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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Simpson

August Newsletter

The other night Joani and I were on a date and we started talking about how God has been so faithful all these years of our ministry. For 41 years, Joani and I have had a home to lay our heads, a place to work, and food on our table. The words of Paul from Philippians 4:19 have sure proven true in our lives, "My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus."

As we reflected on numerous incidents of God coming through for us, I was reminded of a terrible day, turned into a fabulous day, back in May of 1985. My time at the church I was working at was coming to a close. This was made very clear to me by my pastor who was not too fond of me. How could that be, you ask? You've met me right? Anyway, I was graduating from L.I.F.E. Bible College in L.A. and was told that upon my graduation on June 15th, my service would be over. I was made aware of this forced departure date months earlier and so I was frantically trying to find a job at another church. I sent my application to several districts in the denomination and even had a few interviews. But something was not right. I interviewed well enough, my grades at college were excellent and my ministry experience was pretty good. I couldn't figure out what the problem was. It must be Joani, I thought. Yeah right.

Pretty much every Sunday, the pastor would ask how the job search was going and I would have to say that I hadn't found a place yet.

Finally, I interviewed at a wonderful church about 15 minutes away from where we were currently working. I was so hopeful and yet nervous as well. It was my dream job. After three interviews Joani and I got the call that we were hired and would start after my graduation on June 15th. Feet hardly touching the ground, I went into the pastor's office and he asked how the interviews were going. I told him flatly, I was hired at Florence Avenue Church and Joani and I would start June 18th.

Fast forward a few days - and the rumor was circulating that my current pastor was deliberating just firing me right then and not waiting until I graduated. I was freaking out. What was I going to do? I still had about a month until graduation and I would not have a place for Joani and I to live (we lived on the church grounds in their parsonage). We were barely getting by on our incomes and couldn't afford a place to rent for a month, much less a hotel room for that long of a stay.

Trying to forget about it, I went out and was vacuuming the sanctuary, when I was told there was a call for me on line two. I rushed to the office and heard a man's voice ask if this was Mark Wilson. I confirmed, and he proceeded to tell me his name and his position at Florence Avenue Church. He said, "I hear you are having a rough day," to which I replied, "yes". He said pastor Paul Risser was on a trip back east, but told me this might happen and for you not to worry, because if you were indeed fired that day, you could start here tomorrow, and that we have a home ready for you.

Reminders of God's timing and His goodness in our lives is important for us to reflect on. He is always with us and working for our good. So, if you are struggling with the circumstances in your life, think back to how God has always taken care of you in the past - He still will!

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