While there is plenty of bad news, there's also plenty of good. God is still doing extraordinary things through ordinary people. He's not just a God present in the Bible but he's present in our lives today. I have been greatly inspired and encouraged by some of the "stories" I've heard lately. I have wanted to start a new feature on my blog for quite some time sharing these stories and incredible people with you. I feel that now more than ever we are thirsty for some good news! It's my prayer that you will be encouraged, inspired and refreshed...
As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25
About 6 or 7 years ago, I went with a church group in Lake Charles, Louisiana to "tour" Friend Ships. I walked onto a massive ship and saw a full blown mission field. Lots of people volunteering, not just for an afternoon, but for a year or even a lifetime. They had completely given their lives to help those in need. They were living day by day depending on God for their next meal and anything else they needed. It was there on one of these ships that it first hit me. The Bible is God's Living Word. He didn't just expect people in the Old and New Testament to completely give their lives to Him but He expects it of us today. And what's even more is that when we fully trust Him He provides. Don and Sondra Tipton are living proof...
|Port Mercy in Lake Charles, LA where we toured|
Don and Sandra Tipton were the owners of a Polo and Hunting Club. As they began to study deeper and deeper into God's Word they became more and more concerned. They were watching the rich literally throw money away and become richer while others were starving and homeless. In the book Jesus and Company they talk about the struggle and change that took place in their lives:
We had a simple thought-not really understanding at the time that the Holy Spirit sometimes puts thoughts into our mind. What if we take from this land of plenty what it doesn't want, what it is spending millions of dollars on each year to burn and bury? What if we take the crumbs from the tables of the wealthy and share them with our brothers and sisters and children who are poor and starving? If there truly is a need -and there is-if we are our brother's keeper and it is our job to help the poor, the widows, the orphans and those in need, if the Lord is the great provider, and if we were willing and said,"Here we are, Lord send us," would he really supply? If someone was willing to love this children in need, if someone did it for the glory of God, would the Lord turn his face from them?...So with only $38 in an account and knowing nothing about the sea or ships Don and Sandra felt God was calling them to buy a ship. They started looking knowing they didn't have the finances to purchase one. When God works he works big! They ended up being GIVEN a massive seven story ship. It needed a lot of work and parts but God provided it all for them.
We began to realize that knowledge of the Word without putting it to the test is only knowledge, that it's easy to say we believe and trust God; the hard part would be putting our faith to work...We knew this would take trust, complete trust. We would have to give up the business, our only means of support. We would be totally dependent on the Lord to provide our food, our clothing, our everything"
Fast forward a few years and several miracles later...They now have not just one ship but 5 ships! Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods have been delivered around the world to those in need. Medical care has also been provided to those in need. A Friendships village has been established in Honduras. Check out their October newsletter just to see some of the things accomplished last month. All of this not because two people had a lot of money to give or even a lot of knowledge but simply because they were willing.
For more information on Friendships check out their website or FB page.