|An Earlier Birthday|
An Earlier Birthday . . . (from 'Dominoes')
. . . From time to time during this period, praying friends and their families would host me for a few days, then I would move on, trusting God. Occasionally finding a well-lighted parking lot, I would sleep in my car.
In mid-June of 2006, my car was my bed for four consecutive nights. When I entered the church that morning I was desperate. A special man met me by the door. He and his family were preparing to go to Ghana and take over an orphanage there. He said, "How are you, really?" I told him. He was outraged and said, "I'm going to find a pastor. Wait until I come back."
After the service, Larry found me and said: "It's really a miracle!" They've been trying to call you." (My cell phone minutes had run out.) "Someone has donated a trailer to the church, and you can live in it."
I was stunned. Within a few minutes this was confirmed by the pastor in charge of family care for the church. I was to live with Larry and his family until all the arrangements were made. We had thought maybe a week or two. It was actually closer to six weeks.
During these weeks I commuted the 20 miles from Fredericksburg to Woodbridge on I-95. I had college classes three days a week and used the public libraries for writing and checking my email by computer.
My last week with Larry's family saw them packing for their trip, as their home had been sold. So, on the agreed day, I put my things in the car, along with my hostess' contributions for my new home, and bid the family farewell. I went to the mobile home, unlocked the door, and camped there for eight nights. On the ninth day the electricity was turned on, and Hallelujah! at last the air conditioning, lights, refrigeration and stove were working. That event celebrated my 74th birthday.
The following day, Saturday, the youth pastors and 25 of their young people arrived at my new home in various vehicles, with tools, bookcase and bathroom shelves, kitchen appliances, a new front door light fixture, and bags of food. It was quite overwhelming, not to mention heart-warming! This remarkable crew repaired, cleaned, put new lining on kitchen shelves, assembled the bookcase and bathroom shelves, and painted the back door. One dear young lady had shopped for new towel and rug sets for the two bathrooms. The lilac color harmonized with the lilac flower arrangement picture in a silver frame; one of the gifts from my recent hostess. When the pastor and his wife arrived with the food, it was all put away on shelves, and into the refrigerator and freezer. I had written a shopping list at the youth pastor's request the week before. There were new cooking pans and implements. They even brought a toaster and blender! I sat on the futon (only piece of furniture in the place until that time, and watched the wonder of it all." Just sit back and take it easy", the Pastor said.
After some two hours of whirlwind activity, everyone congregated on the front porch and serenaded me with "Happy Birthday to you!" As a final salute, a wasp nest on the porch was emptied and removed. Then, as suddenly as they had come, they were gone, and I was left in a dizzy state of awe. At last I had a home, and it was provided with love!
Thank you, all those at Christ Chapel who cared enough to make this possible. Mostly, all praise and glory to Our Father and His holy Son, working by Holy Spirit love and power. Our Lord's promise that He would never leave or forsake us is manifest. At each step of my often difficult way, His grace has proved to be more than sufficient, and His love abundant!