Chapter 18 - Consider the Ravens

It is not easy for an immigrant family to adjust and earn its way in completely different circumstances in America, but God helped us in every way. Sometimes God will bless through unusual means. We learned this as we were driving home from a trip. We were still about 120 miles from Los Angeles when I heard two, distinct voices, in a fierce tug-of-war.

"I'm going to kill him!" said one voice out of "nowhere." "No, I won't let you!" countered another voice from the same dimension. Four of the children with me were asleep, but Lidia was awake. I told her what I had heard, and together we prayed. God spoke to us: "The Enemy wants to harm you on this trip, but I will be your protection!"

Suddenly, the car seemed to explode. Hurtled into the air, we flew off the road and crashed. I had some minor cuts on my head that were bleeding, but otherwise I was unhurt, so I helped the children out, one by one. Amazingly, they too were unhurt and could stand, though everyone was very shaken and stunned. The car was totally demolished, together with all our belongings. Police and ambulances arrived, and at first they could not believe our amazingly good condition after being struck from behind by a runaway truck. They examined us, but it was apparent to them that we were all right though our car was totalled. They decided not to take us to the hospital.

Meanwhile, a woman driving a Cadillac parked and came over to us. "Do you recognize me?" she inquired, looked us over with astonishment. I did. "I'm your neighbor!" she exclaimed.

She offered us a ride to our home. Accepting, we got in and heard her tell the story of her own escape from death. She had been driving behind us when she saw a huge truck about to smash into her from behind. Swerving to one side, she watched in horror as the truck struck and smashed our little car instead. It was a demonstration of God's tender care to find He had prepared a ride for us, through our own next-door neighbor, who drove us home from the terrible accident. Our neighbor wasn't an angel, but close enough! The rest of the journey was filled with rejoicing.

When we did not claim anything through the insurance, the company that represented the trucking firm contacted us. Despite no claim, they gave us a check for $10,000. With that sum we bought an almost new van for ministry to churches, and purchased a house--so we were doubly blessed by what momentarily appeared to be a calamity.

God has absolute control over all material things--even in terrible accidents, such the one we experienced!

In 1981 I was returnng home from a ministry trip in Europe to my responsibilities in the states. I was confronted one day by angels. "Before you left Romania, didn't you promise to work full-time for the Lord?" they asked. They were right. Though I was still working full-time at night and ministering full-time during the day in various churches, I wasn't exactly trusting God to care for us as He does for the ravens (Luke 12:24). As the Lord Jesus said:

"Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them; how much more are ye better than the fowls?"

Working and ministering as I did was a severe strain, and I had been praying for God to do something. Well, God was saying to me that He who filled our empty diesel tank could also fill a checking account! Jehovah our Provider was opening a door of divine provision for the new things he wanted to do with our lives.

Praying about the matter, we knew that we were to trust God for ALL provision. The angels encouraged me and left me believing that God was going to do that "impossible" thing soon. After all, hadn't ravens fed Elijah in a time of terrible drought and famine? That call to consider the ravens came in 1983. About seven years had passed since we first came to America. After accepting God's total provision, our lives changed drastically.

Unsolicited financial support began pouring in by mail soon after the angels' visit. Strangers were touched by God to send assistance to an unknown Romanian minister. The monthly total grew to the point where I could lay down my custodial job at the Lutheran church. I was enabled to travel more abroad, flying to Europe to witness of my Lord and give aid to the refugees. We were able to send trucks and cars full of necessities into Romania itself.

Due to the gifts from mostly unknown people, the ministry to refugees has grown steadily. Hundreds of refugees have been helped with food, clothing, emergency funds, and (most precious) sponsorship to live in a free country. Wonderfully open to the Gospel, refugees from communist countries take their new faith to the U.S., Canada, and Western European countries. The impact of such vibrant, restored lives, made new through Jesus Christ, is beyond estimating.

Of course, the needs of refugees are immense, asking the utmost of what any country, person, or ministry can provide. But the Lord, the Mighty God of Abraham and the Prophet Elijah, is a great provider! As long as refugees need love and care and the good news of Jesus, we plan to continue with the ministry at the camps, despite harassment by communist agents in the camps and elsewhere, even over in America.

To meet such enormous physical and spiritual needs is very difficult. Some have recently lost all their possessions Others have lost a beloved husband, a wife, or a child in an escape over the border. I can only give them the loving God who had delivered us through similar hardships and tragedies, a loving God who both protect and provides in impossible circumstances.

