This past summer, some great folks from Oak Grove Baptist Church of Monticello KY came to work with us. Their ladies shared with me the following experience, and I wanted to pass it along:
During our time in Lakeshore, Mississippi, we were blessed to meet many special people who changed our lives forever. However on our last day, we had an experience with Ms. Green that dramatically changed the way that we view life and the way that we live it.
Some friends and I had been assigned to visit with Ms. Green on Wednesday; however, we ran out of time and instead decided to see her on Thursday morning. Looking back, it was part of God’s plan. As we entered Ms. Green’s home, we noticed that there were children sleeping on the floor of the next room. Ms. Green shared her story of how she had been in her home for about two months. She told of how they didn’t have any beds in the house. The Salvation Army had been kind enough to give them two cots, but one of them had broken. Four grandchildren had been sleeping on the floor and Ms. Green had been sleeping on the cot.
As we visited with Ms. Green, the Lord spoke to each of us who were visiting – Amy, Lynn, and myself. After chatting with Ms. Green for a few moments, I asked Ms. Green, “What is your greatest need?
She replied, “My only need is prayer.”
After thinking for a moment I said, “Ms. Green, we are going to cut our visit with you short. We are going to go buy you a bed. I can’t promise you that everyone in the house will have a bed, but I will promise you that you will have at least one bed to sleep in tonight.” Then, I read scripture and prayed with her before we headed to Waveland to find a bed.
As we walked to the car, Amy and Lynn started talking about how God had spoken to them also, telling them to buy Ms. Green a bed. It was an amazing thing to know that He had spoken to all of us at the same time. While driving to Waveland, Amy asked me to start praying for God to help us with this purchase. I asked God to send us to the right store and to lead us to something in the $600 price range. I think that I prayed the entire trip – which was about 10 or 15 minutes.
When we got to Waveland, we stopped at the very first furniture store we saw to get prices. We thought that everything was a little expensive for our budget, so we decided to look around for a better deal. We hopped back into the car and started toward Bay St. Louis.
Lynn said, “Hey let’s try Wal-Mart – they sometimes have furniture.”
“I didn’t see any furniture in this Wal-Mart,” replied Amy. However, for some strange reason, she wheeled the little white Camry into the parking lot anyway.
We headed toward where we thought we might find some of the items we needed. Immediately we located a bunk bed, but couldn’t find the mattresses. I turned the corner and found a Wal-Mart worker in the bedding section.
“Do you have any mattresses for the bunk beds?” I inquired.
“Yes, I believe the prices are in the back of the store,” stated the Wal-Mart lady who we came to know as Vanda.
“Do you also have other size mattresses and box springs?” I asked.
“Yes, do you mind if I ask why you are buying mattresses?”
We shared with Vanda the story of Ms. Green and her family. When she heard the story, she wanted to help. “Girls, take my paycheck to the bank and cash it for me. I want to help you do something for Ms. Green.”
Amy, who had been rather quiet up to this point said, “Oh, no, we could never do that.” We were shocked. A woman who we had just met wanted us to take her check, cash it, and use some of the money to help us buy a bed for Ms. Green.
“Vanda, we need to get our church van so we can transport the beds. We will meet you back here in 45 minutes if you really want to contribute,” I said.
Vanda reassured us that she did want to help us and that she would meet us back in 45 minutes.
In 45 minutes, Vanda did meet us, handed us five twenty dollar bills, and introduced us to Megan, the person in the furniture department. Megan set us up with everything we needed: a bunk bed, mattresses for the bunk bed, a queen sized mattress with box springs, rails for the queen bed, and sheets. As we waited at customer service for the Megan to bring the merchandise, we talked about how amazing it was that God had sent Vanda to us.
While we were talking, my cell phone rang. It was our pastor’s wife who was back at Lakeshore Baptist Church preparing the noon meal. “Girls, we are going to send a trailer to help you load the beds on – you’ll never be able to fit that queen bed into that church van.”
