Inspiring Story: Chinese Missionaries find their own "mana" from God
I am going to start something new on this blog, a new meme... It's called Inspiring Story. Each week, I'll feature an inspiring story. I know this is "off the beaten path" of apologetics, but one of my missions is to encourage and inspire my readers, so I figure I'll give it a go. Each week, you'll find one of my favorite stories featured. Many of these stories are about trusting in God, which, as many of you know, is a subject dear to my heart. Some are humorous, but most are sobering and challenging, while at the same time, encouraging. Sometimes we forget all the wonderful things that God has done for us or taught us, so I hope that by posting these inspiring stories, we can all be encouraged and be reminded of God's hand in our lives. I believe that telling of all that God has done in our lives is one way of sharing/defending our faith, while at the same time, offering evidence that miracles still do occur in everyday life, because God does exist and He loves His children. If you would like to participate in this meme, you can post a story or personal testimony and leave a link to your site in the comments. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this story... The following true story is found in the Book "To China and Back" by Anthony Bollback. He and his wife were missionaries to the Chinese people (1940s), and they started out by following the Lord's leading to plant a church in Coundersport. Today, they have a ministry which centers on China and its persecuted Christians. This story, and others in the book, "affirms that God intervenes in the everyday affairs of those who love Him and habitually seek His guidance" (back cover of book).
Miss Kitty Van Dyck and Miss Laura Littlefield... had challenged me to read the life of Hudson Taylor and Pastor Hsi of the China Inland Mission. Their conversation often turned to China and they seemed to want to impress on me the joy of trusting God as Hudson Taylor had. The fact that Hudson Taylor never made his needs known to man made a deep impression on me, so deep, in fact, that not once in the three years we lived in Coundersport did we ever tell anyone of our financial needs. At one point in the early days we asked the Lord to provide us with some food. A farmer by the name of Fred Postlewaite, who lived about 15 miles out of town, arrived at our door a few days later with a bushel of beets and said, "Brother Anthony, God told me you folks needed some food. I brought you this bushel of beets." We were overjoyed to see those beets. God had answered our prayers! It wasn't many days, however, until the euphoria of answered prayer lost some of its thrill in the repetition of beets and more beets and still more beets! How many ways can you prepare beets when all you have to go with them is bread and peanut butter? And what about the beet greens? Lulu Campbell and her husband Jim had prayed that an Alliance church would be opened in Coundersport. God spoke to them also, and just about the time we were learning new and imaginative ways to prepare beets, Lulu came along with a large bag of beet greens for soup! We decided to follow Elijah's example -- he never breathed a word of complaint to anyone about the food the ravens brought. We didn't either. But a bushel of beets, even for the most spiritual, can be a trying experience, so we prayed for some variety. About the time that the bottom of the basket began to appear, God sent Fred Postlewaite to our back door again. He was grinning from ear to ear. "Brother B," he said, "God told me you folks would be needing some more food so I said to Bessie, 'I'm going into town; the Bollbacks need more food.'" Visions of delicious corn, beans and potatoes filled my mind. When the trunk lid went up, there was another bushel of beets! "Not more beets, Lord! We asked You to supply us with food!" Jesus gently answered, "Beets are nourishing food! I promised to supply all your needs, and right now you need beets!" ... Not long after Fred Postlewaite brought the second bushel of beets, he stopped by again. I couldn't help but wonder if he had another bushel of beets for us. However, this time he reached into his pocket and pulled out $15 and with a big smile said, "I just sold a bull at the auction this morning and here is my tithe. Use it for yourselves to buy whatever you need. I always give God my tithe right away." And then with a twinkle in his eye, he added, "Do you need any more beets?"