Thursday, March 21, 2013

Refresh: Bad Math

"Good news refreshes the bones." - Proverbs 15:30b

This is part of an ongoing series called "Refresh" which highlight tales of God providing, especially in amazing, fun and unexpected ways. Details may be modified to protect privacy. May this tale help refresh your bones!

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My wife and I had recently gotten married and I was going around introducing her to my support team. Now that my family size had doubled, I was trying to raise additional funding. Thankfully, having a beautiful new wife on my arm made many conversations with donors a whole lot easier even when asking for increases in support! It may have been because I felt bolder. Or maybe it was that she was a much better conversationalist. In either case, things were going well and we were steadily getting the extra support we needed.

However, there was one supporting church in particular that had a very business-like (and therefore intimidating) Missions Board. On the way to the meeting where I'd be introducing her, we prayed together that they'd consider increasing their support from the already-generous $400 per month to $600 per month. Would God be so generous as to grant our request for a 50% increase?

The meeting went fairly well. As was always the case, I felt intimidated but still managed to share our vision for ministry as a couple, our increased support need and several prayer requests. However, what I completely, totally chickened out on was asking for that increase to $600 per month. I'd stopped short by telling them that we needed $X more per month, but I hadn't been specific. (Some would say that that's totally fine - my wife, however, had been expecting me to be specific as I'd said I would. Oops...) The Missions Board asked a few questions, prayed for our requests and then directed us to leave the room for a bit while they decided what to do.

We waited and prayed out in the lobby. I apologized to my wife for backing down and she graciously forgave me.

Then we were ushered back into the conference room where the Missions Board informed us of their decision: "We're very encouraged with your work. We'd like to double your support to $1000/mo."

We sat there dumbfounded. We were amazed that God answered our prayer and then some! We were amazed at the generosity of the Missions Board. We were amazed that they gave so much despite my not asking specifically. We were amazed that they thought that 400 x 2 = 1000.

We had no problem with that bad math.

Later on we noted to one of the Missions Board members that they previously only supported us at $400 per month, so they actually did more than double. He blushed and told us to not worry about it - they were happy to give. We're certain of that!

We're also certain, as we found out afterwards, that the Missions Board member we spoke to was a high school math teacher.

Submitted by "Garrett"