The Psalmist gets it right of course when he says in Psalm 115, “Our God is in the heavens. He does whatever He pleases.” For reasons that please the Lord He often places in situations where it is obvious that crying out to Him is our only hope. Derek Cox spoke this week at Project 61 and said, “God will not let us live a life where we don’t need Him.”
As the days drew near for Project 61 we became aware of a serious transportation shortage for getting kids to and from the camp. The transportation options we had in the past and the ones we had been pursuing began to fall through one after another. At one point we were down over 100 spots – that would mean that 100 less kids could attend Project 61 than in previous years. A church that has been extremely gracious and involved in the past decided because of insurance reasons that we would not be able to use their bus and then on Monday morning at the start of Project 61 week informed us that would include their vans as well.
Friday night at Secret Church we had devoted an extended time to praying for Project 61 camp and people were fervent in seeking the Lord’s provision for a bus or two. We continued to seek the Lord through the weekend and had another corporate prayer time on Sunday. Early Saturday morning we had contact with a ministry just outside of town who had a bus for sale but they were mainly interested in exchanging a van for it. We had an old van but it was in the shop and we didn’t get it out in time to meet with them on Saturday.
Monday morning at 11:00 we went to meet this ministry about their bus (a 1998 Bluebird School 46 passenger bus with a new engine with 25,000 miles). Our van we were considering exchanging as a part of a purchase breaks down again in their parking lot! and dies 6 or 7 times before we get out of their site. Things didn’t look to promising though the pastor said he would talk to their insurance guy about letting us borrow it for the week. We got our van back to a gas station and added some new gas and it began to run well for the first 15 miles back towards Tulsa.
I called the pastor with the bus and told him perhaps it was bad gas and the exchange might still be a possibility. He said, he would get back with me. It didn’t sound very promising and then the van broke down again and had to be towed in to our mechanic.
Our volunteer campers were meeting at 4:30 to head out to Keystone State Park where the training and worship services would take place and then the Sports Clinics where the transportation would be most needed begins early Tuesday morning. I argued with God about the need and what was at stake for His name but as the hours grew closer I was mainly trying to figure out how to communicate to our interns and faith family why God didn’t answer. I was far from faith- FULL.
At 3:15 I got a call from the church whose vehicles we had used in the past and the staff pastor I know the best there informed me that they had decided to provide buses and vans along with drivers! – for the week. At 3:45 the ministry with the bus for sale called and said they couldn’t let us borrow it but they would sale it to us and asked what we could give. We were able to purchase the bus for $1000 plus either the 1989 van if it was running (it’s not) or some more money up to but not more than $2000 total. The bus is in excellent condition and several of our men think it is worth closer to $25-$35,000!
Later Monday evening a group of doctors who had been considering helping to sponsor the camp but had not done so (and we assumed were not since camp was already starting) – they called and donated $1500 for transportation costs!
God showed Himself very faithful and by Tuesday morning we had more transportation than in the previous 8 years and over 180 campers plus another 100 plus volunteers attended the camp. And our intern staff was rejoicing that we had gotten rid of the van that breaks down all of the time! :)
We don’t think God’s provision for the buses was the result of our prayers or certainly not just about transportation but an opportunity for the LORD to show Himself as the Provider. We are hopeful that He will be seen and known as the “Lord who provides a way for sinners to dwell with Him” in the lives of those who heard the gospel this week and through the relationships that were formed that will give birth to students being in our tutoring programs and involved in our church family at Springs of Grace and eventually in the family of God.
Keep praying to the God who is always faithful to His promises. He is righteous. Just wanted others to hear another story about the greatness of our God – and if you prayed with us – thank you as well.