TWR Canada has been quietly raising funds for a project in Africa. The agreement on this project was if we couldn’t raise all the funds upfront, we wouldn’t do it. This is one of those projects where there will be no appeal. We have already made other commitments around the globe, and those projects are priority. Basically, this project is what I call a “God project.” If he wants it done, he will make it happen. I am not saying we haven’t told anyone, because we have, but we have done so through phone calls or personal letters to just a handful of people. Then we are trusting God to do the rest.
There have been some bumps in the road on this one. Costs have gone higher than expected, for example. When we put the budget together, we anticipated closing costs to be a few thousand dollars. It is much more! Transfer tax on the property was triple what we expected. I was so discouraged when I found this out, as it was really my oversight. What do you do when this happens? You get on your knees and pray; that is what you do. So that is what I did, and it is the reason I decided to write about it.
Less than 48 hours after sending an email, I got word that the entire amount for the closing cost has been supplied! The specifics of how it happened and where the funds came from cannot be fully disclosed, but in my mind and to my eyes, it is a miracle. Basically, it started with a note to someone; it turns out that person had had a conversation with an individual who is a long-time friend of TWR, who just happened to have funds in an account that he had allocated for a project in Africa. The funds had been there for years and had basically been forgotten about until someone shared the need with the individual. All of a sudden, we are celebrating how God works all things together to accomplish his work!
What gets me so excited about this is that this is not the first time this has happened. It is not the second time either. I have experienced this kind of thing 50 or 100 times in the 32 years I have served with TWR. I remember meeting with a man shortly after I arrived in Africa. I was asked to pick him up at the airport, take him to church and feed him a meal. I knew nothing about this man. I did what I was asked to do. At the end of the lunch, the man said to me, “If someone wanted to help you in Africa, what could he help with?” That man ended up funding two projects in Africa that were desperately needed! We didn’t ask; we just shared the need, and God did the rest. That man and his organization have been helping TWR from that day to this day. Many have heard the message of hope because God used this organization to bring the gospel to not just thousands, but tens of thousands.
Probably one of the most amazing stories about God supplying was when we were drawing up a business plan for our transmitter site in West Africa. Reverend Stephen, our International Director for Africa, called me into his office. He had an interesting question to ask me. He said, “Ray, how are we going to know if this project is God’s will?” I was surprised by the question. Up to this point, it was all green lights. The government of the country where we were going to do this had given a green light; our partners, like TTB, were excited, but Stephen wanted something more than that. I said to him, “What do you propose?” His response? “I want to see God supply $50,000 without us telling anyone.” And he meant no one. I reluctantly agreed; he was my boss after all. I didn’t have a choice, but then he put another condition on it. He said, “The funds have to come in by a certain date.” I have to admit, I did not think this was a good idea. I wanted to let people know. How else was this going to happen? In my mind, we were really putting God in a box, but he insisted, and I agreed.
We were in the final week; funds had to be in by that Friday at 5:00 p.m. Monday morning we didn’t have anything. Late in the day, I got a call from a donor, and he said this to me, “I don’t know why I am doing this, but God has prompted me to give you $45,000.” I was over the moon! I literally ran into Stephen’s office and shared the good news. I told Stephen we didn’t need $50,000; we could cut costs and do what we needed to do for $45,000. Stephen said, “No, we agreed on $50,000.” Tuesday went by, Wednesday went by, Thursday went by. Friday started the same, and I was discouraged. We thought God was in this. The location and many other details had already come together to make this happen.
At 4:00 p.m. on Friday, I got a long-distance phone call from Washington State. The voice on the other end was a familiar voice, and I wondered why this man was calling me. He said, “Ray, when I got up this morning, God prompted me to call you.” He went on to say that God had also prompted him to give TWR Africa a $5,000 gift and that I could designate it where it was needed most. I did tell him before he hung up that he had just made the most important call of his life; he had made a ministry into 13 West African countries possible.
Why do these types of stories need to be told? Because God is still doing his business around the world. He still speaks into people’s hearts, and they still respond.
When I joined TWR in 1985 and started raising support, I could not imagine how we would raise our personal support. The task looked overwhelming, and it was overwhelming if we thought we had to do it by ourselves. Since then I have seen God take a project and put all the pieces in place to make it happen.
How do you respond to God calling you into action? Maybe you get an excited feeling in your stomach like I do and say, “Yes God. Bring it on. Let’s make it happen!”