Returning home from a mission trip to Ecuador, God laid this message upon my heart. Think of a time when you have struggled financially in your life. Perhaps you were not sure how to pay all your bills, or you had to scrape together loose change to buy a loaf of bread. Remember what it took to make it through that tough time. Perhaps you borrowed money, sold or pawned a possession, or applied for public assistance.
Now, think of what you felt – frustration, despair, fear, hopelessness, or shame. Missionaries in Ecuador and other poor countries minister to people who also have struggles. Some Ecuadorians wake up wondering how they will feed their family and whether they will be able to earn or beg money that day.
If their child gets sick, how will they pay medical expences? They do not have possessions to sell for such emergencies. They experience their struggles every day, not as just a period in their life; yet, they do not despair, fear or feel shame or hopelessness.
You see, they have learned to depend on God for ALL their needs. They find Him sufficient, even in their daily struggles. Our mission group provided thirteen villages with food provisions. Each church family received enough food to last a family of four in the U.S. about one week, but it will last them six months and will feed a family two or three times the size.
At a church in Zabala, two baskets were set on each side of the altar where inside were placed small amounts of the food the church members had received. The church families in Ecuador do not have money for tithes; instead, they tithe a tenth of their precious provisions trusting that God will bless them with even more.
“God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterwards they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
– James 1:12 (NIV)
“Dear Heavenly Father, help me to remember that regardless of the difficulties I am going through, that I am in Your care. Remind me that You are sufficient, and I lay at your feet…”