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God Provides

They were like giddy school girls, giggling with glee every time they opened a new box to discover the treasures inside. Every few minutes my concentration would be broken by an excited “Oh gee, look at this!” or a “No way, look how wonderful this one is!” Eventually, curiosity got the best of me and I wandered out of the office and into our common area. What could they possibly be so happy about?


Fondi, Elizabeth, Patti, and Laura are our quilting instructors at Metro Transitional Center. As you might surmise, they are in fact, not school girls, but their excitement that day could be easily mistaken for that typically conveyed by adolescent teenagers talking about their latest crush or Taylor Swift re-issue. 


I’ve been with HeartBound for nearly three years now. One of the things that I have learned about running a ministry is that you operate largely on faith. Sure, we make predictions for next year’s budget and expected donations, but really, you never know. You are mostly dependent on the kindness and generosity of people, even strangers. You are beholden to the economy and other forces outside your control. I assume that for some this feeling of helplessness would produce extreme anxiety, but for me, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Why? Because I know, I believe to my soul, that God will provide. I’ve seen it happen too many times for it not to be true. 


Take, for example, the recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about our quilting program at Metro Transitional Center. After the article was published, a random stranger reached out through our website and offered to donate some unused quilting materials. When I showed up at her house to pick them up, I was quite shocked to see a carport full of boxes and bags of all sorts of fabrics and who-knows-what-elses. As I pulled away, I glanced up at the rear-view mirror to wave goodbye and realized that the entire car was full; hopefully I wouldn’t need to look behind me on my drive back to the office. I phoned Lucy Fugate and asked her to come by the office soon to see what we could use and what needed to be repurposed. Hence, a few days later, our instructors were in the office on a Monday morning eagerly sorting through piles and piles of supplies. A random act of kindness by a providential stranger will help sustain our quilting program for incarcerated women through the coming year. God provides. 


I could list example after example of seemingly happenstance instances of totally random generosity like this one. Being witness to them has bolstered my faith and my belief in the goodness of humanity. I only wish others could see what we see day in and day out. Whether it’s someone opening their wallet to donate to our ministry or someone taking time out of their day to minister to the incarcerated, the kindness of others is what sustains our ministry, gives hope to the hopeless, and restores humanity to those that have been forgotten, cast aside, and locked away. 


It turns out that ministry is quite simple - you ask, God provides. Sometimes it can feel fruitless to keep knocking on God’s door but make no mistake, He will answer. And if you’re asking for the wrong thing, I believe God will let you know.


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