We accepted their offer of a trailer and Amy went outside to wait. Amy hadn’t been outside five minutes when someone called me back and said that the trailer wasn’t coming. Lynn and I went outside to find Amy.
I brusquely said, “Amy, go get the van.”
“They are bringing the trailer from Lakeshore,” she retorted.
“They ain’t bringing the trailer,” I said with an aggravated tone. “Go get the van!”
Amy wheeled the church van in front of the Wal-Mart and the Wal-Mart workers began loading the purchases. While the bunk bed and mattresses were being loaded, a silver-haired man in a white truck pulled up to Amy.
“What are you girls doing?” he asked.
“We are from Kentucky and we are here working with Lakeshore Baptist Church,” Amy responded.
“What have you all been doing?” he inquired further.
Amy quickly told him of our visit to Ms. Green that morning.
“What do you have there?” he asked pointing at the bunk beds and mattresses being loaded.
“Those are some beds and some bedding for Ms. Green,” Amy explained.
“How did you pay for those?” he asked.
“Credit cards,” responded Amy.
“Personal credit cards?” he asked incredulously.
“Yes sir. Me and my friend here split it. We put about $425 on each of our credit cards,” Amy said as she pointed toward Lynn.
He reached into the console of his truck and handed her $300 and said, “God Bless You for doing His work.” Then, he drove away.
We climbed back into the church van crying and counting the money that the Lord had sent to us – $400 in less than 30 minutes. While wiping my eyes, I saw the man in the white truck again. He was motioning for Amy to come and talk to him again. Amy climbed out of the van and took the money – thinking that he wanted his money back. No one could have prepared us for what was about to happen.
“I can’t get out and work like you ladies can. But, I can give all I have to you to do the Lord’s work,” the man stated. Then he reached into the console of his truck once again. This time he handed Amy $200. “God Bless You!” he said again.
That made $600 dollars within 45 minutes, the exact amount that I had prayed for earlier. We sat in the Wal-Mart loading zone dazed, awed at His awesome power, and crying like babies.
Soon we dried our tears and went to get help in putting the bunk beds together. Several members from our church in Kentucky wanted to meet Ms. Green and share in our joy as we installed the beds. While some of us worked on putting the bunk beds together, Amy and Lynn went to get the queen sized mattress and box springs. We wondered if it would fit into the church van because we had been told that they would not fit. However, having seen His awesome power, Lynn said, “If God can give us $600 in less than an hour, He can fit that queen mattress and box springs in that van.”
Lynn was right. At Wal-Mart, they loaded the queen sized mattress that everyone said was too big to fit into the van. It was quickly installed in Ms. Green’s bedroom. Ms. Green and one of her grandsons thanked us profusely for the place to sleep.
“Tonight we are all going to take long baths and then climb into our new beds,” Ms. Green said elatedly. The joy could be seen in their eyes as many tears were shed.
We had listened to God, asked for His guidance, and He had answered. We thought our story with Ms. Green had ended. The three of us divided up the $250 that was left of our $850 purchase. We each contributed $84 – I wrote checks to Amy and Lynn for $42. However, God was not done with this story. The next morning at breakfast, our pastor asked Amy to tell the story to a church group from Alabama. She shared the story.
“So, you still owe $250?” one of the men asked.
“No. Me and the girls have already divided it up and we’re paying for it,” Amy explained.
“No. Our church will pay for the other $250. When we get through eating, if you’ll walk out to the car with me, I’ll write you a check,” he stated.
So, we followed him to his vehicle. He proceeded to write a check for $250. God had provided for everything we had purchased for Ms. Green.
Amy, Lynn, and I had received a blessing. We had listened to God’s voice and obeyed His word. He had answered our prayers and given us more than what we requested. He had used us to do His will. He had sent us two angels in the form of a Wal-Mart worker and a silver haired man in a white truck. I’m not really sure why God chose to work with the three of us – sinners saved by grace – but I am glad that he did. Each of us will long remember the miracle worked by His hands in Lakeshore, Mississippi. Our lives are changed forever.
Oak Grove Baptist Church
Monticello, KY 42633