When I was 20 I did my youth ministry internship with Ray Blais. Ray was the director of Camp Li Lo Li, the camp I had volunteered at for the previous 4 summers. He was the first person I had ever met who was in full time ministry and was trusting God to provide for all of his family’s needs.
I remember listening to his ‘God stories’ and seeing his intimate relationship with God and wanting to experience something similar. As I was trying to comprehend how someone, especially a husband and father of 3, could live like this, he handed me a fist full of pocket calendars and invited me to ‘take a look.’ As I flipped through them I read the short, hand written notes in the daily calendar squares, of how God had provided so faithfully. Several of the stories he had already shared with me so as I glanced over the little notes they meant so much more to me. There were too many for him to recall and time didn’t permit him to share them because there were so many! Ray kept a record of these stories to remind himself, and others, how faithful His God was.
Almost 20 years later, I now have my own set of pocket calendars, packed full of ‘God stories’ and as I’ve been sitting and looking back over them my eyes have teared up and my heart has overflowed like David’s did in Psalm 40:5;
“You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you!I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”
I’ve had the privilege of telling hundreds of people the story of how God provided Mercy House and the security system, or how more recently God provided our new van… but looking back it was the ‘less significant’ stories that impacted me the most today. I had forgotten so many of them. The times when we had been praying for $50 and my GST check for $68 came in the mail, or when we needed groceries and an encouraging letter from a friend arrived at just the right time… with a grocery gift card included with it. Looking back and seeing my hand written notes on the exact days that God worked these miracles carries a different measure of reality and works to renew my confidence in our Great and Awesome God. The God who WAS, is our God who still IS and always will be. He NEVER changes, He ALWAYS remains the same. He’s our immovable rock that we can stand firmly on and trust completely in.
Almost all of the stories recorded in these calendars included names. Names of people who’s hearts God stirred up to be a part of what He was doing. These stories are YOUR stories! When I read the stories, I read so many of YOUR names. I’m just as encouraged by YOUR examples as I am when I read about the people in the Old Testament who were willing to trust God and follow Him. Our CrossTrainers story includes stories of friends who walked away from profitable jobs to obey God and serve Him in this ministry. There’s stories of young people who chose to serve God with us instead of seeking a more profitable career. There’s stories of heartache between our staff team and years later, stories of reconciliation. There’s stories of abundant provision through people serving God in the market place as well as stories of stay-at-home mom’s, single parents, retired seniors, and even people in full time ministry who gave just as sacrificially. There’s stories of ‘random’ cheques that have come as the Spirit prompted the hearts of people to give and there’s stories of the not so ‘random’, but just as inspired, monthly support, that came from people who have quietly and faithfully come along side us.
We are so thankful to God for YOU! The PEOPLE God has used to play significant roles in His story of CrossTrainers… which is just a small part of His greater story.
If you would like to hear some of our God stories, I recently recorded several of them for Hope Stream Radio. Here’s how you can listen:
- Visit hopestreamradio.com
- Click on Contributors
- Click on Jodi Greenstreet (WOW Living is the name of the segment)
- Click on WOW Living to see a list of all of the recorded segments
- Click on any segment you would like to listen to
Our prayer is that your faith will grow through hearing these stories and that you will be encouraged to follow Jesus whole heartedly in 2016. Thank you for playing an important part in this story.