On today's Share Your Heart Tuesday, I am going to share with you a true story. If you want to know what God's loving, all-knowing, plan has to do with walkie-talkies, please keep reading… (some comments have been edited to protect identities, but the message has not been altered.)
We had a pretty strict Christmas budget of $35 per kid this year. Butterfly wanted a set of walkie talkies. It is all she's talked about for months. We live in Mexico. Anything that is a toy or makes your life easier is more expensive here (at lease where we live). We don't often order things from the US, but we could get this toy for less than half the price (right at budget) if we ordered from Amazon, so we did.
While we were at it, also ordered a few other gifts and things that we either cannot get in Mexico or were a lot cheaper there. We paid the extra 17% for import taxes, paid a friend to cross the items and mail them to us, and the pkg arrived last week
with no walkie talkies.
Our friend confirms that they were in the package when he shipped it from the border, so either customs or the mail carrier stole them and we have no way to track or prove it. To buy that same set here was going to cost us at least $60 which we didn't have (we'd already spent our budgeted amount and things are tight). I shared this with a group of friends on Facebook:
…She is 9 and is struggling this year. She has has some trauma in her young life already with us leaving friends and family all the time. She's already been saying things like “Why does God always take things away from me?”… It's not fair to the child not to have a gift because someone stole it. And this is the one thing she has been asking for for months. I am sick over this. What would you do?
The Stolen Replaced
My friends encouraged me, offered ideas, and virtual hugs. But they did more than that! One of them asked for our paypal address. I countered, that I hadn't asked for money, just what should I do? How could I make this a lesson to my girl that God loves her and GIVES good gifts. He doesn't always take away? Their responses reached right through the computer, patted my hand, warmed my heart and started the tears to flow.
Could some of us who want to send you some money via PayPal so you could afford to get the same ones there?
Do you have PayPal? I would be happy to send a little to help out. You could tell your daughter that when man takes away…God can still provide.
Could you post your PayPal email address? Many of us couldn't give much, but if we each gave one dollar, that would more than pay for the walkie-talkies down there. If we could do that for her, it might show her God's provision and love, which would be such a blessing.
I think you should buy them. Missionary kids need to see God move in their lives. I am sure [we] can help out with this to prove to your children how much God loves them!
I told my husband about this and he wants to know if you have PayPal we'd like to help you guys get the new walkie-talkies.
You never asked for money dear. But the purpose of the body is to sustain its members. Let us do that!! Believe me, I know how hard it is to receive… It's humbling, but it's beautiful.
You can grow her faith by letting us all give something and then she will see how the body of Christ comes together and God uses His people to bless each other.
And show her that God overcomes evil with good.
Within 2 hours and 15 minutes of my asking friends how to handle this, God provided through them enough money to buy the same walkie-talkies here (at double the price)! And it kept coming in, even after I reported that we had enough. God had replaced what was stolen.
Praise God! What a beautiful example of his love for [Butterfly]. It may be that he allowed this for the very purpose of showing he doesn't always take away.
If the story ended there, it would be lovely and would encourage your faith, at least it did mine, but that's not all…
I'll be sharing the rest of the story (perhaps the best part of the story) tomorrow. In the meantime, would you encourage our hearts today by sharing how God has restored something stolen or lost in your life? I would love to hear your story! You can share here in the comments or in our community on Facebook.