“This is How God Works in Our Lives”
Note: This piece was written by Joan Moes, with the Salvation Army of Dakota/Scott/Carver Counties. Joan’s office is located in the Prince of Peace Christian Life Center and she works closely with the Mission Outpost and the Child Development and Learning Center.
One weekend, shortly before this past Christmas, there were two house fires in Burnsville, one of which was on Circle Drive. I expected we would be getting a couple of calls for emergency assistance on the following Monday, but we did not. So we went on with our scheduled work, including picking up and storing donations for the Dakota County Toy Shop. There is a church in Rosemount that every year donates bags of new toys. I had picked up their donations over the weekend. At the time, I noticed there were a lot more bags than normal, and they were a lot heavier, but we were busy and it was cold and I didn’t think too much more about it. I just stored the bags in our office and moved on.
On the Tuesday after the fire, Prince of Peace staff received an email from the Child Development and Learning Center that one of their preschool families lived on Circle Drive had been in a fire over the weekend. The CDLC staff wanted to know if anyone could help out. I responded immediately, saying the family should come over to see us when they picked up their son the following Thursday.
As soon as I sent the email, I grabbed a volunteer and said “We have to go through all those bags from Rosemount!” I wasn’t sure what we had, but I hoped there would be a little something we could give the family and their little child to ease the trauma of the fire. To our amazement, the bags contained things that we have never received from this church in the past. We found sheets, blankets, toasters, towels … everything a family would need to set up a new home. And a lot of toys! We cried when we saw everything we could give to the family. There were at least 50 bags of household items and toys. When we finished setting things aside for the family, I had to go to the Toy Shop. The entire way there all I could think was, “What more could we do for this family?”
When I arrived at the Toy Shop, one of the first people I saw was Chris Heng, a pastor I have known for a few years. He said, “I need to talk to you.” We went in the back and he started telling me about a family from his church that had a fire in Burnsville. I asked him if it was the family on Circle Drive and he said yes. I told him about the 50 bags we had ready. We shared more tears as we began to figure out what else the family needed, not just material items, but spiritually as well. Dad was a believer, but Mom wass not and the church administration felt like this might be a turning point for her.
When Thursday came, the CDLC Director brought mom in. We showed mom all the things we had pulled for her and helped her go through them. I told her I had spoken to Chris about their situation and told her the story of the 50 bags. She began to cry as I shared the miracle of how all this came together, and we received things we had never received before. The CDLC Director said to her, “See this is how God works in our lives.” She was overwhelmed.
As she left, we gave her gift cards for purchasing personal items and other things the family might need. We also gave her a nice card on which the CDLC Director had written out Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
This story is not over. When meeting with the mom recently, she let me know that she and her husband had bought a Bible, and she is reading it daily. She knows this is the right thing to do, and was very excited to share that. The family has moved in with her sister in St. Paul until the insurance is settled. She was very happy and seemed a lot more settled and secure in her belief system. Keep praying for this family.
It is always amazing to see how God pulls all the pieces together and then allows us to be a part of the miracle stories.