We lead a ministry called Global Mercy Missions at a garbage dump in East London, South Africa where a community of over 250 Xhosa people live. For five years we have been using our personal five-seater vehicle (which was supernaturally given to us three years ago) for our ministry.
Whether we were transporting 10+ men for soccer games, bringing a dozen children to church on a Sunday, picking up staff members daily, or doing outreaches, we regularly crammed lots of people in our five-seater. (Don’t worry, in Africa it’s not really illegal.) Cramming so many people in our vehicle was uncomfortable and inconvenient, but we were making it work.
We have been praying for funds to purchase a vehicle for a few years, yet nothing has come through, despite our fundraising attempts. Two years ago, Rachael had a dream that a family in our church gave us a Mercedes-Benz Kombi van. At first she felt like it was impossible for such a new and quality vehicle to be given to us, but every time one of them drive past us she declared, “Thank you, Father, that you promised us that vehicle! We receive it!” Everyone laughed, but I was very serious.
We continued searching for vans in our price range, but the only ones we could afford were vans that were not safe to drive or safe for transporting children. In August we found a very good vehicle and proceeded to purchase it, only to find out it was a scam, and we lost $3,500 we had raised.
We began a court case to get our money back, but then God told us, “When someone comes and steals from you I will return 7-fold back to you, but to those who give to you, I will return back to them 100-fold.” God was giving us a strategy, showing us that even as we were being stolen from, we were to be the opposite and give. He told us to contact the scammers and release them from our judgment. So as a community of missionaries we sent the scammers a 12 minute voice message praying a blessing over them, prophesying over them, and telling them that we forgave them.
Exactly one month later, we were having a coffee date with a family who used to attend our church, and they said, “Hey, let’s take a walk.” They walked us to a 2011 immaculate Mercedes-Benz van, big enough for all of our needs. They handed us the keys and said, “Here you go. This is yours now.” We were overwhelmed by joy and filled with the strong power of the Holy Spirit for the rest of the day!
I told the couple about the dream I’d had two years ago, and they said that at that time they would not have been in a place to freely give away such a vehicle because they’d just been scammed out of thousands of dollars, and their business had almost collapsed. However, now God has restored them and brought them into a revelation of living generously! It was a big step of faith for them, but they knew that God was speaking.
That afternoon we drove back to the base in our new Mercedes-Benz, and upon arriving, the whole preschool and most of the community came running out of their homes, cheering and celebrating with us! Everyone in the community knew that we had been praying for a van, and now they have seen such a generous example of Father God’s provision! He didn’t just provide us with an old and unsafe van, He values them and us enough to give us the best! – from Josh and Rachael M.