In August 2012, my family and I took my oldest son, Michael, off to his first year of college. Michael, my wife Tonja and I had worked hard throughout his senior year and the following summer to cover all his freshman year expenses. Though we pursued many avenues to raise the money, the school year came and we unloaded Michael’s stuff, moved him into his dorm room, attended a parent orientation meeting and left him with enough money to cover the fall semester only. We had no idea where the money to cover the spring semester would come from.
Though spring classes were four and a half months away, I felt uneasy knowing we needed to come up with more than $5,000 in that time period. I tried not to worry, but kept feeling January would get here in no time. I prayed every day asking God for the needed resources. I regularly asked God if I should do something such as find some extra work or put together some kind of fundraiser.
Most days I would sense God saying I should trust him to provide the money. One day Tonja and I prayed together and felt we should send a letter to close family members asking them to help. Another day I felt God say, “Know that I am present with you.” We even felt the Lord encourage us to talk with a friend of ours who worked at the university where Michael attends. One day’s word was, “Be thankful.”
Between August and December of 2012 the following happened: several family members committed to helping Michael with school, a couple of anonymous gifts were put in Michael’s campus tuition account, the friend I talked to advocated for us and the school awarded Michael some addition grant money, the financial aid office suggested Michael drop one class and take it in summer school which then netted Michael a small refund which he could use to buy his books and a third anonymous gift showed up in Michael’s account.
In August, the $5,000 plus we needed for tuition looked like a mountain, but after each step of faith we took, the overwhelming obstacle became a mole hill. Whatever challenge you face, don’t try to take on the whole challenge at once. Just ask God day by day what to do and follow His direction.
By Vincent Carpenter
Administrative and Teaching Pastor at Antioch Community Church