Thank The Lord!

October 12, 1997

Psalm 37:4 – Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Today is the Fiftieth Anniversary of our Church in Mission, British Columbia, Canada, and we have a great deal to be thankful for on this Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday. Just five years and five months ago, May 3rd, 1992, we moved from our old church building on Seventh Avenue to our new one on Cedar Street. The land, building and paved parking lot had cost us $481,000. The congregation had started saving for the project in December 1983, when an anonymous donor had issued a Challenge to match donations up to $10,000. Almost immediately, our people were dismayed to discover that St. Paul's was launched into self-supporting status much sooner than first expected. Nevertheless, the Challenge was met. When the building project was complete, it was 70{8395b6ce96fcf25a14d80edc3b65c36a8995b6c1ba5f8c16ac11d8adaa79f35b} paid for, and our debt stood at $150,000. During the next four years, anonymous donors issued a $25,000 Challenge and a $10,000 Challenge, and we saw God's hand move mightily in miracles of timing, as each Challenge was over-subscribed. And so it was that on February 9th, 1997, this announcement appeared in the Sunday bulletin:

    We have a dream… To mark the congregation's 50th Anniversary at Thanksgiving, our new Board of Managers has the exciting vision of paying off the $37,000 owing on the church. If you share this vision, and have an idea of how it might be attained, speak to any member of the Board.

On April 20th, another anonymous $10,000 Challenge was announced, and this was met, long before the June 30th deadline. By the end of August, $13,000 was still owing, and it was clear that the congregation had given all it could. In the fourth week of September, someone outside the congregation gave a large donation in memory of a lady who had passed away during July, so just two weeks before our Fiftieth Anniversary, our Treasurer paid off the debt completely. Praise God! We thought it was impossible, but God says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." When you and I want what God wants, He is able to do exceeding abundantly, more than we could ever ask or think. Glory be to God.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your care and concern for even our smallest needs, and for Your grace and mercy that follows us all the days of our lives. Make us eternally grateful, Lord, for we do not grasp even the half of Your provision for us. Amen.

About the author:

Robin Ross <rross@telus.net>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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