Through a series of events I finally got out of Portland and made my way towards home. My friend and I drove the 20 hours to San Diego, where I was grateful to finally be in Southern California. The next day I was asked to share a brief thought before communion at Citywalk Church. It was good to be with my community and was thankful for the opportunity to speak of God’s love and faithfulness.
I had a ride to church that day and that was all I knew, and that was truly all I needed to know. God was going to provide, I just didn’t know how.
I was graciously greeted by my friends as I walked in the door. (There is something about being away from people you love that feels so incredibly good to come home to.) I found my seat and eventually made my way up to share just before communion. As people sat down after they had come forward to take communition, my friend and pastor Steve began to talk. He said, “If you follow Cari on facebook you know that this past week her car broke down while she was in Portland. You then also saw that she had to sell her car for parts and was basically leaving Oregon without a car. My family and I were praying for her and Perez (Steve and Ali’s 8 year old son) said, ‘Dad if Cari doesn’t have a car and she needs a car for her work then we have to get Cari a new car.’ I responded, Perez it is really expensive to buy a new car. We can’t just get her a new one. ‘But Dad! If Cari can’t do her work without a car, we HAVE to get her a car!’ It was at that moment that I knew I had to listen to the faith of a child and so I listened to Perez and we decided on a number we’d like to raise to give to Cari for a new car. I made phone calls, gave some of our own money, gave some money from the local missions fund and we had the entire amount within 24 hours! So today we are able to tell Cari that she now has 10,000 dollars with which she can purchase a new car!”
I sat crying and laughing. How could this be? I knew God was going to take care of things, but this was just soo good! I realized that my car was the last of my possessions that I had “earned.” With my car being taken away from me, I have no allusion that I’ve earned anything. Everything is a gift.
Perez presented me with the check on Tuesday. He put on a suit jacket, told me that I was loved and that he’s excited that I’ll be able to buy a new car. I hugged him and told him that for the rest of my life, I would remember his faith and that I would tell the story of the faith of an 8 year old. And, how God used him to buy me a new car!
Perez understood that all things belong to God and that God desires to take care of people. He spoke with faith that God would do this for me. And I now get to buy a new car and more importantly I get to steward a story of provision. I also get live without the allusion of personal ownership and personal earning. Everything is a gift. Everything should be treated as such. This is my Father’s world, the old hymn says. It literally is. The earth is His and everything in it! Therefore, when God prompts an 8 year old to get a new car for his friend, we can listen and trust that God is a God who saves, provides and gives.
May you be encouraged by the grace of God. May you listen to the voice and promptings of God to give extravagantly. May you live a life that speaks to God as the giver of all things. And may there be countless stories like these filling the hearts of people all over the world, as God uses our faith and action to provide for others!