Romania itself is experiencing a test, a challenge to her very survival as a nation. Driven to the brink by the insane, self-destructive programs of the communist dictator and his government, Romania has been called a second Ethiopia by commentators in the media. Embarrassed by the extreme food shortages, the authorities turn back our emergency food trucks at times, but we try again later and God gets us through to the people who are starving.

Update: Romania has changed politically if not economically, of course, due to the revolution in Romania and the collapse of the Soviet Union; the poverty and the hunger and the lack of necessities continues, despite the return of freedom and a democractic government. Thousands of Romanians, particularly the young, suffer great hardship, and the hardest hit by the economic chaos in Romania may be the orphans, who roam the streets looking for shelter or a crust of bread.

Christians in the U.S. and other countries, not only in Romania, also need to know that there is a God who will stand by us when we find ourselves like the Prophet Elijah at the brook Cherith with nothing whatever in the cupboard.

One incident of God's provision I will always remember. It happened when Aurica and I were still living in Los Angeles and were down to a few dollars. We often had a large refugee family staying with us, and that meant 8 to 10 additional children in addition to the parents. One day I told Aurica that I was going to the store for the umpteenth time, even though I had only enough money left to buy a little bread and milk. Before I could reach the store, an absolute stranger stopped me. He got off his motorcycle and came up to my car window. I assumed that he wanted to ask directions, but instead he reached in, shook my hand, and then disappeared. In my hand was $50.00. Do angels ride motorcycles? After all, this was the "City of Angels"!

As Jesus said, "Consider the ravens..." Yet there may come a test in trusting God for provision. We are told that the brook Cherith dried up BEFORE God spoke to Elijah to move to the village of Zarphath in northern Israel, where God had commanded a widow to feed him. How long did Elijah have to look down at a dusty stream-bed with his stomach growling BEFORE God gave him a word of direction leading him to provision? However long it was, he had to choose to wait on God for provision there at Cherith, and God, we know, did not abandon him because of his demonstrated faith and trust.

Another case of divine provision involved Abraham. Abraham had to build an altar, put his beloved son on it according to God's command, and raise his knife, BEFORE God spoke and spared Isaac's life! BEFORE! Both Elijah and Abraham had to act by faith BEFORE God acted on their behalf. There is the supreme test, for us to trust and obey God even when it looks absolutely impossible that God will come through for us in time to save us. But God is faithful to those who trust and obey, and we know He is not late regarding His promises though He might seem a bit slow at times. He provided a ram in place of Isaac, and Abraham tenderly and gratefully sacrificed the ram on the altar. Abraham then named the place, calling it "YHWH YIREH," which means, "The Lord will provide." From that place-name we derive "Jehovah-Jireh," one of the most beloved names for God. Abraham's altar of supreme faith and supreme sacrifice stood on Mount Moriah, which was no accident, since Mount Moriah became the site of the future Temple.

This Witness of an altar testifies that God is the sole provision for any Holy Spirit-raised ministry or church. It is God alone who provides for His work. If He cares for wild fowls like the ravens, and feeds them when they cry for food, how much more willing is He to care for His children and provide for them!

God provided a single ram for Abraham to sacrifice as a substitute for Isaac. What is one ram anyway? Yet how precious was that ram, because of Who it signified! Back at Beer-sheba in the Negev desert, at Abraham's camp, he had thousands of rams, but they could do him no good on Mount Moriah, even if he could have sent for one in time to spare Isaac. No, God wanted a sacrificial ram that only He could provide. And so, in response to Abraham's obedience and faith, a ram was provided not from Abraham's flocks but God's own hand--the same hand that later, on this very site, provided Jesus the Lamb of God to die and pay the penalty for the sins of all the world.

"Walk in the Light," the testimony of Elijah and his family is ended. But not the truth of it! Let us call upon the Name of the Lord, Who is well able to save and deliver. Let us, every one, now chart a new course if need be, but walk in the Light of Deliverance and praise His holy Name, as Psalm 72 says, because everything truly done in His Name will last and be worthwhile doing:

"His Name shall endure forever;

His Name shall continue as long as the sun.

And men shall be blessed in Him;

all nations shall call Him blessed.

Blessed be the Lord God,

the God of Israel,

who only does wondrous things!

And blessed be His glorious name forever!

And let the whole earth

filled with His glory.

Amen and Amen."


Walk in the Light Ministries

P.O Box 122

Washington, MO 63090

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