“Katie, I had a dream that I went to the Philippines,” the young man said.
The morning of the 50 percent deadline for the missions trip had finally come.
Junior Katie Barnett knew the young man on her team was still about $1,500 short, and it’s a rule that there must be two men per missions team.
He was their second.
If he couldn’t go, there would be no Team Philippines.
In the natural, it didn’t seem possible, but looking back over the past week, Barnett knew that she served a God of the impossible. And he had given her team member a dream.
They had until 5 that evening for their miracle to arrive. With all of their own resources exhausted, it was time to trust God.
By faith, Barnett and her mission team had accepted the call to go to the Philippines. Faith had started this journey of international missions, but Barnett knew money had to keep it going.
She and her team are not alone.
Between the triumphs, the setbacks and the flurry of fundraising activities, the ORU missions teams have come a long way since they first assembled in October.
With the 50 percent deadline passed and the 100 percent in the near future, they are trusting God to provide the funds so that can go into “every person’s world.”
On Feb. 22, the day of the 50 percent deadline, Barnett knew that if they didn’t have the money by 5 p.m., she and her team would have to come to terms with the fact that two of their members hadn’t made the cut off.
The Tuesday before, the team had been around $10,000 short. One week later, they still needed $1,500 for two members of the team. Five o’ clock seemed to mark either a crucial step in their journey or the journey’s end.
Barnett prayed it wasn’t the latter, but the countdown to 5 p.m. had almost expired. When the deadline finally arrived, they were still short on funds.
When the clocks struck 5, all of their expectations for ministering in the Philippines and all of the disappointment from not meeting the deadline mingled together.
“We didn’t feel victorious. Two of our members hadn’t made the cut,” Barnett said.
Five o’ clock had passed, and she felt like even with all of the hard work and prayer, they had fallen short.
“It felt like I had given 100 percent, and it wasn’t enough. At 5 p.m., I thought it was over,” she said.
Just when she believed her team was done, something happened. Director of Missions Tammy Schneider called Barnett over to the computer.
“Something just came in for you,” Schneider said.
Barnett walked over to the computer. It was 5:15 p.m.
“There’s a $1,000 check for the team.”
Barnett couldn’t believe it. The miracle had come, and all she could do was cry.
“It was a beautiful moment and a day for the record books and Facebook statuses,” she said.
Barnett said she realized that God isn’t limited by time. He isn’t just the God of 5 p.m.
“My God is the God of the eleventh hour,” she said, laughing.
Junior Paulo Chikoti-Bandua can identify with Barnett and Team Philippines.
Chikoti-Bandua is on Team Kenya Disciples of Mercy (DOM), and the Sunday before the 50 percent deadline, he too was behind in his fundraising.
That Sunday morning, Team Leader Michael Boggs had asked his team members to go to church with him. As they sat in the first service, Chikoti-Bandua thought about how he was going to get the money.
One by one, he flipped through his different options like addresses on a Rolodex. Maybe he could make a few more calls or get into his personal savings.
Then, Boggs’ pastor said he wanted to see the team. He told them that he felt led to approach his congregation about their trip.
He announced in service that they needed 150 people to give $10 a piece.
In the first service, 12 people stood up to give. Team Kenya DOM couldn’t be more grateful.
When 138 people stood up during the second service, Chikoti-Bandua could hardly believe it. He did the math. Exactly 150 people had stood up and given $10 each.
This wasn’t one of the options on Chikoti-Bandua’s mental Rolodex, and it warranted only one explanation.
“God comes through,” he said.
By Hannah Covington
All seven team members going to Kenya have met 50 percent.
Regional Coordinator David Vermette said that financial miracles are not uncommon during the fundraising process.
“I’ve seen it time and time again. God always provides the money,” he said.
Vermette also said that not one person had to be dropped from the spring break missions trips this year.
He added that between support letters, creative fundraising events and miracles, the summer missions teams are well on their way to raising their needed funds, too. Of the 19 summer teams, 13 of the teams did not have to drop any students at the 50 percent deadline.
While money is a concern in missions, he said fear of not raising enough should be “the last thing that should keep someone from going on a missions trip.”
“I know that it’s scary. We’re college students and already don’t have very much money,” Vermette said.
“But God is good, and he does provide.”
Barnett said that missions trips are a lot like Jesus’ parable of the workers in the vineyard.
Just when it looks like time has run out, appearing as if all of the workers have been hired for the day, the Lord comes by in the eleventh hour.
“Right when you think it’s over, and you’ve drawn a line in the sand, and you’re packing up your books for the day, then he shows you who he really is,” Barnett said.
“He’s Jehovah Jireh, and he’s relentless in his faithfulness.”
By Hannah Covington
***The 100 percent deadline for summer missions trips is March 28. Those wishing to donate to missions teams can log onto to oruoutreach.com.
The Oracle Faith Editor is Hannah Covington.