God and I had a deal…at least I thought we did.
The deal was that I would follow him, as long as he didn’t make me rely too heavily on him or other people—specifically in the area of fundraising.
About a year and a half ago, I graduated from college and went on a short-term internship to Hungary with OMS. I had no plans of working with OMS in the future, as I knew it would require me to be funded through the generosity of others. As that was the one thing I told God I would never do, I figured short-term would be sufficient.
After a month in Hungary, it was apparent that I loved the work I was doing and would actually be a valuable addition to the team here. At first, I refused to consider this idea. After all, God and I had a deal.
Then he reminded me of the ways he had been proving his faithfulness to me in the months leading up to that trip—the hardest months of my life thus far. He reminded me what it meant to surrender and how, when I had done that in big areas of my life, he had upheld me though it all and blessed me beyond what I could imagine. If he had done that already, he could do it again.
So, I told God I would come back to Hungary if he really wanted, but I had a few conditions. One was that I would need a full-time job during the process of fundraising so that I could pay off my student loans. Another was that I wanted to be back in Hungary by March of 2017 (this was May 2016).
As selfish as my prayers were, God answered them.
The week I returned from Hungary, I had interviews for my current position, as well as for two potential jobs I could work during the funding process. I was accepted for the role in Hungary and a full-time administrative assistant role at OMS headquarters in Indiana, with the understanding that I would only be working there until I was fully funded. God had already answered one of my prayers.
As I began seeking out financial supporters, the Lord continually blessed me. In meeting after meeting with people, he brought encouragement, even if they were unable to give. I was shocked by how many people truly cared about what the Lord was doing through me.
Countless times, when I hesitated in asking people to support me, he brought them to me instead. They asked me to send them information! I was amazed each time this happened and reminded that the Lord is faithful and he delivers.
The Lord provided everything I needed by March of 2017. Because of my full-time job, I was able to pay off half of my student loans, and he prompted people to give so that I could pay them in entirety before I left. He answered both of my requests, and did much more than will fit in this blog.
Through this process, I learned about grace. I learned to ask humbly and accept far more than I thought I deserved. I learned to rely on prayer more fully and began to apply that to both funding and other areas of life. I learned the power of generosity and became more generous myself. I learned to trust people and have faith in their devotion to the Lord. I learned to rely on the Lord and on his people.
The one thing I said I would never do, God took and transformed into a life-changing, life-giving process. It was a season of blessing and answered prayers. I am so thankful that I had to go through that to get here.
I thank God for those who were a part of this process. I am thankful for the finances they entrusted to the Lord on my behalf. I am thankful for the encouragement, trust, and prayers with which they cover me.
As a team, we are thankful for all of our supporters—for those who support us individually and those who give to the building project. Each person has had a valuable hand in teaching us more about God and the way that he works.
God and I had a deal, but I am thankful that he broke it and used his people to renew my faith in his power.