When I originally began my application to the Wycliffe Bible Translators, finding enough prayer and financial partners seemed like a long shot, but not impossible. By the time my acceptance to the organization came, it was May 10th, and I knew I didn’t have a lot of time. I was eager to get started on my online training, but due to the newness of my program, had to wait a couple weeks to begin. It was around that time that I started to think about the story of Gideon. During the time of the judges, God called a man named Gideon to rescue the Israelites from their Midianite oppressors, and so Gideon (after confirming his call via a wet sponge) gathered his men at the spring of Harod. When they got there, God had a shocking conversation with his chosen leader.
First he tells Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, 'Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.' So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.”
But that is still too many men for God, so he orders Gideon to take the men down to the water, where he would sort them out, so Gideon took his men down to the water. The Lord told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink." Only 300 men lapped, and God informed Gideon that "With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place."
The Lord used those 300 men with some trumpets, torches, and empty jars to defeat an army whose “camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.”
Back to my story, I watched my time dwindle like Gideon's forces. With only 18 days before I hoped to leave for Cameroon, I still lacked nearly one-third of my support. On August 1st, I told my sending church about my financial situation. The following day, I remember feeling drained; I had continued trying to make connections, but finally stopped. I grabbed my dog’s leash and headed for the woods near my house. While walking among the thick Michigan underbrush, I told God “I’m tired, and I know there’s no way I can do this on my own. Maybe I thought that I could before. I know there's no reason I deserve anything, but if it’s your will, please send what I need.”
Over the next few days, I received several phone calls and e-mails from people who wanted to be part of Bible translation by supporting me monthly. On Thursday morning, the last call came. I pulled up my financial worksheet to document my new partnership and realized that God had provided in a way that only he could—through his people. I praise God for what he has done, and I know that there’s even more in store!