YWAM is one of only two christian missions organizations in the world whose members are self-supporting. In other words, all YWAMers raise their own support and even pay a monthly fee for the privilege of serving in the organization. It allows us the faith-building opportunities to lean on, depend on and rely on God for all our provision. The obedience of His people is a large part of that process so it provides for wonderful partnerships to be developed.
When I began my YWAM experience, I had worked diligently to develop a network of folks who knew me, loved me, and were committed to stand with me in missions. I was young in the mission and quickly discovered the old adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’ was still alive and well in the hearts of even well meaning folks. Within about 6-8 weeks of my departure to full time service in Australia, my monthly support dropped to dangerous levels that would not meet my monthly expenses. I went to my leaders and asked for their counsel. I quickly discovered that my focus was on people and not on God. He is always faithful though His timing is all His own!
When I changed my focus to God as my provider, and saw those who stood with me as partners, not supporters, God's provision began to be released and my relationships came into order too.
I began to experience the reaping from the proper sowing of good seeds of faith and trust. As I was serving in the Communication Department, a communications school was being planted in Europe and I was challenged to prayerfully consider attending it, with the hope of eventually taking on the leadership of the school on my home base in Canberra, Australia. My daily routine included a short walk before dinner. As I was finishing my walk and stood at the back gate of the base, the sun was setting and silhouetting the facility. Beautiful! I stood there enjoying God’s creation when I began to dialog with Him about this amazing opportunity that was being presented to me. Europe. Additional training for my future calling. Tuition and airfare!! I could see growing pains in faith becoming clearer.
I was in the valley with finances, $465 behind in paying my staff fees. I had received a donation from a friend that very day of $14.67. I held both these before the Lord, like the scales of justice, grateful for the donation, concerned over the debt, all the while trusting God to come through for me.
I was standing at the back gate with all these issues swirling around in my heart and suddenly I saw something in the sky just above the silhouetted trees. It was a small cloud, just sitting there. I began to sense this knowing rise up in me that all is going to be okay. Holy Spirit brought to mind the story of Ahab, Elijah and the rain. (I Kings 18:41-46). "Tuck in your robes and begin to run, I will provide in the 11th hour." I knew I was to say yes to the call to go to Europe and trust the Lord to see release of provision. My flight date was just 6 weeks away!
The provision began to come and staff fees were caught up, but as I got closer to the date I was still in need of a significant amount for the trip. $1500 for airfare and $3000 for tuition. Lord, You said…
In those days a travel agent needed to book tickets by Friday, no weekend services, so he called me to see how the fundraising was going. There was a longtime client in his office who knew God’s faithfulness in provision who advised him to go ahead and book my ticket even though I didn't have all of the money. Meanwhile, things were stirring back at the base. I began to have people walk up to be pull cash and coins out their pockets and throw them at me. They would see me coming down the hallway and start digging for money. It was hilarious. By the end of the day, with some additional seed money from the base planted in the soil of the future schools, I had my full airfare. Accounts gave me a check and headed to the travel agents office first thing Saturday morning to pick up my ticket. They closed at noon. I stood at his desk, handed him the check and looked up at the clock behind him. It was 11AM! God provided at the 11th hour.
Remember the ‘God timing’ thing? I was still waiting for the release of funds to fully cover my tuition and I got as far as the USA for a stop over to see my family. My mother was in failing health so each time I got to see her was a possible last time to see her. I faxed the school leader asking for her advise. She said, “come and we will stand with you. This is the Father’s gift to you and His will will be done.” In the end, I completed the school, returned to Australia still owing $1000.
Not the end of God’s story in this adventure. My dear mother finally had her eternal reunion with her Lord. I was still overseas. When I returned home and all the details for her estate were settled, my inheritance was $1000.
God’s provision for the balance of the tuition. God’s timing is God’s timing - even at the 11th Hour.