A New Thing


“I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” ~ Isaiah 43:19 NLT

This is an “It just so happens” story with a variety of characters and either some amazing coincidences or a providential God. You can decide for yourself.

On a Wednesday Advent Luncheon in mid-December, I was sitting across the table from a church member. I mentioned something to the effect that I wished we could get more local business persons to come for the services. She said, “Let’s pass out fliers up and down Main Street.” I volunteered to make the fliers and we agreed to meet Monday afternoon to spread the word.

One of our stops was the the Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter. The elevator wasn’t working, so two of the staff walked to down to greet us. The CEO said, “I was working on a grant request, when I received a phone call from a member of a local service club. They would like to do a project this spring that will help address housing needs for low income families. Your timing is perfect, because this could help with some finding for the Sibert House. Can you write something by Friday that I can include in the grant request?” Gulp. “Sure, no problem,” I said.

I called the hands-on leader of the Sibert House project. The week before the task force had discussed some smaller projects that could be done by volunteers, including replacing the floor of the front porch. Tom got me the specific details about the materials that would be needed. I wrote up a brief document with the background of the project, how it fit into St. Paul’s five-year mission priority of helping neighbors, and the materials that would be needed. By Wednesday I had a final draft and hit send.

This past Friday, I received an email with the subject “Good News.” Good news, indeed! We’ve been awarded $4,000 from American Woodwork, and $1,200 from Rotary for the project that will be completed later in the spring with labor from the service club.

“I am doing a new thing,” is a reference to God’s ever creative ways of working in the world, even in situations that seem impossible. That includes pathways in the wilderness, rivers in wastelands, and partnerships with manufacturers, community agencies, service clubs, and congregations showing up and finding ways to work together to address the needs of other.

Once again grateful for the God of “It just so happens.” ~ Anne

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