Can you sit with me a spell? Can you take it all in?
Land had been purchased by Accolade for Saving Lives shortly after Hurricane Matthew struck last fall. Prayers continued. In January of this year I stood on that ground with a team of faithful young servants. Goats that didn’t belong to us ate down our plantain plants on hills of rocks as we prayed for God to reveal his plan and guide us to provision for its completion. We had zero dollars available to begin construction. As we prayed my mind wandered to the estimates I knew to be true. How, God, shall we respond?
I love Haitian proverbs. As we walked away, Patchouko and I a little behind the group, he senses my mind full of financial estimates and says, “You know, if God wants this to happen he can bring the money in the beak of a bird”. I felt a whole lot lighter as we joined the group, “Yes, Patchouko, you are right. I trust that.”
People began to cross our paths in ways that only God can ordain. One generous donation after another began to come in response to ASL’s vision. CLIMB and ASL stepped out in faith together with what little we had, trusting that God was asking us to just do something and he would provide for the rest.
A well. A security wall. The foundation. Then came the call. . .a large mission outreach group would like to spend an 8 week outreach with us. Delighted to host them Patchouko and I set to work planning arrangements. Our current Mission House can comfortably house a moderately sized group. As we brainstormed ideas, the obvious surfaced – the perfect thing would be to finish the Community Center. The rooms planned for community outreach could be temporarily used to house the visiting team. Yes, indeed, but we have no financial provision for that. OK, says Patchouko, we will create another plan.
Hear this clearly. He goes on to say, “If we are supposed to complete the Community Center, God will provide the money by October 3rd or 4th. That would give us enough time to finish before the team arrives. After that and we just won’t have time.” This was mid-September.
Early one morning I am stirring awake when a text message arrives, “Tricia, are you awake?” Yes. “Can I call you?” Sure. This call brings news that a family has been incredibly, unexpectedly blessed and has clearly heard God tell them to share their blessing with CLIMB for Haiti. The amount? More than enough to complete the first floor of the envisioned ASL Community Center. I struggle to breathe, eventually find my breath, and mumble some sort of inadequate disbelieving thanks. As the call ends, the date appears on my phone. . .OCTOBER 3. Sit with that just a second here. Not a day before nor a day after, but THE day it is needed to make it possible.
What might you imagine Patchouko, Director of ASL said of this news? “This is very good news today. God has just said, Patchouko keep going”. Keep the ministry moving. Keep your focus on the vision that God has given you.
I want to take you back to January 2017 when I was privileged to stand on the ground that now holds firm the foundation of ASL’s Community Center. While a group of 7 people seemingly without resources plead to our Heavenly All-Knowing Father for vision and provision, God was busy . . . you guessed it, in the life of that beautiful family. Through a huge leap of faith they would ultimately become the vessels to carry the financial provision for completing the first floor of the Community Center, for housing the outreach team. Just in time. Not early, not late, but just in time.
There have been ups, downs and all arounds in this journey of service through Christ. We push through to minister to, to be ministered to and to love and be loved by the poorest of the poor, some with spirits broken beyond our ability to comprehend. Listen to the vision captured in August 2016:
Praise God with us for bringing this vision one step closer to fruition. Hearts have softened, many have accepted Christ as their savior. Neighbors are loving each other as a sense of community has developed. Education has begun and can now continue toward sustainable employment through the opportunities opened up by having a gathering place. Should we be surprised? Yet we stand in awe.
Will you go with me to God’s word in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened”. Next to Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”.
Be on the look-out. Provision for your vision may very well be coming in the beak of an unsuspecting bird.