God has decided to show off during the past 2 days! And I am continually amazed at how He chooses to do so! His outpouring of Love through using His people is such an encouragement to me!!!
Let me set the scene - yesterday I arrived home from an awesome week and a half in Arkansas visiting my brother and his family. After sorting through the mound of accumulated mail, I am surprised with the first of the blessings....
First, I received a check for an entire month's worth of work which has allowed me to completely pay off my student loans today!!! WOOP WOOP! Oh, what a huge burden lifted from my shoulders!!! God is soo faithful to have provided me the work to be able to get that paid off! My goal of being debt free before I leave in February is materializing!!!! God is soo good!!!
Next, I also received a card from some dear friends of mine who were recently married. Expecting it to be a thank you note for attending their wedding, etc., I opened it and was overwhelmed by not only a thank you, but a tremendous blessing of a financial gift towards getting me to Peru! They have continually invested so much in this ministry the Lord is leading me into and have always been an amazing encouragement to me. I was just blown away with their outpouring of love and continuing commitment to partnering with me in the Lord's work in Peru. It was an amazing, uplifting surprise and encouragement!
Then, as if that wasn't enough, God decided to add icing on top of the cake today. Before I left for Arkansas, I dropped off my violin at Brobst Violin Shop in Alexandria, VA to have 2 more bridges made for it as I slowly accumulate extra parts for my violin in case something happens to it while in Peru. Now, I knew that the owners of Brobst are Christians, but I didn't know that all of their employees are as well. When I dropped off my violin, I got into a conversation with the staff member behind the counter about my impending move to Peru as a full-time missionary being why I was requesting additional bridges be made. He was very interested and shared that one of his sons had gone to Peru on a short-term missions trip in a previous year and that 2 of his kids had recently returned from Guatemala on a missions trip. We had a great conversation about what the Lord is doing in various countries and the awesomeness of Him using us to fulfill His will. I left that day very encouraged.
I returned to Brobst this morning to pick up my violin and engaged in another conversation with a different employee, the owner's son, about why I had just had 2 more bridges made for my violin(Apparently this is not a very common thing unless your current bridge needs to be replaced). Anyway, he mentioned that what I was doing was very exciting and that I was good to go. I hadn't paid yet for the 2 bridges, so I responded slightly chuckling, "Um, I haven't paid yet." He replied, "You don't have to. The work order says there is no charge, but that the bridges were made as a donation to your ministry." I nearly cried on the spot. As I thanked him multiple times and asked him to specifically thank whoever had made that decision to not charge me, he replied warmly that everyone at the store were believers and that it was a joy for them to be able to do something like this. I was completely overwhelmed once again with God's loving hand coming in and showing me that He is at work among His people and enjoys blessing us.
I could have easily paid for the work that they did - it would not have been very expensive - but God chose to show me that even in the little things that we "know" we can easily handle, He is intimately involved and in control. I wouldn't have it any other way!
I hope you are encouraged and blessed by how the Lord continues to show Himself in my life! You all are such a huge blessing to me in soo many ways! God continues to use you in ways you can't even imagine to encourage me when I'm about ready to give up and to envelope me in His to loving arms as He leads me to fulfil His will for my life. Praying for ya'll and hope you have a great rest of the week! God Bless!!!