In the wonderful book The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boon tells of her experiences in the Nazis death camps. Soon after going to one of the concentration camps Corrie was given a Bible, a sweater, and a bottle of liquid vitamins by their sister Nollie. It was the last time she and Betsy saw Nollie before their deportation. Amazingly, the Bible was never taken away. It was as though the guards did not see it.
In the providence of God, the time came when Corrie had to dole out the vitamins, a drop at the time, to her sister. As more women became ill from malnutrition, hard labor, and depravation, Corrie reluctantly began giving them drops of the vitamins from the small bottle. And just like in the Book of Kings where, after the widow of Za-rep-hath gave Elijah the last of her food, her jar of meal stayed full and her cruse of oil never failed, the vitamins lasted and lasted, far beyond what that little bottle could hold. Another miracle.
What sustained Corrie and her sister Betsie, and others, through that terrible ordeal was faith. What allowed them to minister most effectively was faith.
Redeeming Grace Ministries has enjoyed a moment of such amazing grace based upon faith. In 2003, in order not to mingle any local church funds, but with a desire to have funds, for special acts of ministry, to include going on short term mission projects, a box was set up in the back of the church.
My memory is that it was agreed upon, that whatever came into that box I could use for the work of special ministries, as the Lord directed. This would include short term missions, underwriting the printing of my books for free distribution, and whatever else the Spirit of the Living God directed should be done with the resources. Honestly, no one thought much money would come into that little box, including me. Yet, it was a small step of faith.
However, the Lord was gracious, and the resources came in. As they did I went to various countries to preach, I distributed free Christian literature, and looked for individuals to help. Much good was done to bless others, by faith.
I must confess that I did not keep personal track of how much money came into that little box, even though the amount was faithfully reported each week to the congregation, after it was requested that it be so reported by others. My ministry has always encouraged accountability, and openness, so that was done. But I never knew how much total resources were coming in. I just took the money each week, and I ministered to others as the Spirit led.
Like the pills in the vitamin bottle the money was there.
Like the cruse of oil the financial resources for the work of the ministry flowed.
And then, just like the pills stopped coming out of the bottle, and the cruse of oil stopped flowing, the time came when the Lord used private opposition to the resources coming into that little box, to move myself, and Redeeming Grace Ministries, in a new direction.
I have never forgotten my own initial amazement, when it was reported to me just how much money had come into the little chest box, and how much had been spent to help others, and advance the gospel. I can appreciate Corrie’s response to the pills in the vitamin bottle. I can understand the amazement and gratitude of the widow of Zarephath.
The amount the Lord entrusted to me for special acts of ministry was substantial. I think it was close to $20,000 over a three year period.
And it all happened according to gospel obedience, and a step of faith.
Since the starting of Redeeming Grace Ministries, in 1998, I have encouraged others to minister by faith because God is faithful. I can testify to His faithfulness. Since 1998, Redeeming Grace Ministries has sent material, without charge, into 43 foreign countries, and distributed gospel literature in 40 states. Many people who have received the free grace material have written to express their gratitude, and for that we are thankful.
A faith based ministry is not an easy concept to comprehend, or implement, but a ministry that appeals primarily to God through earnest prayer, and not to commercial enterprises, really is the most biblical. The challenge is to stay as close to the ideal as possible, even when other legitimate principles want to encroach upon that guiding principle.
A miracle working God supplying needs in such a way as to amaze the heart and give Him the most glory really is a precious memory. The memories of Corrie ten Boon produced, The Hiding Place. For her testimony, Christians are grateful.