Berean cogitations

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sometimes, God answers prayers in dramatic ways

Have you ever known people who routinely live by faith, and who have seen God provide for them in wonderous, spectacular ways? I've known a few, and one of the most spectacular examples was the director of a crisis pregnancy center in California.

Back in 2002, their center was on the verge of collapse, due to severe negligence on the part of their board members. They had legal and financial troubles, and were on the brink of shutting their doors forever. Their director (let's call her "Louise") had already told God that she was planning to resign unless her board received some sort of training... and soon. The center's future looked bleak, and the situation seemed hopeless.

At the time, I lived about 75 minutes away. One day, I decided to call their center and offer my help, not knowing that she was on staff. She recognized my name though, and so we quickly discovered that she was the mother of a dear friend of mine from my grad school days.

Louise asked how I would be willing to help. I had a list of ideas in mind, which I rattled off. (I've been involved with pro-life organizations for 15 years now, and have served them in a variety of capacities.) Among other things, I offered to help train their board members in the principles of boardsmanship, fundraising and CPC governance, if they were interested. She immediately blurted out, "Oh, praise God! That is truly an answer to prayer!" Remember, I had no idea that she had been specifically praying for that, or that she had been planning to resign. Talk about God's timing!

I think it's safe to say that such encounters are extremely rare. Except for a few highly paid consultants, I don’t know anyone else who goes around offering to help pro-life ministry boards in this manner. I certainly don't know anyone who offers such services for free, as I insist on doing. For someone to call out of the blue -- well, if it was a coincidence, then it was truly a staggering one.

To cut a long story short, I met with their board members to learn more about their situation. Together, we discussed ways to improve the ministry. Changes were made, fresh blood was brought in, and things started to improve immediately. They had some wonderful individuals on that board, and in the weeks that followed, their dedication shone through. Needless to say, Louise decided to stay on, and they're now growing at an almost unbelievable rate. I get shivers every time I think about what happened.

God still answers prayers... and sometimes, he does so dramatically. Praise God!

This is by no means the only situation in which God provided for Louise in spectacular ways. Someday, I'd like to write about the other stories that she shared -- times when Louise and her daughter were penniless and had an empty cupboard. Or the time when they had a bare apartment, without even the bare comforts of furniture. God provided for them in his perfect timing, in ways that boggle the mind. I hope that someday, my faith will be as strong as hers has become throughout these crises.