When God Provides

Image for When God Provides

“God’s work, done in God’s way, will never lack God’s provision.” I have always loved this quote written by Hudson Taylor. I have witnessed these words come true quite a number of times. However, even though that strengthened my faith in God’s care, His way of doing things is still beyond what I usually expect. While I rely on Him every day to do things small and big, He still surprises me with how magnificent His plans are compared to mine.

Just before Thanksgiving 2022, someone contacted the U.S. office looking for projects that needed real estate development. AFM Europe was on that list. We had been renting a small office, and the need for a larger facility had been growing for some time. Fast forward a few weeks. We compiled a list of properties with characteristics similar to what we were renting, then added other features we could want, from “better” all the way to “only in our dreams.” Or so we thought . . .

As we reviewed the selected properties, each had flaws that were easily identified and dissected. As we and our visitors navigated from one ad to another on the large screen before us, my mind raced in many directions. I watched as the prices continued going up. Regardless, we all agreed that the final property, which we identified as “the dream” (because of how great and unlikely it was to become ours), was the best option, even though I believed it was entirely beyond our reach. The dream features included lots of outdoor space, accommodation for missionaries in training, room for events, and an office area, all not too far from the airport but far enough from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

Fast forward a few months. My mouth uttered a very unusual prayer: “Lord, if this is not truly Your plan, please don’t move this forward and leave us stuck with a 10-acre piece of property. This purchase would only be a good idea if it comes from You and all the details are in Your hands. Such a blessing can quickly become a curse if You are not the One behind it.”

But God was behind it, and after months of delays because of paperwork, many prayers for the needed funds, complications with bank transfers and plenty of other challenges, I stopped at the notary and signed the papers that transferred the property to AFM Europe. Perfect timing. I was on my way to catch my flight and would not return to the continent for a month. What a miracle!

On January 20, 2024, we had the privilege of dedicating this new facility to God.

During the dedication, we thoroughly enjoyed the presence of colleagues, friends, conference, union and division leaders, other ministries, donors and many others. We bowed our heads and asked God to turn this place into a blessing for our staff members, missionaries, guests, and, ultimately, the unreached.

Pastor Norbert Zens, treasurer of the Inter-European Division, talked during his devotional about this passage from Ellen White: “The home missionary work will be farther advanced in every way when a more liberal, self-denying, self-sacrificing spirit is manifested for the prosperity of foreign missions; for the prosperity of the home work depends largely, under God, upon the reflex influence of the evangelical work done in countries afar off.”*

How irrational does that sound — local missions advancing as we focus on cross-cultural work? Friends, God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. While we labor for the unreached, He is blessing our home territory. While we rely on Him for the small things, He is accomplishing the truly great ones. While we wonder where He will lead, He knows the future in detail. And while we embark on the journey of serving him, He provides — just as He provided this amazing property that will now serve as AFM Europe’s headquarters and training center.
How exciting it is to imagine and plan for AFM Europe’s first training session. How amazing it is to have a proper place for our administrative work and mission-related events. How humbling it is to realize once again that God’s timing and planning are far more complete and blessed than even our highest hopes. I have seen it over and again in the past couple of years: God is preparing His people for missions. God calls some to step forward and go. He calls others to pray and give. And He calls AFM Europe to be a bridge between His people and the unreached. What a blessing it is to be part of this work that grows each day as we draw closer to the event we all long for — the return of our Savior.

As this journey unfolds, I eagerly wait to see how God will fulfill His promises by continuing to provide for the needs that arise and by blessing our homelands while we go and serve those who have never heard the good news. Thus far, the Lord has helped us. We expect nothing less from the future that rests in his care.

  • 6T 27.5 (Testimonies for the Church, volume 6)