Monday, April 26, 2010

Even the Birds

"God, what am I doing? I could be somewhere else, making money, and have all I want. You said you would provide for me. Will you really?" . . .

It was the third week of classes at our Children at Risk school in Bogota, Colombia. I loved most of the lectures, and overall was glad to be here, but panic rose when I thought about my financial needs.
I was frustrated because I didn't have spending money for snacks. With some attitude, I brought my problem to God's attention and challenged him with his words. Quoting from Matthew I prayed, "You said the birds of the air and the flowers of the field don't worry because you feed and clothe them. Jesus said our Father will provide even more for us. Is this word truth?" My next thoughts were, Either these words are true or they aren't.
Which will I believe? Ok, fine. I'll believe it. Its true. With that forcefully and willfully settled, I finished folding my laundry and stopped thinking about it. God would provide.
Moments later, my roommate, Melanie, walked in the door. "Ericka, do you want this banana?" My eyes widened. She repeated the question and said, "I have an extra one." When I took the banana, I could almost see the word, Provision, written on the curved, yellow side. Was this a joke? How did Melanie know I wanted a snack?
That was the beginning . . .
Later that week, I sat on the patch of grass outside the house. Another girl, Jessica, came and squatted next to me. "Ericka, do you need anything? Any personal items?" I thought about my shampoo that would be gone in a few days. "Yeah, I do." She told me, "I was in the store and had a thought to buy you shampoo, lotion, whatever you need." In disbelief I laughed and just shook my head.
The same week, I walked down the hall of the ministry house, and one of the ladies, Mary, approached me. "This is for you, Ericka. The lotion is almost gone, but it smells really good." She handed me a fancy pink tube, and stealthily slid a bill in my hand. It was $20,000 pesos, $10 US. Tears came as I walked back to my room.
Later that day there was a tube of toothpaste on my pillow.
The next week, I was really cold. It rained constantly and the people in the ministry said it was the start of the winter season. My few clothes I brought were for Hawaii-weather, except for my running pants and 2 sweatshirts. I talked to God about it different times through the week, feeling like a little kid requesting birthday wishes. "I really want some pretty & warm new clothes." On the weekend, a thought came to ask Jessica. She wore stylish outfits. I fought my embarrassment, humbled myself, and asked. She told me she would look.
A few days later, Jessica handed me a large trash bag full of 'new' clothes from her & her roommate. I ran back to my room to try on everything. It became boutique day: I received cute jeans, a pile of stylish shirts, 2 nice coats, wonderful scarves, and a sweater in my favorite color blue.
During the school, I owed over $2000 for school fees/expenses. God moved people to give exactly what I needed when I needed it. Not more, not less. God even provided through my tax refund. Throughout the three months, I received half the money at the start of the school, the other half a week before it was due, and the money for my outreach the morning I left Bogota.
God did what he said he would do. I'm amazed. It's worth it to trust him.
Even the birds of the air don't need to worry because their Father cares for them...

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