My Son’s Answered Prayers

Uno, our oldest son, is about to turn 9 in November and I was able to witness God answer ones of his prayers in a most special way. These are the stories about ministry and the Christian life that I love to hear, but when they happen to those you love it seems to hold a particularly special place in your heart.

We have lived in our neighborhood for five years now and it has been very hard for us to get to know the neighbors. Beyond first introductions and conversations here and there we really only see them one time a year they get together out in the street and pop fireworks on the 4th of July. We all bring out lawn chairs and let the kids play with sparklers and watch the adult men run like wild Indians to get away from the fireworks before they go off.  Even our next door neighbors with sometimes 7 children (with their foster kids) do not even go into the backyard very much. The culture here is very different from the friendly Midwest where we lived before, and it has been hard for us to connect and overcome the barriers that everyone seems to have.

Uno ~ Late Summer 2013

Last October on an especially warm day, a boy around my son’s age, whom we will call “Blake” rode his bike down by our house while our kids were riding in the cul-de-sac. He quickly befriended Uno and they were off to racing around. He was friendly to all of us and very kind even to our younger girls. Uno has listened for years about how we need to invite friends to church, so within the first few minutes he ran inside of his own accord and picked up an invitation to our Fall Festival. When Blake returned from a trek home, he tried to give him the invitation but he said, “Oh, that’s okay, I can’t take that because we don’t go to church.” Our son did not seem phased but was secretly disappointed. I encouraged him that he had done his best and that is what that mattered to God.

For several weeks we would purposely sit outside even in the chilly weather hoping that Uno could see Blake again and spend time with him. He quickly became the primary prayer request when we prayed for lost people. Our entire goal for getting to know him and his friends is for their salvation. Despite our efforts our children have not ever had visitors outside of family members come to church before. This has always made our son feel disappointed when there are big incentives at church for children who bring visitors, so he has desired this for a long time.

We saw Blake several times off and on through the winter and spring and cheerfully wave to him as we drove by. His dad fixes up mini-motorized bicycles and we see their garage door open often. This summer we were able to spend a little more time with him and meet his little sister, “Briana” when we were prepping for our garage sales. I would leave our garage open and all the kids would play either in the garage or on the street. It was good for them to be over at our house for me to see how they behave. Blake and his friends are all very respectful and treat each other nicely (at least in front of me!) and that is something I appreciate.

The opportunity to invite Blake to church has been difficult but Uno has never given up on him. Then, this week the answer to prayer came…unexpectedly.

We had a Family Crusade this week and my son had been itching to go down the street to invite Blake and his friend Marcos. We had not taken him down prior to the beginning of the crusade, but Uno’s persistence paid off when my husband took the time to take him down the street with our guest speaker, Ed Dunlop. Bro. Ed normally does Kids’ Crusades around the country and has had experience building bus routes for churches also. He carries with him a pocket full of balloons so that he can twist them into fun things kids enjoy. His strategy is to give them away at the door so that it will give the family time to let down their guard and be open to receiving the information about the crusade as well as the gospel. I think in this case it worked!

After a while, I heard Uno and Dos come in the door and instantly they said “Blake is going to ride the bus!” I think my jaw dropped and I did a double-take because that is nothing short of a miracle. In my heart I had always hoped but with the negative responses I was doubtful, which was evidence of my own little faith.

That evening, we were pulling out of our driveway and I was able to witness when the bus arrived in front of Blake’s house. Blake came out and then out came his younger sister, Briana. His mom came out to greet the bus workers with a smile.  The workers talked to her for a few minutes and she gave the kids a hug and they stepped onto the church bus for the very first time in their lives and then into church for the first time.

In the middle of the church program Blake looked over at Uno and said, “This is really fun!” On their bus ride home, Blake was already planning to come the following night with hopes that he could bring enough visitors to win the 24 inch pizza given away every night for the person that brought the most visitors. He came the next night and brought his older sister, Brittany, and two other neighbor kids, Anna and James. On the last night all of those friends came back and Marcos too.

We were amazed at God’s answers to our son’s prayers and the eager desire Blake had to bring his friends with him to church. We were not expecting the number of results from God’s Holy Spirit working in their lives. Blake’s sister Brittany, and his friends Anna and James received Christ to be their Saviour!!

