Remembering Specific Provision

When my husband and I first signed up to go to China, we were unsure about support raising. We didn’t have a clue where to start and many days we doubted we’d be able to raise the funds we needed. However, we also knew that we were called to go. The process of waiting and wondering brought us to our knees in prayer and kept us there. Seeing God specifically meet one need after another to provide the funds required for our initial launch and extended stay overseas blessed us beyond measure.

The first specific provision came as my husband and I finally finished one of the last big steps of visa paperwork. We had bundled up our passports, chest x-rays and medical forms (including the unnecessary but “necessary” additional test results required for my much-taller-than-average husband to pass an EKG…) A few days after we’d sent the package on its way to our organizations’ visa liaison, we received a frantic call from the home office that my passport had not arrived with the rest of our documents.

To this day, we have no idea where the passport went. We’re both sure we included it with the rest of our documents, and it remains an unsolved mystery because it didn’t turn up anywhere! Without the passport, our placement to teach in China was in jeopardy. We spent the next day rushing around, filling out yet more paperwork to get a new passport. The fee for a replacement including all the RUSH deliveries and EXPEDITED applications was $327. We’d just exhausted our checking account paying for the *ridiculous but required* additional test I mentioned previously to prove my then 25-year-old husband had not in fact had a heart attack as the EKG stated. We had no idea where the money would come from, but we sent a check our account could barely support knowing there were more bills coming the next week.

A few days later, we spoke to our home fellowship about our plans to go to China and shared our support needs with them. After the service, we stood in the back and shook hands with well-wishers, and some handed us checks or cash! Later that day, we counted the “love offering” and it was EXACTLY $327. That, my friends, is the sufficiency of God. He provides for us in ways that cannot be denied. He knows what we need before we do, and He has shown us repeatedly that He will provide for every need if we remain dependent on Him! How did he even do that?! Random cash and checks equaling the exact amount of the replacement of the missing passport. It’s mind-boggling and awe-inspiring!

About 7 years later, we were living in Northeastern China as a family of four! Our org hosted an annual conference in Thailand we faithfully attended. Two weeks spent in the tropics away from the frozen city where we spent most of our time was a life-giving reprieve and gave us the spiritual and emotional boost we needed to continue our work into the spring. We treasured that time away from the cold as it provided much-needed warmth and sunshine as well as fellowship with other like-minded teachers working throughout Asia! However, our finances were not looking like we’d be able to afford the trip.

We included a little blurb in one of our newsletters to let supporters know that we needed $5,200 to cover the trip. A month went by and we didn’t see much of a change in the situation, until one day we received an email from some friends asking about the amount we lacked. “Is it $5,200?” they asked. It turns out there had been a financial blessing in their lives, and they had decided 10% would go to support our needs before they knew the amount they would receive. The exact amount of their settlement check was $52,000. We were stunned to see God once again provide for us so precisely.

Even though we’re not on the field now, these two instances of being EXACTLY provided for remind me that God’s provision is extremely sufficient. I recall the manna He provided to his people as they camped in the desert after escaping Egypt. They depended on him to meet their caloric requirements every single day. They were not supposed to gather extra manna for the next day (except for the day before the Sabbath), and if they did, the manna spoiled. I’m challenged to continue to trust that God knows my needs before I do, and He’s more than able to meet them! When I take the time to remember how He’s provided in the past, it aids my faith to believe He’s already supplying for my future.

Where are you doubting the Lord’s sufficiency? How are you encouraged when you think back to an instance of specific provision?

8 Comments

  1. Georgene Caoile November 19, 2017

    Thank you so much for sharing your uplifting story of God meeting our needs. Especially at this time of year we are thankful for His bounty! Blessings to you!

    1. M'Lynn November 21, 2017

      Georgene, it is so good to take some time and remember His blessings…and continue to count them!

  2. Penny Unruh November 20, 2017

    When my husband and I were preparing to go to Belgium 20 years ago, I got a phone call from my sister — she and her husband didn’t agree with what we were planning, didn’t think it was right for us to go so far away and take our children so far from their grandparents. That sent my mind into turmoil — was she right? That next weekend my husband and I were three hours away from home and at the last minute were invited to attend his cousin’s little country church. What no one knew was that there would be other visitors to the church that day — a couple that within a few days were leaving to be Ms in Belgium, leaving their grown children and grandchildren in the U.S. Only God could have arranged that meeting and given us the much-needed encouragement to keep moving forward. He DOES provide!

    1. M'Lynn November 21, 2017

      Oh, Penny! Thank you for sharing that story! What a “specific provision” just in time!!! I love it!

  3. Rachel November 20, 2017

    Thank you for writing and bringing up this topic, M’Lynn! There have been some pretty hard moments in the last couple years that have left me asking God, “where are you?!” but I’ve been thinking about it since reading your article yesterday, and I am overwhelmed with thanks to be able to look back and see how God has always provided and faithfully carried me through whatever was going on… many times through people.
    A card from home at just the right time, someone saying “God nudged me to come talk to you” on a day I really needed encouragement, or several people (some who hardly even knew me!) speaking into my life about something super relevant to what I was facing. That’s not something I’m used to in the churches I’ve been a part of, but in those situations it was so clearly from God and so encouraging to know he heard and saw and cared.

    1. M'Lynn November 21, 2017

      “So encouraging to know he heard and saw and cared.” AMEN! Isn’t it great we serve a God who pursues us with such passion?! I’m challenged by your comment to continue to pay attention to those “nudges” from the Holy Spirit to speak/write words of encouragement as we never know what a small gesture may mean to another person. (and isn’t if fun when we get to find out how He used this or that to further His Kingdom as well?)

  4. Amy Morgan November 20, 2017

    I was reluctant to comment. I am not an overseas worker. I commented on a friend”s blog who is and now I get the emails. I am always so blessed by reading these and they have spoken directly into my life, including this one. My husband and I just moved our family to a very unfamiliar place for ministry and it has been a tough transition on all of us and the encouragement from these posts have helped me so much! I am thankful!

    1. M'Lynn November 21, 2017

      Amy, you may not be overseas, but you are always welcome here! I’m so glad you joined in the conversation! You’re in an unfamiliar place for ministry….sounds like a harvesting field to me! Blessings to you and your husband as you faithfully serve where God has placed you!

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