In August 2007 the Lord said to my family, “Leave your friends and country and go to the land I will show you. I will bless you and you will be a blessing.” We knew that God was commanding us to go and start a new church. So, following the footsteps of Abraham, we left behind the comforts and securities of home, church family, and friends in Kalamazoo, Mich., and arrived in Edmonton, Alberta.
Every step of the way the Lord has provided for us. First we had to sell our home in Michigan, where the housing market was one of the “coldest” in the nation. God blessed us: the first people to see our house made an offer, and the house was sold after only one month on the market and just two weeks prior to our departure. Some in Kalamazoo called it a miracle.
We’ve now been in Edmonton for 10 months, and the Lord has given us a name: MosaicHouse Community Church. As a start-up church we do not have a building, an office, or a gathering place. The lack of those things creates a colossal challenge for our new ministry. We have been praying that the Lord will provide a house that will meet the needs of my family, my office, and MosaicHouse gatherings. Some Edmontonians say this will take a miracle.
After looking at more than 60 houses, we still haven’t found one that would meet all of our needs and be within our budget. Feeling the pressure of time and the burden of lack of funds, I prayed desperately to the Lord one night. As I went to bed I felt convinced that there would be an e-mail for me in the morning, something like this:
“Dear Victor, we’ve never met, but the Lord appeared to me last night in a dream and told me to give you $75,114!”
When I turned on the computer, well, there was no such e-mail. However, I did notice one from Linda, my sister in Hong Kong, who wrote, “I am forwarding this devotional to encourage you.”
The e-mail she sent was a reflection on Philippians 4:19, “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”! This was not exactly what I was wishing for. But the Holy Spirit convinced me that where the grace of God leads, the riches of God provide. I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s presence.
At precisely that moment another e-mail landed in my inbox from Jan, a faithful friend in Kalamazoo. She wrote, “I am forwarding this devotional to you so that you take heart.” Lo and behold, the devotional was on Philippians 4:19, “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”!
When I read the second e-mail, tears streamed down my cheeks because the Holy Spirit filled me with a visceral assurance, forcing me to sing, “When peace like a river. . . .”
Then my wife came downstairs and I called to her, “Honey, come here and read what Linda sent!” She stood next to me to read it. Then I said, “Wait, now read what Jan sent.”
After reading the second e-mail, my wife turned to me and said, “Victor, I just finished my morning devotional and the Holy Spirit led me to Philippians 4:19!” When I heard that I felt holy chills running down my spine and goose bumps all over my arms.
As I write these words, we have not yet found a house. But I am no longer afraid or anxious; instead I feel strong and courageous. I call that a miracle.