17 March 2015

His van, His hand

So, our awesome testimony, aside as we CETA.  Yep, it's turning into a verb around here.

We've had this rather overwhelming need for a while now.  Visiting professors, teams, conferences, student mission trips...everything seems to bring it out further.

Transportation is such a problem!  For this conference, we're renting a van from OMS and renting a bus from a nearby hotel just to get our conference participants, our student delegates and our staff from place to place, using our truck and Phil's truck continually for food runs, hotel runs, getting the girls to school, etc.

I guess it is to be expected...with 70 people living on a campus together, it SHOULD be crazy trying to use two personal, small trucks for ALL the transportation, mail, airport, food runs, supply runs that all of Emmaus, all our visitors, and all our families have and need.

It means some days, it's just not all possible.  It means other days, Lily and Matt are off for the funeral like this because the cars are gone or spoken for (which yes, she adores.  But mother HATES).

ANYWAY...this overwhelming need for a long while now.  In 2011 we started trying to fund for a van, 10-15 passenger, something we could buy in Haiti (no shipping, no douane, made for roads...or lack thereof).  But after a year of reaching out and trying to fund for it, we had less than $1000 dollars.  It was just too big a project.  We needed too much help on other even more pressing things.

We let it go.

But as our student body has grown from 50-70, as our visiting teams have grown from 1 to 5 a year, as we have been using the bike and piling in the open backs of our truck more and more often (Our five passenger truck has found itself at a max of 15 more often than we wish to admit), it came up again.

We really need a bigger vehicle for Emmaus.  Something.  Something to save on mileage without having to use all our vehicles for one trip to church.  Something to get our staff and students where they need to go without drenching them in sun, sweat, rain and/or mud.  Something safe. Something SOON.

So, a few months ago we picked it back up softly and asked around...a few people we had identified who might like to get involved, a few churches, a few groups.  Nothing.  

Like, nothing nothing.

After creating flyers and sending out pleas and discussing it individually with a lot of people, it just seemed like it was too much.  Too big.  And we have too many other continually pressing needs.  

Matt and I balance each other out well in our moments of discouragement.  He felt so down about it.  Laying in bed each night, talking about our girls and the highlights and the struggles of each day, the van was just eating him.  It's a huge need.  The Lord knows our needs.  $45,000 is no big deal to the Lord.  But His work in His time IS a big deal.  What could we do?

So, we let it go. Kind of begrudgingly and painfully.

Gave it deliberately to Him, without understanding, and asked for His will.  

We intentionally decided to forget it.  Stop thinking about it.  Stop talking about it.  Stop asking about it.  Make due, let it go.

For several months now, there have been plenty of other things to pray about, to work on, and even when frustrations have crept in over transportation, we've given it back to Him again.

So it was totally bizarre, a few nights ago, when we got an email from some good friends we haven't talked to or heard from in a really long time, saying absolutely nothing more than this:

"Hi.  Did you guys still need a van?"

Not even a signature.  

This sounds so dumb, but it was like it was from the Lord, asking.

I wrote back just as simply.

"More than ever.  Are you staying warm?"

"Call us" they emailed back.

So we did.  Right then.

Not less than 10 minutes after receiving the first email, God gave us $30,000 for the van.

It's never so clearly hit me that "$30,000 for the van" is "$30,000 for His Van."  

His dilemma.  His time.  His gift.  His students.  His way.  His EBS.  

His van.

I'm not glad we stopped worrying about it when we did because we got that money.

I'm glad we stopped worrying about it when we did because IT'S HIS.

Some think of our money as being His.  Our time.  Our talents.  But I frequently disregard the fact that our dilemmas and struggles and problems are His, too.  Not just that He cares.  But they are His for HIS solutions, for His care, for His peace.  


I'm telling you all of this, not with tears in my eyes over a van.  I'm telling you this with tears in my eyes for the lesson.

I'm telling you all of this, sharing this story, because I KNOW there is a lot of stuff you're laying awake about at night, too.  

Maybe your kids.  Maybe a big decision.  Maybe a sickness.  Maybe a heartbreak, maybe a big need.

I'm not saying give it to God and in a few months, you'll find a check in the mail for $30,000.  

God's not our genie.

I'm saying that our God never forgets and He never falls short.  That He is more than enough, and more than able to do more than we expect, more than we ever could, more than we need.  Just right. 

I'm staying that giving our burdens and our joys to Him is actually just the act of giving Him what was already His.  

And that we must, for the life He died for, we must.

And that the outcome, the result, the final...that's all Him.  

What I'm saying is have faith.   

It's/he's/she's/they're ALL His.  From start to finish, however / whenever / whatever that might be.

Let's trust Him and give it up.

Don't forget to email me when you see His hand.


  1. Needed to hear this tonight, just confirmation of what he's already been saying to me. But still, thanks for sharing friend :)