As you may already know, I am a missionary living in a foreign country. We began this journey doing short-term furlough replacement. If you are a missionary, you know that things are usually tight in the finance department. You always have to be careful and use good judgment when spending. This is not a complaint, as you will soon see. Teacups don’t usually fit into the budget, except in the country I live in. There are all kind of places where you can buy beautiful china teacups relatively inexpensively, sometimes for $1!! The problem comes in when the one you want, crave or long for is one of the expensive ones. Such was the case with the two pictured above. I saw those teacups a few years back and wanted them badly. Every time I went to the store, I went and looked at them. One day one of them was on sale, so I put it in my cart. After shopping around for awhile, I put it back. I had the money, but there were other things that were more important.
In the meantime, my sister-in-law asked me to help her give a tea party for the ladies in her Bible studies. I gave one the year I filled in for her and the ladies wanted another. It was Christmas time and so we had a wonderful tea party with all the trimmings. We created wonderful memories that day.
In this country, there is a constant exchange of gifts. If you do something for someone, they do something for you in return. Each of the classes presented me with a thank you gift. Culturally, you do not open them at that time unless they tell you to. They did not. I took the gifts home and sat down with my hubby and children to open them. When I opened one of them, I was stunned. When I started to cry, my hubby looked in the box and his jaw dropped. It was the two tea cups! I asked him if he told anyone. He said that no one asked him for any advice and he didn’t give any.
This land that I live in worships idols. When I taught the Bible study classes, I tried to teach the ladies that God is a real person. He knows our thoughts and our desires. He provides all of our needs. Above all, He loves us. I took this opportunity to write the ladies a lengthy thank you letter. I told them of my desire for the teacups. They didn’t know of it, but God did. I went on to tell them that when I used one of the cups, I would think of them and my God who put it in their hearts to buy them for me. This was not a coincidence. It was a direct message that God doesn’t just care about my needs, but He wants to give me the desires of my heart. It wasn’t the teacups that God cared about, but me! The teacups are a constant reminder of my heavenly Father’s great love and tender affection for me!
There was quite a stir around town as the story spread of the strange foreign woman and her God who cares about teacups! The mother of one of the ladies made me the quilted wall-hanging pictured here when she heard about it.
I am so thankful that God did not allow me to purchase those cups. If I had purchased those cups with my own resources, I would have missed a tremendous blessing.
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
…for the Lord’s loving care in my life.
…for the trip to Costco we are making tomorrow. =)
…for my children who took over the dinner preparations tonight.