I have been taking part in an inter-city mission that I had been called two “accidentally” for over two years. “Ask Anything Saturdays” is conducted at the Unleavened Bread Cafe in the heart of Indianapolis. This mission-field is one in which some of us Christians implant ourselves into an otherwise unfamiliar culture to be used to show the love of Christ in practical ways.
The overall objective is to be available to introduce anyone who comes in off the street to the basics of using computers. So much of our society today involves the World Wide Web for developing job skills, applying for jobs, conducting research and getting to the information in a fraction of the time it used to take. Even more exciting, is the opportunity to make new friendships and network across many physical boundaries.
The internet has allowed us to cross racial, economical, cultural and educational boundaries. There are tutorials that help the newbies start out on this new adventure called the Internet. There are still some accessibility issues, especially for the aged and the economically strained. However, thanks to Public Libraries, schools, and now other social gathering computer cafe’s, this boundary too, is being torn down.
Since I consider myself a “Walmart Missionary” (my term for witness and connect WHEREVER you happen to be at the time, to whomever happens to be around, in whatever way the Lord leads) when I was first asked to make myself available for a few hours on Saturday mornings, I accepted the commission.
This is an commitment that I do not take lightly. I often have NO idea of who will be there or what possible way(s) I may help them.
This last Saturday, July 5th, there were BIG plans at the UBCafe. We had been urging some cafe regulars to come to a special Media Training event. I was encouraged by a co-servant to spearhead the workshop. It would take a bit of extra preparation on my part, but I was very happy to accept the challenge. We even invited others from outside the usual crowd to come join us.
Thursday night before the Saturday event, the Great Oppressor started to work on me. I had a terrible fever, too nauseous to eat, extremely weak and a headache that made looking at my computer monitor for prepwork extremely difficult. All day Friday the illness continued. Then the battlefield of the mind was being bombarded with “oh man, wonder if this fever doesn’t go away? Suppose I am not prepared enough?”
God, comforted me with a remembrance of the story of the little boy with the tidbits of fishes and loaves that fed thousands. “Just do what you can and I will take care of the rest. Don’t listen to the Supreme Liar who is trying to convince you that you can’t do it. Remember, in weakness, God’s strength is magnified.”
This is the same exact lesson that God has been showing me to encourage not only myself, but other Christian workers who are getting bombarded lately.
Saturday morning arrived. My body was still sick, but I was trusting that my fever was NOT contagious and prepared for the workshop. I had gathered all of my things and was heading out to our only car only to discover that we were totally out of gas!
So, my husband quickly took the van down the street to put in some gas, while I phoned to my friends to let them know that I would be tardy, but I AM coming. I felt so apologetic, knowing that they were waiting for me. Again the battlefield of the mind was aglow with new “worthlessness” bombs and a barrage of “you’re letting everyone down” grenades.
About that time, Steve returned to tell me that our debit card was declined and we have no credit card. OH NO!! It turned out we’d been double charged and it hadn’t been credited back because of the holiday weekend banking hours : (
Earlier in the week we literally emptied our penny bank for gas so that I could make it to another Christian meeting I felt lead to attend. A Christian brother handed me a folded bill and simply said “here, go get some gas”. I was blessed to receive the bill. I would go straight to put $5 of gas into the car. When I went to pay, I discovered that the bill was really a $10. So I pocketed the remaining $5 and over the course of the next day bought a gallon of milk (on sale!) and still had $3 left.
That $3 put enough gas into the van for me to get into the workshop. I had earned a fifty dollar check dog sitting earlier, that Steve would go cash at customer’s bank which would close at noon.
Now, I was almost an hour late !!! The battlefield was having a turn in the fighting. I was more convinced than ever that Satan really did NOT want me to go this morning. And I KNOW from experience that when things get this bad, there is going to be a tremendous Godthing happen! I even verbalized that fact to my husband who was driving me in. And then again, I spoke out loud as I rushed right in to the community room. “Hold on and pay attention, God is gonna do something!”
I went from dread to anticipation. Leaning not on my own understanding. Not getting hung up with the “oh, there are not as many people here as I thought there’d be, maybe they left because I was so late.” I was excited to see what was going to happen. Confident in the fact that whoever was here, whatever we shared, whatever we did… all of it was in God’s hands, for His glory and for the blessing of us all.
We DID have a very productive workshop. It was difficult to balance the information between the totally inexperienced and the already understanding individuals so as not to cause sensory overload on the novices nor bore the experienced. God IS good.
Again, I was comforted as I AGAIN encouraged us all with the sufficiency of our Great God. That whatever little thing we have to bring God WILL use. We do NOT have to do it all. And what we may think is NOT enough, with God’s power becomes MORE than enough.
As I was outside teaching basic video filming with some of the trainees, two of my brothers in Christ were talking about me. When I came back, I was offered a JOB! Those who know me and my physical limitations and lack of income, know what a tremendous blessing this was. My new employer has offered to pay me for doing communications work for the Ministry that he spearheads. Communications is my passion and now I’m actually going to get a little money for that. He was reminding me that he couldn’t pay me much (apologizing about not being able to pay MUCH), but that it should help offset gas money. “It’s not very much”??? What is the lesson we are learning boys and girls?
God is sufficient… just do what I can…. He’ll handle the rest.
It’s called walking by faith, NOT by sight.
Then, another miracle happened. My husband called my cell phone. Was I ready to be picked up? Oh yes, it was now after 2pm and I hadn’t eaten yet, could he please bring me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with him?
To which he replied, “it just so happens that we got $100 refund in the mail just now”. That was enough to buy some much needed groceries! Immediately after ending the call, I began to tear up. “God, you’ve done it AGAIN!”
I was so filled with praise for what He had done for us, that I gathered about 6 brothers and sisters who were about to leave the Cafe and said… “please just give me 5 seconds to tell you something and pray with me.”
We gathered in a circle holding hands and I reported all that God had been doing just that very day. Then I offered up praise that just spewed out of me, with my dear friends joining in the Thanksgiving to our Saviour. Tears of joy and undeserved blessing streamed down my face. I thanked my friends and thought they’d leave. But once again God was not DONE blessing yet. A brother who I do not really know well at all, asked to pray. He affirmed that something that I had said testified to something he was learning through God!! Blessing upon Blessings… now this was a worship service. 7 people and gathered angels praising our Awesome God!
So, though this blog post is one of my longest yet. I think of it as a pile of stones of remembrance; set to remind us of how God cares for even the little things, even me.
It is fitting that this Independence Day weekend was one in which I was set free in a new way. That by simply pressing on against the seemingly narrow passage; I not only was escorted through the narrow chasm, but my SAVIOR used the Holy Scripture to BLAST a passageway, the Holy Spirit to energize me forward and the Awesome Grace of God to show me that on the other side of the passageway was beautiful meadow full of all the blessings that are yet to come!!
Thanks for taking this trip with me : )
Because I believe like it says in the book of Corinthians that when we share such things together, our sorrows are halved and our joys doubled!!
PS I’ve also embedded a great song on this page called “Just How Big Small Can Be” by 1000 Generations. This is my theme song for this portion of the journey of my life.