Faith for the Wandering, Help for the Needy

by | Dec 22, 2020 | Features, Times of Restoration

Man Walking on the Road Holding Black Luggage during Sunset

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV).

I grew up in Saskatchewan and came to Fairwood Bible Institute in the fall of 1974. Roland grew up near New Haven, Connecticut, and came to Bible school in the fall of 1979, after getting a degree at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. We started dating during the summer of 1981 and got married in December of that year.

After Roland worked for a year at The Kingdom Press at Chestnut Hill, we moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, where Roland pursued a master’s degree in computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His first computer programming job brought us to Boston’s North Shore, where we have lived ever since. Our three adult children are now 34, 29, and 26. Our youngest lives with us, and our oldest has purchased a home in Haverhill, about 45 minutes away. Our daughter and her husband (who grew up in Michigan) live in Louisville, Kentucky. We will never stop hoping that they will move closer to New England! 

For the past 27 years, we have attended the First Congregational Church of Hamilton, our home town. The church recently celebrated its 300th anniversary. It has been a joy to be part of a supportive and gospel-believing congregation. Our social lives revolve around our church community. For almost eight years, I worked as treasurer and information coordinator for the missions committee of First Congregational. Working with the children’s Sunday school, both when our children were younger and in the present, has been both rewarding and entertaining. Since his retirement, Roland has served as the church treasurer.

After 31 years of working for the Raytheon Corporation at their facility in Burlington, Massachusetts, Roland took early retirement in April of last year. He loves being retired, and I love having him home every day. One of our goals in retirement is to travel, both in North America and Europe. The advent of COVID-19 has put a crimp in those plans, but we intend to resume traveling once it is safe to do so.

Many of you readers have experienced, as we have, the sorrow of watching one or more of your children turn away from the faith in which they were raised. The Scripture at the beginning of this article have been a comfort many times, as I have prayed for God’s intervention in their lives. This past January, Roland and I, along with 30 of our church friends, made a trip to the land of Israel. Before going, I asked God to give me a special affirmation, while there, that my sons would return to Him. As we traveled from one amazing location in Israel to another, I felt my heart fill with love for my Savior. In the Garden Tomb on our last day, Roland and I found a spot to be by ourselves and bring our children before God. I felt covered and surrounded by the love of Jesus. These waves of God’s love continued after my return home. That has been the answer to my request. God loves me with an overwhelming and all-encompassing love, and He feels the same about my children. He will bring them through.

We both desire to serve God and be used by Him in whatever way He sees fit. Several years ago, a young woman I’ll call “Maria,” came to our home through my response to an ad for a very reasonable rate on a housecleaning service. She was married, with three children. From what we could determine, Maria believed in God but had no personal faith. Through the course of her time with us, we had several conversations. During her pregnancy with her fourth child, her husband abandoned the family, and soon after the birth of her baby, she lost the apartment in which her family lived. Through these devastating events, we offered what support we could and assured her time and again that God cares and sees her need. Walking beside someone in these circumstances is sometimes very inconvenient and heart-rending, but God has laid on our hearts the importance of “looking after orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27). We have seen Maria’s faith grow and have witnessed God’s good work in the life of her oldest son, who attends our church’s youth group.

Our belief in God’s sovereignty and boundless love is the foundation of our lives in these very troubled times. With His help, we will remain faithful.

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