It took one year of prayers, invitations, some bright-colored balloons, Bible-centered messages about salvation by Bro. Ed, and friendship for these results. Uno is excited to know that in inviting one friend, three souls have been changed for eternity. These souls are the eternal rewards to which he will cherish, FOREVER. We are not done praying yet, we still have our prayers focused on Blake, Briana, and Marcos… and of course their families.

Please encourage your children not to give up on those who God has laid upon their hearts, because they really do not know when God will answer them. Every day they are one day closer to the answer! (And that goes for you too!)

My Son's Answered Prayers

      Uno at the Grand Canyon Sept 2014

 

How God Provided: Clothes for Our Son

It’s amazing how God provides in mysterious ways! Just last week we saw God provide for our oldest son, Uno’s need for clothes. He, being the oldest, usually is the one that we buy new clothes for even if they are just “new” to him from the thrift stores. Our daughters have been provided for from about five different families in our church and we have tubs of clothes in our garage waiting for them to be old enough to wear them. Uno, however, has a pair of winter boots, a couple of shirts, and maybe a few other miscellaneous items in his tub…until now!

A month ago when I was packing up the winter clothes and getting out the summer clothes I noticed he was down to the bottom of his tub with all the winter clothes he had worn this year going into the tub for our second son, Dos. It would remind you of how the widow woman who Elijah saw felt when she noticed she was down to the bottom of the barrel with her meal and oil that morning. I began praying and telling God about Uno’s need and asking Him to provide.

We thought nothing of it when we were on our way to find some jeans at the store when my husband mentioned something to our neighbors that were outside. “Oh, we’re just going out to buy some clothes for our son before we head out on vacation,” my husband said. Then, bam! What do you know, God prompts the neighbor lady to go inside and bring us something…

When we returned from the store the doorbell rang and as we swung open the door, there she was with her arms stacked high, almost higher than her face, with boy clothes! God’s answer to my prayers was right there. She has two older boys that had outgrown the clothes and they were sitting in their garage waiting to be given away to charity. Well, God’s charity was shining down upon us when He provided so much!

When God provides so generously I am always reminded of the verse that my mother would quote to my sisters and I as children,

“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38.

I can’t count the times that God has impressed on my heart to give away our children’s clothes. There have been times when Uno had outgrown clothes and Dos had not grown into them yet (they are 18 months apart) and God has burdened my heart for a single mother that needed clothes for her children. I have gone in and taken a majority of the clothes and given them to that mother. I can’t help it, I just feel like sometimes it’s a waste to have things sitting in storage when they can be used for someone else’s child.

If Jesus came back tomorrow would I wish that I had obeyed when He had placed that burden on my heart? That’s why when I’m impressed to give I do… I want to be obedient.

When we see God’s principles work, like when we give away clothes and then we receive clothes for our children, then we cannot question the principle outlined in Luke 6:38. The clothing stacked up in our neighbor’s arms were the evidence of “pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” He now has clothes up to size 14 when he wears size 7.  Whether they will be in style in 7 years may be a different story!

If I could encourage you in one way through this testimony it would be, do not doubt God’s ability to keep track. He repays all things, whether good or bad. It’s been said many times that God is never a debtor. While we should give without expectation of receiving, we should be looking for God’s provisions and being thankful for them. The times we hold back and give begrudgingly are times we rob ourselves of abundant blessings!

Even ministry women, that are on a budget, with little to give can find themselves in a battle of generosity vs. holding on to their substance while on their knees praying to God to meet their needs. Remember God’s Word says in II Corinthians 9:6-8,

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. 

God not only loves a cheerful giver, He provides abounding grace for you to be able to “abound to every good work.” In other words, He gives you plenty of grace to do plenty of good toward others. He will prompt your heart to give. Then, in time He gives back to you. If you recognize His abundant blessings and glorify Him for it, then you will have a story to tell just like we do.

The next blessing you can give is sharing with your children how He has provided and He cares for them by answering your prayers. They need to know He cares about the needs they have. When you share stories like these, you are not only exercising your faith, you are passing it on to the next generation. You are setting up stones for them to look back on and to see and remind them when they need to trust again, that God has come through in the past and He will do it again.

When God provides and answers our prayers it becomes a stepping stone of faith that leads us to the next step.

  • Will we trust God to provide the next need?
  • Will we be waiting in anticipation to see how He does it differently this time?
  • Will we spread the praise to those around us?

Our neighbors are unbelievers that God worked through. That is nothing short of a miracle. You just never know how God will come through! He is so good!