[3rd in a series about God’s provision]
Pete was still capable of earning a lot of money as a consultant to the computer industry. In fact, it was just as we were in the process of moving that he was offered an absurd sum to put his ministry on hold for three to five years while he worked for a secular company. Then we’d have plenty of money to do whatever God wanted. This was so clearly a test, it wasn’t even a temptation. We had our marching orders.
We arrived in Colorado with no visible means of support.
The unexpected extra profit from the sale of our Silicon Valley house covered our expenses for the first couple of years. Then that was gone. While we prayed hard and followed excellent advice for generating donations, our income was still far short of what we thought we needed. Maybe we weren’t very good at raising funds. As “behind the lines” workers, living in beautiful Colorado, we certainly didn’t measure up to most people’s notion of supported missionaries. Maybe, however, God decided it was time to answer my prayers from five years earlier.
When it comes to learning something uncomfortable, it sometimes helps to have no choice. A lack of income is just what we needed to encourage us to further simplify our lifestyle. If we thought we had been doing well before, we began to realize we had only scratched the surface. We sold some assets. We strictly avoided shopping malls. We learned to trust God as we had never trusted before.
In 2001, the AD2000 & Beyond Movement closed its doors as planned. We restructured our ministry to stand alone as the International Christian Technologists’ Association (ICTA). Pete was on the books as an employee, but his salary was directly tied to funds raised for the organization. The other employees included an administrative person at the front desk and our ministry partner, Cecilia. A series of generous donors kept us afloat. The erratic nature of our income kept us on our knees. Life was good. And then…
Silly me. I prayed for growth in my relationship with God. You’ve heard that it’s dangerous to pray for patience? Well, multiply that by all the areas that God wants to change in our lives. Little did I realize how eager God was to answer that prayer!
It had been thirteen years since my prayer to learn a simpler lifestyle. It has been twelve years since we arrived in Colorado. We had grown tremendously in our walks with God. In fact, we were feeling pretty good about that relationship, or at least I was. Probably not a good idea. Living a faith-filled life is easy when there isn’t all that much to take on faith. So, God upped the ante a bit.