Have you ever been faced with a need that only prayer could answer? Something that you knew there was no way you could accomplish it. It could only be done by God.
In 2000, my husband Jon and I were serving in Northern Idaho as volunteer missionaries who had to raise their own support. God began to turn our hearts toward moving to the mountains of Eastern Kentucky to work with the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at Morehead State University, so in March of that year, we decided to check the ministry out firsthand.
God confirmed for us right away that this would be our next place of service, so we began looking for housing during the few days we were there. Being on raise your own support meant that our housing budget was almost non-existent just like the available housing. The only places in our price range were way out in the mountains, or what Kentuckians refer to as “the holler.” I didn’t know anything about hollers, but I knew it looked like total isolation. We only had one car, which meant my 2 year old daughter and I couldn’t be very involved in our ministry and we’d be far away from the few people we knew. We began to pray that God would provide something quick!
On a walk with the BSM secretary during the last morning of our visit, we came upon three small old houses on campus that were completely out of place as they were crammed between the Art Building, the Music Building and the Football Field.
“Who lives here?” I asked.
“Oh, those are Mr. Bob’s houses. He refuses to sell to the University, but they’re never available. He only rents to football coaches.”
Right then I knew the cute little white house in the middle was mine. It was the perfect location for us! Just two hundred yards from the BSM building!
Before we left, I brought Jon to see the house.
“This is our house, and I’m committing to pray every day that God will provide it. Will you join me in this prayer?”
It truly speaks to Jon’s heart that he didn’t even bat an eye but immediately answered yes. That began our daily commitment of praying that God would please provide the little white house for our family.
Time rolled by, and soon it was just one month until our move and still no word on housing. I could not be swayed, though, on knowing that the white house was ours.
One morning in May the phone rang, and on the other end was a gruff older gentleman.
“Mrs. Barron, you don’t know me, but I’m Mr. Bob.”
My heart dropped to my shoes.
“I have heard through my church that you and your husband are moving to Morehead to work with the BSM, and I was wondering if you had found a place to live? I happen to have a little white house on campus, and the coach that was living there just moved out. Do you think you’d be interested?”
I stood there stunned, trying to find my voice as my heart was leaping out of my chest.
“Mr. Bob, sir, you are an answer to prayer.”
I’ll never forget his surprised chuckle as he said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been an answer to prayer before.”
Then I proceeded to tell him my story of seeing his house and committing to pray for it during the past two months. He seemed a little overwhelmed by the whole thing, but began speaking with me about rent. All of a sudden, I realized that I had been so focused on getting the house, that I couldn’t even remember praying that we could afford the house! I should have never feared, though, for God knew the desires of my heart.
“Mrs. Barron, I’ve heard that y’all are basically volunteering here and are having to raise support. I want you to know that I’m not really concerned with making money on this house. I just want someone there who will take care of it and is also investing in the university.”
He then agreed on the meager amount that we could pay. Oh, dear Lord, was this really happening?
As we were saying our goodbyes, suddenly Mr. Bob stopped.
“Mrs. Barron, did you say you have a child?”
Oh no, was this the deal breaker?
“Yes, sir. She’s two years old.”
“Well, I should go ahead and fence that yard for you, shouldn’t I? We wouldn’t want her to get in the street. Okay, Mrs. Barron. I’ll see you at the end of June!”
I stood there holding the phone in complete shock. He did it! God actually did it, and he didn’t only answer my prayer! He threw in things I’d never even thought to pray for such as the price and a fenced yard for our daughter! How could I even imagine a fenced yard when we currently lived in a second-floor apartment where her yard consisted of our small balcony? Tears rolled down my face as I gratefully thanked the Lord, our great provider and sustainer.
For the two years we lived in Morehead, the little white house was a haven for our family and students alike. Since we were right in the middle of campus, our house was constantly filled with students who just dropped in to say hi, chat for a while, and even babysit! Our son was born during that first year, too, and both kids quickly became the most popular children on campus. Being so close to the ministry building meant that every day the kids and I would walk over to hang out with Jon and the students, and I could be consistently involved. We were able to buy a cheap swing set and that fenced backyard became my children’s favorite place and a great blessing to this mom all because I took God at his word. “Until now, you have asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you shall receive so that your joy may be made complete.” John 16:24
What is impossible in your life right now and are you ready to believe our God wants to provide?