Oh, that I had all the time in the world to explain the wonderful things that God is doing in, for, and through the Hunter Family right now! It has been a while since I've had the time to write; for those of you desiring an update in our lives, allow me to catch you up. Prepare to be amazed by the workings of our God! :)
Amazing thing #1) We are only 15 weeks from welcoming the tiniest Hunter into our family! Besides Abby, who is convinced that we're having a bird of some sort, we are all excited to see whether God has blessed us with a little girl...or a little boy. Either way, what a treasure the Lord has given us!
Amazing thing #2) Back in early May, we learned that the small retail space downstairs from our apartment was opening up, and Will & I felt (after two years of prayer and waiting!) that the Lord was prompting us to begin re-opening the Jaffrey Bible House. We rented the space (although, miraculously, the landlord did not charge us for the first month of rent because we weren't in business yet), and we registered the name of the business with the state of NH. Since then, Will has been given -for free- access to all of the shelving he needs from a local business that closed a while ago. We just got word today from another friend that we have free greeting card racks as well - we just have to go pick them up! We have no opening date for the store yet, because we are trusting in God's timing for this project, and He is taking longer that we thought - however, since it has not really cost us any money yet, we're okay with however long He takes!
The story is miraculous, not because of us, but because the Lord has chosen to do huge things with not much. We have no start-up capital; we did not take out a business or personal loan for this venture (our personal convictions about God's stance on debt kept us from going that route - we did not want the glory for this business to go to the bank, but to God alone!). So far, starting up the Bible House has cost us only $50 - to register the name. God has given us 1) a computer, complete with a point-of-sale system, scanner, credit card machine, receipt printer, and cash drawer, 2) hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars worth of free professional shelving, 3) free rent until this month, 4) a friend who has kindly agreed to help us with bookkeeping.
We have nothing to offer this business. You must understand that even though I was a math major in college, I have no gift for accounting. Will worked in Christian retail for 4 years and has a talent and desire for helping people find what they need, but neither of us really has any sort of business sense. As previously stated, we have no funding. All we bring to God is a deep desire to serve Him, and to trust and obey Him completely. And it is a sweet place for us to be!!
The last thing we have to wait for now is all the money for the books and other items we'll be carrying in the store. We don't know what the amount will be, but we trust absolutely that God will provide each and every dollar we need.
Even though God has delivered most of these things to us for free, our journey has not been without cost. There are family and friends of ours who have chosen to distance themselves from us, at least for a time, because they think that what we are doing is nutso. And, from a worldly, temporal perspective, it totally is!! But God, all throughout history, has proven that He delights in using the underdog to accomplish His purposes. If we have nothing, and yet accomplish much for God, it's because it's ALL God's doing, and He gets the glory and honor that He alone and rightly deserves. We are so thankful that this looks like an impossibility to most of the people we know - because when the Bible House all comes together (and it will!), God alone will be responsible!
Amazing thing #3) [which is directly related to Amazing thing #2] Will gave his notice at Teleflex about a month ago, because he felt that he could not keep working full time there and still give the energy needed to start up the Bible House. So we have been without a "reliable and steady" income for a few weeks now. And you know what, you who may doubt the very existence or the promises of God? We have sought first the kingdom of God and His righteousness alone, and He has been faithful to give us every single thing we need (food, enough money for bills, and clothing)! [see Matthew 6:33] A couple days after Will left Teleflex, we received an anonymous letter in the mail with a $100 gift card for groceries. Then we received another $150 in the two days after that. A few days ago we received another check in the mail. Sometimes, God chooses to provide for His people through a career; sometimes, though, He asks us to give up the "security" of a job so that He can show His provision in ways that we never would have expected!!! Our daily dependence on Him is glorious; we cannot, nor do we, trust in riches - we trust in the One who provides!
Amazing thing #4) With the coming of this new child, comes the need for a larger vehicle - at least, if we want to be legal about it [which we do!]. The Volvo, though it has served us well for the last almost 10 years, cannot fit three car seats in the back. So we began praying for a van. Now, some people would pray that God would allow them the loan for a van, but I've already stated how we feel about debt. We prayed that God would bring us a van that we could afford to pay for with cash. Which, when you factor in the "no-income" thing, left us with not being able to afford much!
We claim to serve and worship the same God who SPOKE the world and all of creation into existence. We claim to serve and worship the same God who parted the Red Sea for the nation of Israel, who used a small boy to slay the giant Goliath with one stone, and who -beaten and bloody and nailed to two pieces of wood- openly mocked and utterly defeated the devil and death. So, if He is the same God, and we know He is (His Word says that He NEVER changes), then He who also owns all of the vehicles on the PLANET EARTH could surely bring a van to us that didn't cost much!
We got a call on Friday. Someone bought a van for us, and is currently paying for all of the work to be done on it. It's coming to us from Virginia. Dear friends, I do not pray to or worship or lay down my life and my wants for a false God who does not exist. I do not cry out to a vast cosmic conciousness. I do not bow down before an idol that hangs on a wall yet cannot hear me. I worship and have willingly laid down my life for the only God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who created me and knew I would be born sinful and came to earth to rescue me - the only God who has the power to hear prayer and answer it, faithfully and completely!
Will and I have been called nuts. And so we are. But we are privileged to be nuts and be a living testimony to the power and honor and glory of the God of the universe. If you know Jesus Christ, my encouragement for you today is to remember that God is so, so much bigger and so much more powerful than you can ever imagine! If you do not know Jesus Christ, let our lives be a witness to the awesome majesty of God and the joy that comes from giving up your life for Him!
For His glory,