MY HUSBAND, ROBERT, AND I were happily married with two small children when Robert felt convicted to leave his excellent paying job to train for pastoral ministry. It was a call he had first felt as a schoolboy years earlier but had never followed. After four years of theology training, graduation was finally approaching, and we were excited to launch into full-time ministry. As it turned out, my husband’s graduating class was so large that there were not enough ministry positions available for all the graduates. We had no future job on the horizon.
To make matters worse, the college administration let us know that as soon as graduation was over we needed to move out of student housing to accommodate another married couple coming in. Soon we would have no place to live!
The week before graduation I was driving our only car, a little red Cortina, up the long hill to the college when it suddenly caught on fire. I was unharmed, but our car was completely destroyed. Now we had no transportation. Our situation appeared more and more hopeless.
We prayed earnestly, “Lord, what do You want us to do? We need You to provide a way. We don’t believe we’ve left the secular working world just to have to go back after You’ve provided this pastoral training. Please help us!”
By the evening of the following day we had the offer of two vehicles at our disposal for an unlimited time. God provided transportation!
A week later, someone who had an empty house asked if we would be willing to stay there, rent free, just paying utilities, as the owner
did not want the house to stand unoccupied. Our God provided a home!
While waiting for a position to open up in pastoral ministry, we accepted a difficult job called Harvest Ingathering. We went to businesses
and solicited funds for projects such as Meals on Wheels for the aged, camps for the blind, and others. We received a very small percentage of
what we collected, and this was our only income. There were no perks to this position at all, and with two young children in church school, we
weren’t sure how we would make it financially. But we kept praying. Soon an anonymous donor came forward and offered to pay our children’s
tuition so they could attend church school.
A few months after we started working with the Harvest Ingathering program, my husband became extremely ill. He could not work—thus, no money. We prayed and cried out to God to help us. During the second month of his illness, things were looking very bleak. It was then that a strange miracle happened.
One morning at 6:00 a.m., while it was still dark outside, the telephone rang and a voice that I did not recognize said, “Read Isaiah 58.” Then the phone went dead. We were utterly bewildered. I went to the bedroom, picked up my husband’s Bible, and turned to Isaiah 58. Robert and I read it together, closed the Bible, and asked ourselves, “What could this possibly mean?”
The next day the same call and the same message came again. The third morning it happened again.
As we pondered why we were getting such a strange call each morning, my husband said, “Bring the large family Bible to the bedroom.” We kept the large Bible we used for morning and evening worships on a low center table in the living room. Since my husband had been in bed with his illness, we had not been using this large Bible. I went to get the large Bible and placed it on the bed. Together, my husband and I turned to Isaiah 58, and to our utter astonishment we found a large number of 10-rand notes (South African currency) within the pages of Isaiah 58. This was enough money to take care of our immediate needs until we could return to soliciting funds for the needy projects.
What about the mysterious telephone calls? Never again did we hear that same voice with the same message. Was it an angel? Was it a deeply caring friend? We will never know for sure this side of eternity.
Several months after this incident, we received a call from the Southern Africa Union to go to Swaziland, which was considered a mission field
in that union’s territory. This was the beginning of nearly 40 years of pastoral ministry. These have been rich years—full of precious, direct
interventions—years full of God caring for His children and ever standing at the back of His promises. Again and again we have seen that
God hears and answers prayer.