“Not barely, but exactly”
It was the year of GNOM where the Good News evangelistic team traveled across the country. We faced the possibility of canceling the year-end outreach in which saints would gather from all over the country for concentrated Gospel outreach. It had previously focused upon one location with one Assembly as the main support. That year, we elected to have the effort to combine forces and locations of three area Assemblies.
The logistics were challenging as arrangements were made for a hotel, food, literature, and transportation. It was decided early on to cover the hotel expenses of anyone who desired to come. We did not want funds to prevent someone from serving in the outreach. We had over 120 people meet in Kansas City for the June evangelistic outreach. It included nearly 7 different venues for sowing spiritual seed including door-to-door, public events such as fun runs, car washes, storefront distributions, park work, children’s work, and prayer. The time was both joyous and exhilarating. The saints had a mind to work and in the years that have passed, we have seen some sustainable fruit. We have seen an Assembly born that is still thriving and a Hispanic work that is currently planning outreach to their community.
What was unknown was the back story. The event cost nearly $30,000. We closed the bookkeeping for the event on July 31. On that date, the treasurer informed me that nearly all expenses were met except for $300. I said to the Lord, “Not bad, we came very close to the full amount!” It was about two weeks later that I was at a Midwest conference. After one of the messages, one of the local elders came to me somewhat anxious and concerned. He quickly sat me down as he whipped out his chapel checkbook. In an apologetic manner, he said, “One of the widows gave funds for the outreach, but I forgot to send it to you last month. It’s been so heavy on my heart; I want to take care of it right now.” My jaw dropped as I watched him sign a check for $300. It was as if the Lord was saying: “$300? I do not just get “close” to meeting the needs. I meet all the needs precisely as they require!” Quite a little lesson for my puny heart of faith.
“Seat changes are not so bad”
I was coming back from some meetings in California. Fatigue had set in, and my stamina was depleted. My airplane seat had been changed and I found myself without a companion in the seat next to me. I was tremendously thrilled about this option as my ability to carry a conversation was long gone. I watched as each passenger entered the plane, hoping not to catch their eye nor their eye-catch mine as they might say, “Sir, that’s my seat next to you.” There was a pause between one who I thought was the last passenger and the true final passenger. During that moment of anxious paralysis, I was planning how to spread out with my two available seats when suddenly a hurried young lady came bustling onto the plane. Clearly, she had a last-minute switch and had to run across the airport to make this flight. She searched for her seat which just so happened to be right next to mine.
Outwardly, I smiled but inwardly I frowned. My hopes for solitude were now silenced as she settled herself in for our three-hour flight. I did the usual eye-closing technique to show I was not interested in a visit, but it did not register with her. She was naturally inquisitive and began to engage me as to where I had come from and where I was going. She asked what I had been doing in her home state of California. I told her I had been teaching a Bible class to young men for the weekend. She immediately asked, “So, what did you teach?” My eyes grew wider as her eyes pleaded for some type of spiritual nourishment. I explained what I had taught, which lead to my inquiry as to her salvation. To this, she said she was a believer and gave a solid nuts and bolts testimony. She said her flight had changed at the last minute. Her morning had been hectic and she ended up missing her own church service. She then asked me if I had spoken at the church where I had been on the Sunday morning of our travel. When I answered affirmatively, she boldly asked me about the message. I re-gave the message to one soul at 35,000 feet altitude. She savored the word like it was hot buttered bread fresh out of the oven. As we landed, she exclaimed, “I knew the Lord would provide for me. I told him how disappointed I was to have missed hearing his word this morning and he decided to serve me a special spiritual dinner for one.” With that, she thanked me as we parted ways. I, of course, waved with my mouth dangling open only just then to catch up to the child-like faith I saw in this young lady. I realized that I was the one who had just feasted on spiritual things… “I have bread to eat which you do not know” (John 4:32).
Dr. Price wears many hats including a doctor, husband, father of 9 children, elder, speaker, and writer. He is a core team member of Renew In Knowledge. You can follow some of his writings and life probing meditations on the blog Shepherdinghisflock.