It began in January 2007 with an early morning phone call. The caller was a close friend, one of our former pastors. “Do you still sense that God has something new for you in ministry?” he asked.
“Yes,” my husband answered. (We’d sensed a change coming for two years already but had committed to waiting for clear direction from God before stepping out on our own).
“Then you might be interested in what I have to say,” our friend said. He explained that a U.S. based ministry called International Messengers wanted to expand into Canada and needed a director. “The job description fits you and Grace,” he said. “May I give IM your names?” And so began our adventure into the realm of the impossible.
As dialogue began with IM, we asked ourselves questions such as, “Will this ministry come with an income, or will we have to continue living on faith support? Where should we set up our headquarters? Will we find a house within our price range? What will become of our youngest daughter if she chooses not to move with us? What if we try to mobilize Canadian believers to get involved in short term missions but no one buys into it? What if we’re too old to handle the overseas travel well? What if we’re not really cut out for this? We’ve never ministered in Eastern Europe; what if we step out in faith and fall flat on our faces?”
Our questions focused on three areas—manpower, know-how, and finances. These were justifiable concerns, and I believe we were wise to ask them. However, we couldn’t allow the lack of obvious answers to hinder us from doing what God was telling us to do. The foremost question we had to ask was, “Is God speaking?” We believed the answer was yes, and that meant trusting Him for the details.
Was that easy? Heavens, no. We prayed a lot, asking God to provide for those three areas of need, and He answered. He showed us where to move and provided us with a townhouse in our price range. When our daughter decided to stay put rather than move with us, He taught me to trust her well-being to His care. He’s continually given us the energy needed for overseas travel and ministry. He’s provided financial support, and He’s drawn enthusiastic volunteers to fill our short term ministry needs each summer.
The first summer we had 14 Canadian volunteers work in Poland and Slovakia. The next summer, 19 volunteers went to three countries—Poland, Romania, and the Ukraine. And last summer, we grew to 34 volunteers who worked in four countries—Poland, Romania, the Ukraine, and Slovakia. Then our church offered us an office rent-free, which enabled us to move the IM Canada office out of our basement. To top it off, the Lord provided us with an administrative assistant.
Four years ago at this time, we were asking all the questions I listed above. If we’d allowed fear to reign and said no to God’s call because it appeared impossible, we would have missed this opportunity to experience Him in new ways. Saying yes, however, meant tackling the impossible in His strength.
How about you? How has God enabled you to tackle an impossible situation?