THE DEVIL AND THE DONUTS Andy Hollifield 8-19-19
Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (KJV)
I always enjoy seeing the devil lose! That may sound like a dumb statement but for anyone involved in mission-work that is one of the fringe benefits. When you are working trying to please the Lord the devil is always working trying to keep you from doing it. We see situations quite often where the devil gets a jab into us and might discourage us a little. But then, God comes back with something of a miracle that we would have not even thought about much less thought possible. I had that happen several times in the last couple of weeks.
The first few I have written about already. One was the mix-up in scheduling use of the fellowship building at Ridgeview. That resulted in us having to back up our backpack project a week later. That worked to our benefit for a few good reasons.
The first was that by the second Saturday of August when we normally do our assembly, I didn’t think I was going to even have backpacks. Help4Kids ordered those and had them shipped directly to us unexpectedly so they made it in time. Another one was that I only had about half of the stuff to go in them on the 2nd Saturday. I actually wound up going to Help4Kids in Myrtle Beach to pick up the rest of the stuff on that Saturday.
One more reason was that I still needed crayons and gluesticks. I went to Wal-mart Bleachery Blvd and got the crayons but they didn’t have any glue sticks. I stood and put crayons in cardboard boxes for over an hour. I needed 504 boxes and when I found the last complete box it was number 504. A lady was there, rather frustrated that she and her son were going to have to go somewhere else to find them. I felt like I should give her a box but she actually needed five, which is the number of grace in scripture. They were also buying for kids they didn’t know so I gave her five of mine.
When I was unpacking all of the stuff I had left from last year I found seven boxes of crayons. I had two boxes left when I finished Saturday. While I am talking about our assembly, we only had a total of fifteen people come to help. We were still able to get all 504 backpacks assembled in only one hour and twenty minutes. I extend a very heartfelt thank you to all who came and made it happen.
As I mentioned, I was still about 64 packs of glue sticks short after going to Wal-mart Weaverville. While at Weaverville though, I was able to get 400 rulers to finish out all I needed of them. I went back to Asheville but they only had 3 packs of glue sticks that I could scrounge up. I decided to go to Wal-mart on Hendersonville Rd. and to my surprise, they had an abundance. I bought 60 packs even though I only needed 32. I had found enough I had leftover from Christmas to account for 32 packs of the 64 I still needed. When I left Hendersonville Rd. I had more than enough and they had a lot of them left.
That covers God’s provision for the building, backpacks, supplies I had, glue sticks, crayons, rulers, and also the rest of the supplies that I had also been given at Help4Kids in Swannanoa. As if all of that wasn’t enough to be thankful for, as usual God had to show out just because he can. I wound up having the smoothest year getting everything on the tables earlier in the week and by Friday night I was ready to go and had even bought drinks which I usually do on Saturday. Everything was covered except one thing…donuts.
You may think donuts aren’t a big deal but you know us baptists; if we’re gonna be meetin’ we’re gonna be eatin’. We have always provided donuts and coffee for those that come and help with our projects. Studies have shown that people work better if they’re not hungry. We just try to get everybody sugared-up and jacked up on coffee. Actually, it is just a gesture to let them know how much they are appreciated. The last thing I needed was the donuts from Krispy Kreme.
I unbuckled my grandson Sam from his car seat. He had spent the night with us so we stopped at Krispy Kreme on the way to church. After I placed my order I noticed the workers were talking about their credit card machine giving them problems. Sure enough, as fate would have it, they were able to finally get the machine to accept the customer in front of me but then started taking “cash only”. I had no cash and they refused to take a business check. I was pretty disgusted that I wasn’t going to have donuts this year but with nothing I could do about it, I went to put Sam back in the truck. As I was about to do that, one of the customers behind me in line came out the door and handed me some money and asked if that would help me get donuts. He had apparently seen the writing on the ministry trailer and wanted to help.
Just as I was thinking the devil had fought against me and won, God sent that nice gentleman along with a fifty-dollar bill to pay for the donuts. I left there, donuts in hand, thinking the devil tried to take them away and bring me down but God provided right on the spot in a way I would have never even considered. I wonder how frustrated the devil must get knowing that no matter what he does God always outdoes him and comes out the winner.
Well, there you have it, the story of the devil and the donuts. As I said earlier, we get to see stuff like this quite often in mission-work. It helps to get reminded every now and then that God is fully able to meet our needs. As for the generous stranger, I have no idea who he was and he got gone before I could find out. I pray that God will bless him richly for his generosity. It also goes to show that God is concerned with even the slightest of things that concern us.
Also, just as a closing note, I recently had one of our churches drop their support from what I heard later without even so much as a phone call. I was a little disappointed about the support but more about not being informed about their decision. I decided that was God’s business to deal with. Well, he did. Just last week one of our other supporting churches, not knowing anything about that situation, voted to double their monthly support. That put me back even which was a great blessing. I found that out on Sunday and the following Wednesday night, I found out that another church had just taken us on as a mission. When all was said and done, God had doubled what we had lost.
I just wanted to let you know some of the things God has been doing for us especially when things don’t look possible. Thanks for your prayers for H.O.P.E. Ministries. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!