The Statue of Ribbery

casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 WEB)

On furlough, while enjoying the welcome of our home office in New Jersey, we filled all the rooms of the lodge. The lodge was formerly a livery stable and carefully modified to provide all the comforts of home for those away from home. There was a nice common kitchen and a collection of nice rooms with private baths. The rooms were situated on either side of a large common room which came complete with comfortable couches, chairs and a fireplace. Nice.

This was a chance to develop new friendships and renew old friendships in the midst of our mission family. As a mission family we worked together to reach the world with the Gospel. Whether we tuned transmitters, balanced the books, changed light bulbs or expounded the Word of God we were related through our Savior, the one who called us to serve.

While in New Jersey we decided it was the perfect opportunity to introduce our children to New York City, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center. After a couple calls we had plans set to take the train and the subway tube into the city. We would arrive and reach the city through the bottom of the World Trade Center.

Finances were a bit tight so we counted our pennies to determine whether the trip were possible. Later that day the founder and president of our mission met us as we were chatting with other missionaries in the front lobby. Hearing us discuss the cost of the trip he pulled out a twenty-dollar bill and held it out in our direction. Feeling a bit awkward and not wanting to bother the head of the mission we politely declined and he wandered down the hall toward his office.

A few minutes later, as we headed out the door one of the secretaries came out of the back hall and flagged us down. She handed us an envelope and said the staff took a collection to insure we would enjoy the trip to the city and not have to worry about the costs. Again the Lord let us know this was a family.

We thanked our colleague, took the envelope and walked toward the lodge. Looking inside the envelope we discovered a twenty-dollar bill on the top of the pile and have a pretty good idea who made that donation. Our pride kept us from the first offering and here God made the point that He can provide, if we are willing to let our family care for us.

The trip to the city was fantastic. We rode a train from the office to Hoboken. From there we rode the tube train and exited beneath the World Trade Center. Rising from the depths of the buildings to the street we were taken in by the immense size of the city and the busy streets. The children clung tightly to us as we navigated the streets and made our way toward Battery Park and the shuttle boats to the Statue of Liberty.

James was wide eyed through the entire event. Walking in the canyon between the buildings and then finding the opening at the park, with the harbor in front, were new wonders for him. He was really excited to be visiting the Statue of Ribbery, as he called it. Time didn’t allow us to walk the stairs to the crown of her head. I was a young man the last time I was in New York and remember the long stairway to the top. So we walked around the statue, enjoyed the ferry boat once more and saw the city. That was more than enough for one day.

In one day we traveled from a quiet lodge at our headquarters, to New York City, the Statue of Liberty and back. I love trains so that in itself was a delight for me. God provided the transportation, the funds, and the timing, to see everything and return to the office.

Through God’s family we were treated to an experience never to be repeated. When we think we are on our own God lets us know we are His and He does care enough to provide our needs and even some of our desires.

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