I was having a greasy good lunch with some friends at Skippers, in Oxford when all of the sudden I realized that I could go to Russia. It was time to start making plans for the summer and as we were talking the reality hit me, St. Petersberg Russia is not only somewhere I would like to go but there is a good opportunity to go with Campus Crusade for Christ on a summer missions trip. I had been praying about my summer for several weeks and I really had no idea of where I wanted to go or where I thought that God was leading me if anywhere. My excitement about the possibility of going to Russia and the fact that I had been praying for a few weeks, made me think this is where God is leading me this summer. I threw my name in the hat for going there and was pick not only to go but to lead the trip and I was pumped.
The experience was amazing, and I grew a ton. I met so many great people and saw some amazing things happen, stories that will have to be written latter, because the story that had the biggest impact on me was the one that unfolded after I got home. I had always heard that if God calls you to do something He will provide what you need. When I go home from Russia that was not the case at all.
I had not been able to raise enough money to cover the cost of the trip my staff account was below zero, there was no money left to pay my salary. I began to question what I should do. Should I quit working for Campus Crusade? Even more importantly and pressing at the time was How I am I going to pay rent? So I started to ask a few people for some financial help but not much was coming in. I was wondering how I was going to buy groceries. People would ask me to hang out with them and I would have to say no because I couldn’t afford go out to eat or to the movies. I just didn’t know what to do. The question was always swirling around in the back of my mind. I know that God called me to go to Russia why hasn’t He provided what I need.
Relief started to come in a little bit at a time but the question still lingered. Does God even care? My parents gave me enough to pay fro rent and groceries for a little while, and a friend from church gave me a little more grocery money but I was on the verge of not getting paid for a fourth pay period in a row. I was desperate and I didn’t know what to do. Finally I wrote a letter to almost everyone I know letting them know the situation in detail. Things still didn’t change enough and getting paid seemed grim.
I finally reached my breaking point. One night at the end of my bed I prayed. God I know you said you wouldn’t give us more than we could handle, but you have. I can’t handle this anymore. I quit!The next day I went to church out of habit. It only took a few songs before I realized that God was on my side. He wasn’t against me. The challenge that I was facing was hard. I knew that I couldn’t make it through on my own. So I mustered up what little I had and tried to keep moving forward.
I started to call some friends who had helped me financially in the past. I was on the phone while driving home one day in late September, and describing the situation to a close friend. He said, ” Dan I wish I would have know. God told me to save a large some of money in May to give to someone. I know now that he wants me to give it to you.” I was shocked and didn’t know what to think or what to say. I thanked him over and over. But still one question remained rattling around in my head.
I received his check and hand written note just a few days latter. The check was written out for $3500. I stared at it and just wondered for a long time. Why? Why did it play out like this. Why did you do this God? Why if you had him save it in May did I not receive it till the end of September? I didn’t have any answers. But I knew that God had provided. All that time I was questioning where was God. He said that if He called He would provide and I doubted Him, and even quit, yet He still provided. I knelt by the same end of the bed where I told Him that he had given me too much to handle, and thanked him. He hadn’t given me too much, I just thought He he did.