A year of grad-level mission studies was required before deployment, and preferably a master’s degree. So, a week after our wedding, we headed to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago. During our three-day honeymoon, we made a decision that continues to affect our lives fifty years later.
We were confident that God was directing in the move, but we had only enough savings for about one month of living expenses. God would need to provide in very unusual ways for us to survive the cost of driving down, renting an apartment, paying for tuition, books, food, and utilities. Mora needed to get a working visa in addition to rewriting her nursing exams in the States. Who knew if she could get a job?
We reviewed Malachi 3:8-11 together and decided we would accept God’s challenge to “test me in this” and begin married life by giving a double tithe of anything God provided. We were determined not to go into debt. If we started to go into the ‘red,’ I would quit school, find a job, and conclude we had misread God’s leading. The whole enterprise seemed so risky we would need unusual provisions to even get started. We also decided that if things got worse economically, we would increase our giving to make sure we were listening carefully.
Within twenty-four hours of our honeymoon, God began a series of such unusual, surprising provisions we were left stunned. We started to take notes! Not only did God provide in unexpected ways, but He also eliminated expenses, and He never stopped.
Within the first year of grad studies, we decided we needed to increase our giving because of God’s generosity rather than worsening financial condition. We have had to do that several times, and God has never ceased to amaze us all these years. Our faith’s growth resulting from one critical decision enabled us to take many other seemingly risky choices, but once we knew God was leading, we also knew that He would enable and provide. It alleviated many concerns.
This is an excerpt from the book, On Mission. Download your free copy today.