Sometimes God sends more than the usual allotment of challenges. This has been one of those times. It comes at a time when sponsorships on our web sites are at the lowest point in many years and support for our work has sharply declined due to the financial stress that the national economic downturn has inflicted upon businesses, ministries, and individuals. Nobody has as much as they used to have, so folks are simply unable to support ministries as they used to. In order to continue the work (the need to reach souls is greater than ever) we’ve had to make drastic moves, to the point that our family is now living on about $1,000/month. But, by God’s grace, everything continues to work out — just not as conveniently as we would like, many times. God is such a good God to allow us to continue to serve Him.
Amid this over-arching challenge, our hot water heater died. It took four trips into the hardware store this week, but we finally got another (used) heater installed and it’s working wonderfully. What a blessing to have hot water, and to be able to learn “on the job” like this to do that kind of plumbing and wiring without hiring a contractor. I’m sure it’s God’s way of training us for some things that are coming in the future. In the process, we also discovered a potentially dangerous wiring issue and were able to fix it with the help of an electrician-friend who explained to us how to do it over the telephone. God’s so good.
But, there have been blessings amidst the trials. On one of the trips to the hardware store, I finally found the right adapter to get our used gas dryer running. We’ve had it for months, but did not have the right adapter until this week. The timing could not be better, since we won’t be able to hang our clothes out to dry much longer with winter coming. We’re already having to run the wood stove every day. Nights are getting down into the low 20’s and days get up to the high 40s and sometimes low 50s. It’s too early for this kind of weather!
Also, a man from the church let us come over and dig all of his Jerusalem Artichokes. We got around two bushels, which means that we can now replant all of the artichokes we dig up from our own crop, so we’ll have a bigger crop next year. He also gave us all of the horseradish we could dig, and several pounds of apples from his apple trees. He is single, so he couldn’t use it all himself. What a blessing!
We also received $135 this month toward the church-planting effort and $75 in missionary support. Praise God! The $135 is being applied to the start-up cost for Rural Church Planters of New England, an organization that the church will be voting this weekend about whether to start. Amidst all of the challenges, the work is still moving forward!
Please remember us in prayer, especially to thank God for His mercies and grace toward us. Thank you.