Tuesday, May 28, 2013

God Is Never Too late Part 2

Since our arrival in Seward in February, we too had been living by faith. Our church was small and unable to support us financially. We had only $30.00 in promised support each month. The cost of living was very high in Alaska. We had four teenagers to feed and clothe. Our two oldest girls were buying a lot of their own clothes with babysitting money, which helped, but they all had healthy appetites and were growing. Sometimes we didn't know where the next meal was coming from, but God was never too late.

"Lord, You won't let us down this time either," I breathed as I finished packing our lunches.

"Hey, Mom, our 6-feet 1-inch, 13-year-old son, Robert Paul, stood in the doorway. "The kids are wondering what's holding you up. They want to get going."

"Mother, we're all ready and waiting," AnnaLee, our 14-year-old daughter, declared, as she squeezed past her brother and entered the kitchen. "We'll be late if we don't leave soon."

"I know, dear," I answered, giving the already clean counter a final swipe and hanging the dish cloth on the rod. "Honey," I sighed and turned to my husband, "I guess we'd better tell them our problem."

"Yeah, I guess so. Come on." And he led the way to the living room, where the young people were sitting around laughing and talking. They sobered quickly when they saw our grave expressions.

"Young people," my husband began, "I don't know what we're going to do. We've been praying for gas money, but so far, it hasn't arrived. We know you don't have enough money either, so let's pray again, right now." We gathered in a circle, and he led in prayer.

Our living quarters occupied the back of the church building. A boardwalk led along the side of the building to the parsonage door. Just as Bob finished praying, we heard loud footsteps, someone running up the boardwalk.

The doorbell rang vigorously. Before anyone could get there, the door burst open. In came a young man who had recently moved to Seward from Cordova and was now attending our church.

"At work a few minutes ago," he exclaimed, breathlessly, "the Lord impressed on me not to wait until Sunday to pay my tithes but to bring them over to you right away. I asked my boss if I could take my coffee break early. I don't know what this is all about, and I don't have time to find out." He laid some money on the table. "Gotta run! Bye!" And he rushed out the door.

"Praise the Lord!" We all burst out in praises to God.

Quickly, we gathered our things and hurried to the car. Not only was there enough money to buy the gas, but  we discovered enough extra to buy a can of pop for each teen to drink with the sack lunches.

God is never too late, and sometimes He even adds an extra treat!

Has God given you more than you ask for? Tell about it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

God Is Never Too Late

This is a "nugget of faith" story my mother, AnnaMae Personeus Cousart, told often. Although I remember the incident, I am writing it from her point of view.

"What should we do?" my husband, Bob, asked softly as he entered the kitchen where I was wiping the counter top after packing sack lunches for our family. "The young people are all here now, and we still don't have the money for gas. I guess I have to tell them we can't go."

It was Friday afternoon in 1960. We were missionaries in Seward, Alaska. A youth rally was to be held that evening in Anchorage, 130 driving miles north of us. Our small group of teens needed the fellowship of other Christian young people, so we had promised to drive them to the rally in our nine-passenger station wagon.

The young people had received permission for an early dismissal from school, and now stood in our living room, sack lunches in hand to eat on the way.

But we didn't have the money for gas, neither did our small church. We had no credit cards either, but we felt confident that God would supply the money. Each day Bob had gone to the post office expecting to find a "blessed letter," as the students from his Bible school had called them. Yet, not a penny had arrived. We kept praying and believing, but nothing had come in the mail all week.

While making our egg salad sandwiches, my thoughts had drifted back to my childhood. I had a rich heritage of living by faith. My parents, Charles and Florence Personeus, were the first missionaries of their denomination to Alaska. [Read their story in my book, Frontiers of Faith. To purchase it, go to www.annaleeconti.com.]

In 1917, they had traveled by train and steamer from New York State to Juneau, Alaska, arriving one cold, wet November evening. Certain they were called to this ministry, their only promise of support was from God in Philippians 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus," and in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." They had fulfilled their end of the bargain, and God had always fulfilled His, maybe not as quickly as they may have wished, but God was never too late.

It seemed that God was really cutting it close to the line this time!

When have you felt like this?

To be continued...