We had just received our monthly support as missionaries,and it was lower than usual. Usual was low. Lower than usual meant a month of eating beans and searching the house for coins to go buy the J’s some milk. I was pregnant with our fourth child, not feeling very well and a little discouraged.
“God,” I whispered holding try hold back tears, “is it your will that we always be this poor?” I kept on working, trying to trust the Lord and reminding myself of how He had always supplied our needs in the past.
A few hours later the phone rang. It was a pastor whom we had never met from a church we had never heard of in Vacaville, California. He invited Jacinto to speak in their upcoming missions conference. Turned out that one of their members had been my roommate my freshman year of college, and she had suggested the church invite us. We were happy to be invited but were not able to go that year because the dates were right around the time that our baby was supposed to be born.
The pastor said he would invite us the following year. I knew he meant well but figured he would probably forget all about us by the next year. Still I was somewhat encouraged by the timing of the phone call. At the very least I felt like God was telling me He had not forgotten about us and our needs.
The next year we were invited to their missions conference and were able to attend. We had a wonderful time sharing our testimonies with people who had a great heart for missions. We were asked what needs we had that the church could pray about. We mentioned how we would like to move to the village where our church was located. We were driving about an hour every Sunday to the village and staying in the church all day with four children five and under. The desert temperatures were extremely hot, and our church only had fans. It was very uncomfortable for the J’s. Sometimes they got so hot we let them swim in the baptistry! One time it was so hot that we ALL got in fully clothed trying to get some relief from the extreme heat! It would be wonderful to have a home to go to and rest on Sunday afternoons.
We were introduced to an older man, Mr. Robert Partee, who had worked in construction and built churches and other projects on different mission fields. We told him we had property in a village called El Triunfo, and Mr. Partee told us, “Get the money together to build your house, and I will come and build it for you!” Again I thought this was a nice, polite gesture that would never come to pass. We would never be able to get any money together for building when our monthly support was so extremely low to begin with.
Months passed and we forgot about his kind offer. One day out of the blue the phone rang. It was Mr. Partee informing us that he was on his way to visit us and asking for directions to get to our property! Wow! We were very surprised but still not sure what to think because we had NO money for him to use for constructing the house.
When he arrived and surveyed our property, Jacinto showed him a blueprint of our dream house and told him if he could just build two or three rooms, we would add on to the house little by little as we were able. Mr. Partee told us the church was going to build the entire house! He informed us that the church had raised $10,000 for the project and was going to bring a team down to put up the walls and roof for us! We were speechless! My mind flashed back to my whispered prayer, “Lord, is it your will that we always be this poor?” God had answered my prayer exceeding, abundantly above all I asked or imagined!
The villagers noticed all the activity going on at our property. One neighbor inspected the construction and said, “This most be the property of a drug dealer. Nobody else has a house this big except narcos.” We told people, “No, we aren’t drug dealers. This is the property of a pastor. God has provided for this house to be built!”
That house was a tremendous answer to prayer! It was used weekly to host many students from the Ebenezer Bible institute who spent the weekends with us and served in our church. Visiting speakers stayed with us. We hosted banquets and junior camp in our home. Whenever people would exclaim at its size, we would testify that God had given us the house for His work and His glory. Today the pastor of our church in Calle 12 and his family live there.
I still marvel at God’s goodness in giving that house to us. I remind myself of God’s provision whenever needs are many and money extremely tight. We were so unworthy, but God showed Himself so great. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…” Ephesians 3:20.