We Have the Money for Zipporah’s House!

I am simply ecstatic to report that, in less than 30 days, the $5,000 needed to build Zipporah a permanent house has been raised. (If you don’t know the story, please read my blog posts from Oct. 16-17).  Ecstasy is my first emotion, but it is overtaken very quickly by a sense of deep and humbling gratitude- to you for your extraordinary generosity, of course, but even more for our heavenly Father, who knows how to move the hearts of His people to provide for the least of these and moved on so many hearts on behalf of Zipporah.

I have to offer some specific thanks.

First, I want to thank Betty, who cared for and cried for Zipporah, and when God presented the opportunity, she is the one who introduced us.  Pastor Moses Odhiambo of Echoes of Mercy Mission heard, too, and knew immediately that her need could be met.  And Skip Ferron, the Director of GRASP International, gave an immediate “Yes” to the request to oversee and provide accountability for the donations.  The Scriptures tell us, “As often as you have opportunity to do good, do it, especially for those of the household of faith.”  Every one of these people live by that injunction, and helping Zipporah was as natural as breathing to them in this instance.

For individual donors, I will tell their stories anonymously.

I knew this was the work of God when I got a Facebook message from a former Clarion University student who read Zipporah’s story.  She told me that she and her husband look for a special cause every so often, as God leads them.  She purposed in her heart to tell her husband about Zipporah that evening.  Before she had the chance, her husband asked said at the dinner table that very evening, “It’s about time for us to give to a special cause again. Has God put anything in particular on your heart?”  That YOUNG couple donated $1,000.  Immediately.  On Day One.  That was the full amount needed to build Zipporah a mud house, so she told me, “Tell Zipporah she will have her new house.”

Inspired to the point of tears, I knew then God was not going to stop at $1,000 for a mud house.  He would raise $5,000 for a permanent house.

Then the floodgates opened.

I’ve pastored three churches.  Each one of them was represented on the donor list.

My Band of Brothers came through in a huge way.  Three of them donated personally a total of $900.  Others encouraged their churches to give.  The youth ministry of First Baptist Church in Grove City, Ohio,  spontaneously gave $115.98.  A group of young couples from First Baptist Church of Bamberg gave $1,300 – which officially put us over the finish line. Those gifts were the “bookends” of this effort, and I’m grateful beyond words.

A pastor friend in PA asked his church to help – and they collected $613.50 with no notice whatsoever. Thank you, Center Hill Community Church.

The donor list is full of seniors on fixed incomes. And people who gave when their own finances are tight.  People who cared for Zipporah’s welfare more than their own comfort.  Some even gave out of their own poverty.  Just today, Skip Ferron sent me an email.  He just returned from Ukraine, where GRASP International is doing a wonderful work.  He told me of Benjamin M., a young man trying to establish a heat pump business.  He is supporting his family on an average of $400-450 per month.  When he heard Zipporah’s story, he gave $100.  I know God will reward them from the treasures of His grace.

I was completely surprised by a $600 gift by neighbors from 20-25 years ago.  They always did have generous hearts.  I just had no idea their generosity would extend so long and so far.

And then there were those people who didn’t surprise me one bit.  They are generous to the core of their beings, and have been ever since I’ve known them.  Their default answer is yes, and it takes something extraordinary to move them off that answer.  You know who you are.  I love you.  I admire you.  I am honored that you would call me a friend.

I wrote notes of thanks as the gifts came in.  The response was always the same.  It was some variation of, “We’re so happy to help,” or “We feel honored to take part,” or just plain, “God laid it on our hearts, so how could we say no?”  I get that.  But I’ve seen many times when God laid something on someone’s heart, and they were not obedient to His prompting.  So it speaks volumes to me that these people don’t hesitate.  Obedience is reflexive for them.

So to each and every one of you, I wish I had the words to say how wonderful you are to me, but those words just don’t exist.  So even though it’s wholly inadequate, let me say “Thank you” for now.  I hope to be there as a witness when our Father tells you, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

gkr1996 posted at 2017-11-16 Category: Kenya 2017