Jars of faith
A number of months ago we asked a few of our trusted friends to pray for us and see if they felt God had anything to say to us. We were looking at various options for our work and wanted wisdom before proceeding. Each person came back with a similar and encouraging message but one passage of scripture stood out in particular. 2 Kings 4:1-7 tells of a widow that Elisha met whose husband had owed money. Now he was dead the creditors were coming to take her sons away and she sought wisdom from Elisha. Elisha tells her to gather empty jars from her neighbour and begin filling them with olive oil from the one small jar of oil she has. He specifically tells her not to ask for a few but to gather as many as she can. She begins pouring the oil into the jars, filling one after another. When she fills the last jar she asks her son for another but he says they are all filled and there are no empty jars left. It is only at this point that the small jar of olive oil runs dry. The widow goes back to Elisha who tells her to sell the oil to cover her debt and live off what is left.
The encouragement to us was to set out our needs before God and to trust in his provision. Our needs were big, a new office, finances for extra staff, YFC One volunteers, new trustees, administrative support in the office and various needs for young people. The list was big and slightly overwhelming. To break it down we decided to take as many jars as we had in the office and put them on the office windowsills. We set out to pray and as each prayer was answered we would write the answer on a slip of paper and begin to fill the jars. As with the widow our need was great and we needed more than one or two jars filling. We took all our needs to God.
Slowly we have seen the jars get fuller. In August it looked like we would have no YFC One volunteers this year, then at the last moment Daniel and Caitlin were assigned to us. We have been looking for an office since January without success, this month an opportunity arose that will allow us to move office and save money. Our need for administrative support was met by Geraldine, who is our book keeper, Jenni who volunteers as our administrator and Helen who gives up time to help with our website and social media. We have recruited another trustee, have seen more people support us through regular giving and are shortly about to begin recruiting an additional worker to develop an exciting new project with some partner churches.
The jars are far from full and the needs are still great. We have seen some massive answers, as illustrated above, yet we still have a number of empty jars. We are continuing to pray for greater income so that we can grow our existing work into Gloucester. For this we need more people willing to give regularly to our work. We need at least one other trustee to join our existing trustees. We have young people facing big challenges and we need the resources to support them and for them to overcome their challenges. We have nearly 150,000 young people under 25 years in our county, many of whom need to hear the Gospel. The challenge is big, but our God is bigger. Some of the jars may still be empty, but they are still on the windowsill waiting to be filled.