“He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”Deuteronomy 10:18
Field Story by Hope Garcia, Monterrey
I love oatmeal cream pies. Full of saturated fat and hydrogenated oils, they’re not exactly healthy, but so tasty! As one of six children living on a bike store manager’s salary, oatmeal cream pies were a childhood delicacy. I recall a season where finances were especially tight. My dad’s salary was stretched thin by unexpected expenses. The normal every-two-weeks grocery trip came and went. The cupboards emptied. I craved a soft oatmeal cream pie, but I knew this treat wasn’t a priority.
Even with finances as tight as they were, my Dad gathered us together. He pulled out the month’s tithe check, and asked us to lay hands on it. “God, use this money to reach those in need,” he prayed. As he dropped the check in the mailbox for a homeless shelter, I remember thinking, “What about us?”
“God provides,” Dad said, quoting a favorite verse in Philippians 4:19. “He’s a good Father who meets all our needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.” We prayed together as a family that evening, trusting God to meet our needs, even as we wondered how He could.
Early the next morning, someone knocked on the door. My mom answered to find our next-door neighbor surrounded by a dozen brown, paper grocery bags. “I went to the store early this morning, and you wouldn’t believe the sales!” she said. “You know I can’t pass up a good bargain. I just started filling the cart and found myself with extra. I thought I’d bring some for you, if that’s ok.”
“Wow!” My mom uttered, tears in her eyes. “All of this?”
We pulled bag after bag into the kitchen, putting milk, eggs, and bread into the empty cupboards. In the middle of the joyful chaos someone shouted, “There are even oatmeal cream pies!”
Now 25 years later, I see God using the rough financial times in my childhood for greater purpose. He used them to teach me of His faithfulness and to prepare me for the work He’s called me into with vulnerable children.
I met Eduardo when he was ten years old. He and his siblings had just arrived at Casa Posibilidades. The children came from severe poverty and, having lost their mom and been abandoned by their dad, were used to fending for themselves.
Two weeks after arriving to the home, Ale, the children’s psychologist, asked Eduardo how things were going. “Do you know we have SO MUCH food here?!” He asked her excitedly. “Not only do we eat every day; we eat THREE TIMES!” May we all learn such joy from basic necessities.
Maybe you’ve never looked at bare cupboards, wondering after your next meal, but we each have needs. We’ve experienced seasons where putting one foot in front of the other felt impossibly taxing. But God knows every intricate thought we have, and our deepest desires just as well as He knows our basic needs. It is His joy to provide.
Even though you, Hope, and Eduardo might have come from different backgrounds, you’ve experienced God’s heart through His provision. He is a good Dad who knows His children’s needs. “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat’ or ‘What shall we drink’ or “What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:31-33)
How have you experienced God being a Father who meets every need?