One visitor's experience at New Hope
and her response to God's charge to give....
Coming back from spending a day at New Hope Girls Academy left me feeling convicted, and somewhat ashamed. It wasn’t anything that was said but the awareness that I had never responded to the gentle urgings of the Holy Spirit over the past year to sponsor one of their little girls. I had encouraged the ladies from our church to give and they did.
Walking slowly up the stairs at New Hope that afternoon, I was overwhelmed with the conviction that I was the one who had missed out. My friend, Tamra was visiting with her little sponsored girl, and all I could think was, “How could I not find $33 to send once a month??”
Our family of 7 lives on a pastor’s salary and most months we live paycheck to paycheck. But I knew right then that when I got home, I would find a way to start sponsoring. What I didn’t know that afternoon was that God had something even bigger planned for us.
During the flight home I listened to a podcast by Francis Chan called “Lukewarm and Lovin’ It”—right there on my tray table I had a “come to Jesus meeting." By the time I arrived back home in Hickman, Kentucky, God had laid out a very specific plan for how I was to go about sponsoring a girl without asking my husband for any money and it was so much bigger than I had previously bargained for.
Here it is: $33 should come from my piano lesson money, $33 should come from my grocery budget (ouch!!), and the other $33 should come from our kids. God, are You sure? My groceries? It’s hard enough to feed 7 with all the extra expenses during the month, but okay. Piano lessons, that might be how I paid for summer camps last year, but I’m willing to give that, too. Now the kids, that will be another story.
I began telling them stories that had touched my heart about the needs at New Hope and how God was leading me to be a small part of helping to meet some of those needs. I asked them to pray about being involved, too. After days of casually discussing it, I announced that there would be a vote the next night during family prayer. Our 4 oldest ranging in age from 14 down to 8 years old voted in an unanimous secret vote—together the 4 of them would commit monthly to sending $33!
Wow! I was so excited and nervous. Then I noticed my 8-year-old son’s face. “What’s wrong, Jay?” as he laid his head right on my chest and hid his face. Tears were in his eyes as he said quietly, “I’m just scared that I won’t be able to do this.” I was relieved that he was getting the full impact of what we were committing to.
“Jay, I am scared, too, Buddy, because this is bigger than we can do on our own. But God is big enough and He’s going to have to show us how to do this since it was His idea.
Don’t worry about it right now. We’ll pray and watch how God provides.”
Within 3 days, the opportunity to pick pecans and sell them was made available to me and the children. Never having done this before, I had no idea if it would be rewarding, but it was a start. We took one morning and picked up pecans for a little over 2 hours, when we took them to the Pecan House to sell them... How much do you think that first check was? Exactly $33!! To God alone be the glory!
As it was, we were able to send our first $99 payment to New Hope the first part of November instead of waiting until the very end of November. It is now November 19 and I am slap out of money until payday (25th) but I have confidence that God is going to provide all that we need. He has also increased my giving in other areas over the course of this month until I am actually eager to see how He’s going to take care of us! I just want to be obedient when He says give and stop trying to count up the cost. After all, He blesses us so that we can in turn bless others. (“our” little sponsored girl) is now prayed for by this family because we feel that we have an investment in her life. And the lessons that my children are learning in the meantime are absolutely priceless!