opportunity we were certain of God’s call to go an extra 2,400 miles and traveling through six states instead just three. Things became a little less easy and a lot harder. Hard to see where the funds would come from. Hard to juggle our responsibilities at home. Hard to gather all the needed supplies to conduct ongoing sewing classes.
As we prayerfully planned for the opportunity God gave us confidence that the resources we needed would be available. Our travel budget was a significant amount as were the supplies for the classes my cousin and I had decided to offer. I remember looking at the dollar amount and thinking there is no way on earth Marshall and I can come up with this money on our retirement incomes!
Here’s what we did. We discontinued our Friday adventures putting the funds we normally spend for gas, food and attractions into our missions saving account every Friday. That did make a small dent in the total. We replaced Friday adventures with Fundraiser Fridays. Marshall made some barn wood wall crosses. I sold some quilts. We had baking days and sold dozens of cookies and breads. All of that did add up but still the goal was out of reach.
During these fundraising efforts we both worked hard and prayed hard. It is not always easy to trust God when the task or goal seems so big, but God is faithful! Funds came in! They came in unexpected and surprising ways. Rebates from a major purchase made earlier, monetary gifts from friends at church, a new acquaintance giving a large sum simply because God told them to! We were blown away!
Now we are back to the easy part! It is easy to see how foolish we were to have moments of doubt. It is easy to give God the praise he deserves. It is easy to move forward with our plans because we see God at work. It is also easy to understand we are only human and there will be more times when we come to hard situations. There will be more hard times and impossible tasks set before us. It will be made easier with this demonstration of God’s provision and love showered down on us.
The LORD will guide you continually and provide for you. Isaiah 58:11a CEB
Written by Susana