Fiji is hot and humid. Cool, lightweight clothes are a must! Saturday clothes are my favourite. I can throw on a pair casual shorts, a tee shirt, and a pair of flip flops, and be fairly comfortable in the humidity!
On a recent Saturday, the tee shirt I happened to throw on was a Gospel School for the Deaf one, as I got ready to head off to the grocery store. While I checked out at the register, the clerk noticed my shirt, and inquired about the school. I gave her the usual spiel, and asked if she knew of any deaf children not in school. As it turned out, she did. Her son Jeremiah was 10 years old. He had been in a regular first grade class for 6 months, when he became ill with Meningitis and lost all of his hearing. He has not been back to school since. I immediately set up an appointment for his mom to bring him into school the following Monday.
Then, as I was walking to the van, an Indo-Fijian man also noticed my tee shirt, and asked if our school was connected to The Gospel School. I responded that it was. He was a graduate of the high school, and told me how much he enjoyed his experience there. He asked about several teachers that we knew in common, and then pulled out his card and handed it to me. He owned a car dealership, and said if we ever needed any work done on our vehicles to call him. He would beat any price we were given for repairs. Since all 3 of our vehicles are about 15 years old, they are almost always in need of something or other! I happily took his card and thanked him.
Jeremiah and his mom came in to school bright and early on Monday morning, and registered for the start of school in January. As you can see by the smiles, both were very happy. As they were leaving the interview, Jeremiah held up 6 fingers toward me, and I was confused. His mom explained that he still thinks he’s 6 years old, because that’s what he had been taught the last time he attended school. We can’t wait to catch him up on his past 4 years!
Yes, I was thankful I had thrown on my GSD tee shirt on that particular Saturday. And thankful to God that another deaf student had been found and brought to school. Maybe we should encourage all the staff to wear their GSD shirts around town on Saturdays!
“God is faithful! Our circumstances do not dictate His character!
I can always trust Him and know that He is in complete control of the universe… and that ultimately, all things are for His glory and my good (Romans 8:28).” (Perry Nobel)
Sadly, Maredani’s father passed away this past weekend. He had asthma, and was hospitalized for fluid in his lungs. Shortly after being released from the hospital, he passed away. Mereadani and her father were very close; such a difficult thing for any five year old child to bear! We ask why? Yet we trust in God’s faithfulness, to bring peace and comfort to this family, during the difficult days ahead. Please keep them in your prayers.
I emailed Patty, now back in the states, to inform her, since she knows the family well.
The rest of the story is that we have been going through some very difficult times here ourselves, with various problems, and financial concerns. Just last night, we were praying about where money would come from to get us through the next two weeks, when the regular donations were scheduled to come in. It was an exercise in trusting God, and trying not to worry.
The next morning, after sending my email to Patty, an answer came. Patty sent along her condolences for Mereadani’s family, and then added at the end of her email that she had recently received a donation for our school, from the International Lutheran Deaf Association, for $5000. In Fijian dollars, that figure doubles! The money should be arriving in the next couple of days.
As always, God is faithful in supplying every need---- “abundantly above all we could ask or imagine!” Ephesians 3:20. Some needs are financial and practical; others are emotional, and often painful to bear. But it’s in those difficult times that we often experience God’s love and faithfulness the most; sometimes we have to get to the end of our own resources, in order to learn trust. As a mentor once said to me, “Prayer is not so much about God changing our circumstances, but rather, God changing US, in the midst of our circumstances.”
As the old hymn goes, “Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God My Father!”
May we all experience His faithfulness, no matter what our circumstances.
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