5000 Reminders

With barely a month before my trip to Romania, I sat with coffee, Bible, journal and devotional books. And discouragement. 

As an advocate for hundreds of elderly and frail in Romania, part of my work with Elder Orphan Care is to raise awareness, resources and funds for their care. Donations tend to spike and sink, seemingly dependent on special projects, fundraisers and my speaking schedule. 

Recently I had a few ideas I thought would bring in a slew of donations, but they failed to do so. And although Pastor Viorel, my ministry partner who does the hard work 24/7 in Romania, never asks for money, the needs are hard to miss when I visit.

I had hoped to take a substantial financial gift for Pastor Viorel to assist him in providing shelter, food, and medical help for the precious souls in his care, but it looked as if I’d be going empty handed. Little did I know when I couldn’t shake the discouragement that had crept into my heart, God was smiling. Because He knew what was going to happen next. 

I sighed and picked up a favorite daily devotional. The Corrie Ten Boom quote at the top of the page quickly got my attention: “Do not ask ‘What can I do?’ but ‘What can God not do?’”

The correlating Scripture verse was Jeremiah 32:17. When I looked it up I knew God was speaking directly to me: “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you!” 

I wrote the quote and Scripture in my journal and read them slowly, again and again. Then I wrote “It really isn’t about me, is it, God? I’ve been striving in my own energy. How about if I get out of the way and let you decide when and how you will provide?” 

That seemed to get a “Good idea!” response in my spirit, so after reading my other devos and praying, I set out on my first appointment of the day. When I pulled in the parking lot I glanced at my phone and noticed a new email from my friend Andy. The subject line read “Anonymous”. That made me curious, so I took time to read the email. “Kim, There is a saint out there who sent in a cash donation requesting it be used to help the elderly. The note was NOT signed. $5000!” The email ended with this comment: “Smiling!” 

That’s one difference between Andy and me. I was SCREAMING, wildly shaking my head and pounding my fist on the steering wheel. What?! What?! I reread the email. Seriously! FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS? 

When I caught my breath I read the email one more time to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. That’s when I remembered the quote and Scripture I had written in my journal mere minutes earlier. Obviously God had perfectly orchestrated my morning devotions as a beautiful and powerful backdrop for this amazing scene to be played out. 

All my striving, all my ideas, my plans! And then God uses a wonderful, generous, anonymous donor to give me 5000 reminders that nothing is too difficult for Him. 

 “Has there not been, sometimes, this temptation to do a great deal for Christ, but not to live a great deal with Christ?” 
-Charles Spurgeon 

 “…we pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something." 
2 Thessalonians 1:11 MSG

Unopened Envelope

The envelope sat in a pile of unopened mail for several days. 

I was busy and assumed from the return address it was the annual plea from a local theme park to bring my youth group there in the summer. It was only January so certainly there was no rush to open it. I had even considered removing that event from our calendar because the tickets were getting so expensive and the kids would also need money for lunch. Maybe we wouldn’t even go this year. So there was no need to open the envelope because I knew what was inside. Why take time to open something when I already knew what it said? 

Or did I? 

I opened the envelope. 

Surprise! "Congratulations, Kim Jackson, for registering your church group for a chance to win a FREE OUTING at Knight’s Action Park…. Your card was selected as the winner… You have won one free church youth group outing for up to 100 youth to include unlimited water attractions and miniature golf, plus lunch. Congratulations!” 

So…uh….it seems I didn't know what the envelope contained after all! 

I’ve kept that letter for 18 years because it reminds me of the Word of God. Yes, the Word of God, the Bible. I remembered the unopened envelope recently when my church began reading two chapters of Luke together each day. I joined in even though I’ve read that Gospel dozens of times. But guess what? As I read, I heard myself saying, “What? Since when has THAT been in the Bible?” 

Hmmm…so I just thought I knew….and made assumptions….but when I opened God’s Word there were wonderful surprises awaiting me. 

Oh God, may this be my constant prayer: "Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your Word" (Psalm 119:18 LV).

No Adults of God

I had cash in hand to pay for the used books I was buying, so I couldn't figure out why the lady at the thrift store asked me for identification. When I questioned her she said, “I wanted to see if you qualify for the senior discount.” 


That was my first “over 55” shopping conversation. But it hasn’t been my last. I think there may be a better way to get information (“Do you qualify for any discounts?”) but I am thankful to receive any financial favor based on the fact that I’m a ’57 model (It was a great year for Chevys and Jacksons). 

I’m much more grateful, however, that my age has no bearing on my status as a child of God. You can check your Bible if you’d like, but I’m confident you will never find the phrase adults of God. You will, however, find several passages referring to children of God.

  • So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith… (Galatians 3:26). 
  • Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God… (John 1:12). 
  • For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption as children. And by him we cry, “Abba Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Romans 8:14-17). 
Based on these verses, I often introduce the work I do with Elder Orphan Care, a ministry to homeless elderly in Romania, by saying “I serve God’s older children.” 
I doubt that these photos are what you expect to see when you hear the phrase children of God, but in each case, these “seniors” came to faith in Christ, so they are most certainly children of God, because there are no adults of God! 

Thank God for Viorel Pasca, the Romanian pastor who took action in 2006 when he saw a newscast about homeless elderly who froze to death. Elder Orphan Care is now one of several ministries that helps Viorel care for hundreds of elderly and frail, including the precious souls in the collage who have become children of God since being rescued by Viorel. 

For more information about Elder Orphan Care visit www.elderorphancare.com 

Learn to do good; 
commit yourself to seeking justice. 
Make right for the world’s most vulnerable,
the oppressed, the orphaned, the widow (Isaiah 1:17).
Each week I write a BOG (Brag On God) post. My prayer is that my words will invite you to brag on God, too. And together we'll make God smile.