Here’s a cool story – I don’t know all of the exact details, but hopefully you’ll get the gist and praise God with me…
1978- some member of Centerville Baptist Church in Kelly, NC leaves some sort of endowment fund intended for international students coming to study in America at Baptist sponsored universities. the basic intent was that people from other countries would be given money to come, learn about Jesus, and take this good news back to their homelands.
…at some point the fund changes hands, is given over to the baptist association, and for several years, people aren’t really sure what to do with it
1990 – Mr. R. begins attending Centerville, at some point after joining the church, he’s made a deacon, put in charge of finances and looks into the fund
– the Baptist association does some research and tells him that these types of funds are not used for sponsoring students anymore, scholarship funds are set up instead.
– several years go by
– a couple members from Centerville prepare to go on a mission trip to the Ukraine, Mr. R. has discovered that instead of not using the money for anything, the church can amend it and use it for future mission trips
– the fund is reallocated to be used for members of Centerville who go on international mission trips
– part of it is used to help start a Bible college in the Ukraine, very much honoring the original intent (that international students would study the Bible, love Jesus, and tell other people about Him)
2009- Lori comes home from two years in East Asia, knowing that she’ll be living at home with the folks for probably 6 months to a year while raising support, she begins to look for a good Gospel church. her search is long and mostly discouraging, but she visits Centerville Baptist, in Kelly of all places and ends up being baptized and becoming a member because she’s never belonged to a church body as an adult and as a missionary feels like its a good plan to belong to a church.
Feb. 2010 – after being involved for a while, Lori shares about her mission work with Centerville and tells them how she hopes to be at full support in order to take some college students on a short term trip back to East Asia this summer before starting in full time work at App State.
– sometime a few months ago, the money market that this fund was in matured somehow, making it available to be used just about the time Lori was sharing with C’ville about her ministry…
April 2010 – Mr. R. brings it to someone’s attention that the fund is available, the church votes to have part of the fund (now for church members going on mission trips) to be used for Lori’s entire summer project cost! Lori’s summer project team will be traveling to a foreign country to share Jesus with college students there in hopes that they’ll know, love, and share Him with others (again, honoring the original intent that… well you know by now).
32 years later, God knew exactly what He’d use the money for!
so many things have worked together to bring in this portion of my financial support and tonight was such an encouragement to my soul! its not about the money, its about God’s global purposes being lived out through His people giving, serving, praying, and going. God has so many plans that work together for the good of those who love Him, to bring Him glory and show off His amazing provision. He also Has plans and thoughts that are so much higher and greater than mine!