“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
Everything we do with Living Bridges is bathed in prayer. Tony and I firmly believe it should be the foundation of all that we do! Throughout our nearly two years in this ministry and for years in our lives before we began Living Bridges Ministry, we have seen God answer many of our prayers! From the start of Living Bridges, we have prayed that God would let us see the people we work with like He sees them. We prayed that we would love them like He loves them.
When we went to Florida to observe the Transformations program there, the people told us that after beginning their first class they had a waiting list to get in for the next one. That sounded so exciting to us! As we interviewed and started our class last year, we kept thinking: “Wow, what would it be like for this class to be so needed by our people and so wanted that they would need to interview competitively to get in?” We had 6 slots for students last year and filled 5 of the 6 slots. There was no disappointment there, we were happy to have a good size group for the manpower and budget we had. As the class got further along, we started publicly sharing the results on our blog, on Facebook, and honestly with anyone in earshot who would listen. We kept talking and kept sharing the results of our students and kept thanking God who supplied all the donations we needed to keep the program going during its first year.
As we wound down the class of 2015, we began thinking and praying ahead for the class of 2016! We prayed and expanded our budget to accommodate more students. We prayed and networked with more agencies in town. We prayed and asked God to send people who would need this class! We prayed for volunteers! A local Christian radio station had us on for an interview. We shared information with a couple of local churches. We spent more time in prayer!
Monday and Tuesday night we will begin the interview process with more candidates than we have slots for students even though we have expanded our class. As I have talked with these people on the phone and looked over the applications we have, I have cried! I don’t know any of these people, but I love them and I want the best for them. Many are desperate! One lady cried on the phone with me when I called to confirm her interview yesterday. She told me about how this program is the answer to her prayers and how she desperately needs to get to a place of financial independence. I prayed with her on the phone as we ended the call! God is giving us a love for people who are just names on forms, just voices at the end of a phone call, just referrals from agencies in town. I have figured out it is because they aren’t “just” anything, they are people who have endured a lifetime of struggle, who need change in their life, who need God, and for many/most/all this is the ticket they need to get the information necessary to change their life! I cry because we can’t help them all and some will have to go on the waiting list! I cry because while on the one hand the waiting list feels like success for us on the other it is a further rejection of already broken people and I personally can’t stand it! I cry because they will have to survive another whole year before we can help them! I cry because I know on Wednesday, I will have to be the one who calls them to tell them they didn’t make it in. I prayed that God would break our hearts for what breaks His! I cry because He answered our prayer and my heart is broken for these people!
So if you think of us on Monday and Tuesday, please pray that God will give us wisdom and discernment that will guide us in choosing the candidates who He would desire us to take. Then on Wednesday, please pray he would give me the words to say and the courage to speak them to those who did not get into the program.
And yes caution is needed when you pray because answered prayers can and do cause tears!
Hugs, love, and prayers,