Missions Trip to Texas, Part 2

missions-trip-texas-2

I thought God would provide the ministry car one way, but He provided it in a completely different way. All I did was wait on the Holy Spirit, obeying His promptings. We ended up paying zero for the ministry car the week of the missions trip. I repeat: God provided the car, and it cost nothing.

This is how I thought it would go: when God prompted me strongly to leave before the first snowfall to be back before Thanksgiving, God said into my spirit that He would provide the car. I thought God would provide through cash. I don’t like financing cars. I prefer paying cash, so I thought God would act according to my preferences. I was wrong, and God humbled me. I foolishly said that I wouldn’t go unless God provided the cash. So by going beyond what He said, I sinned because it ended up being a lie. I did not know at the time that I was wrong about the way God would provide the car. I was so confident that God would do it.

I have asked forgiveness for my sin for saying God would provide the cash when He never said that. I need to be careful to say exactly what the Holy Spirit says rather than drawing conclusions.

God prompted me to go to a specific dealership that sells pre-owned cars. My family van had been rear-ended by a woman who had a dog on her lap in her car. Our van was totaled. We were given a check for $5,000 to replace the van. My husband and I looked at family cars, and my husband preferred a certain brand. We looked at two cars side by side, and even though the miles were way higher on one car than the other, they were both the same price because they were both the same make, model, and year. So miles do not change the price on the car at this dealership.

We test drove a couple of cars, and my husband looked like he was really enjoying himself with all the modern gadgets, including seeing how to drive backwards on a screen in front of you. Since both of our smaller cars (my husband’s car for work and my 16-year-old son’s car) are junk held together with zip ties and super glue, he sighed at how nice it would be to have a decent car. Neither one of us wanted to finance the car because it was out of our budget unless we put down the $5,000 and made payments for the rest. Even though it is not a sin to finance a car, we don’t like to do it.

Days later when I was talking with my husband about buying a car for ministry (because I was putting so many miles on my son’s car as I was sharing Christ with Spokane), he said he wanted nothing to do with getting a ministry car. My husband loves the Lord and was not sinning by wanting to pay cash for a family car, and I honor him for wanting to be a good steward with money.

Since I was going to be using the family car primarily for ministry, I prayed about how I could buy the car without my husband having to spend a single penny. Other ministries raise money for vehicles. Why not have people give towards the ministry car? So I sent out an email specifically to raise money for the car.

By the time God was indicating to leave, I did not have the amount I needed to pay cash for the car—not even close! I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do. The Lord prompted me to withdraw $300 from my homeschooling ministry/business account to put down on the car. Since I have excellent credit (I have been frugal my whole life and don’t care about accumulating objects), I was given the car loan with $300 down.

This particular company has a policy that you can return the car in 7 days with no questions asked, with your money back. This was NOT what I was planning to do, since we needed a family car/ministry car anyway. When my 18-year-old son is home from Bible college for Christmas, we do not have a car that seats the 6 people in our family, so we need a larger family car. I figured if God was prompting me to do it, He would be faithful to bring in the payments through donations. At the worst, I could work as a bilingual translator, which pays $23 an hour here in Spokane. So I would pay everything one way or another, and my husband would pay nothing, since he did not want to finance a car.

God changed the brand of car to Toyota, which is my favorite brand. Otherwise it looked identical to the car my husband had picked out, and that God had randomly picked out from a parking lot. Yes, God (through my ministry partner who did not know what car my husband wanted) prompted her to tell me to snap a picture of a random car in a parking lot. “This is My ministry car,” was what she heard the Spirit say. It matched exactly what we had test driven the previous day. I was shocked, which is why I said that was the car God had chosen. Once again, I have no right to say that God’s car had to be my husband’s brand. Now that I was going to pay for the car myself (and the car we test drove had already sold), I asked the Lord peacefully what He wanted me to do.

I knew for a certainty that God wanted me to go on this missions trip, so I had complete peace as I looked up to heaven for instructions. God showed me the Toyota that looked identical to the car my husband liked. I smiled at God because He was showing me that the car would be mine for ministry. My husband could keep the $5,000 to pay other bills, including the charges I had made the previous month during our ministry. (I spent no money on myself. I never do. I wait on the Holy Spirit to lead me to minister to others, and many times He led me to give for a physical need before I shared the gospel with them.)

Long story short, by the time we got back from the missions trip, I asked the Lord what He wanted me to do with the car, and He wanted me to return it rather than begin the payments. I asked the Lord what I could do to make up for the fact that I put so many freeway miles on the car. It didn’t seem right that it would cost nothing. He reassured me that He would not only bless the people that bought that car (because it had been used for ministry for a week), but that He would also bless the car dealership. I praised and magnified the Lord, and I released the car back to God.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our missions trip to Texas.

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8 Responses to “Missions Trip to Texas, Part 2”

  1. Heather Hart says:

    Thanks for sharing this story. It’s always interesting to read what God is doing in and through your life.

  2. I loved reading this. It made me smile. I so often have these situations with God. My will or thoughts compared to how God actually shows up and directs.

    • Susan says:

      God is so interesting. Because of my self-righteousness (not wanting to take advantage of anyone because it feels wrong to me), I would have never obeyed Him if I had known what He was planning to do. Instead I followed Him one step at a time. God planned to bless everyone, and He did!

  3. God never fails and never ceases to amaze. We are missionaries in Honduras and have had our share of incredible ways God has miraculous provided for us. This is amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  4. May the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry. Thank you for sharing, Susan!

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