Mathew 6:31-32 “Therefore take no thought saying, what shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Where withal shall we be clothed? ( For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”
I was asked to go to Cleveland, Ohio to start a Church. There was a small family and a few other believers there in need of a pastor. I took my wife, my three children, and my brother and his family also came along to help get the Church get started. In total we arrived with four adults and 7 children. We were not receiving any financial support from any organization and the few believers attending the Church were not contributing enough financially to provide for us. The house we were living in had 3 floors. The first floor we converted into a meeting hall with a kitchen and the other two floors we lived in.
My brother and I would go out witnessing in the streets many days. One day we met a homeless man named Jimmy. Every once in a while he would come to the house asking for something to eat. Regardless of our own situation, whatever we had to eat we would give to him.
After a few months, we added a few believers to the church but their contributions still weren’t enough financially to sustain our needs. I vividly remember the day that all the food ran out and the cabinets were completely empty. We had no money to buy food and no money coming in. We had no way of purchasing any more food to feed our children or ourselves. After dinner and the feeding of the children, there was only one piece of bread and a very small amount of mayonnaise left. I did not eat with the others, because there was not enough food for all of us. I had my eyes and heart on that one piece of bread and little mayonnaise. I waited until everyone had gone to bed and I went down into the kitchen to get that piece of bread. Suddenly, I heard a knock at the door. As I went to the door, there was Jimmy ” Pastor I am hungry! Can you please give me something to eat?”. I explained to Jimmy that we ran out of food and had nothing left. But, Jimmy persisted, “Please Pastor, I am hungry”.
In my mind, I kept thinking of the one piece of bread and mayonnaise. I was trying to justify in my mind that Jimmy would not want this. I was also embarrassed to give such a small thing to him. But there was Jimmy, and he kept on pleading. So finally I said to him, “I told you that we ran out of food, and the truth is we only have one piece of bread and a little mayonnaise left. Without hesitation he shouted, “I’ll take it!”
So there I was taking Jimmy to the kitchen and giving him the last piece of bread and mayonnaise that I had been craving all evening. I will always remember the brilliant smile he gave while eating that piece of bread. He so enjoyed it and like all the others times, when he was done he simply got up and left. With literally nothing left to eat in the house, all I could do at that point was go to bed.
The next morning we all met for prayer around 8:00 am. Knowing that we had no food for the children, we started to pray and thank God for His goodness and His faithfulness. After 15 minutes of prayer there was a knock at the door.
When I went to the door, there stood a gentleman who was a city employee from the electric company. As I opened the door, he came in and asked if they could trim the tree in the back yard off of the electric line. He explained that the owner of the house had issued an order one year ago. I looked at the order and surely, it was one year ago to the day so I agreed to let him do the work that he needed to do. We stopped prayer and the children went up to the third floor back porch to watch the trucks come and trim the tree. I went out into the back yard and truthfully, I had not gone there before. I really had no reason to as it was a small yard and there was an ally behind it. As I’m standing there, I heard the man shout to me “Sir, do you want me to shake the tree?”. I said, “What?” and he shouted back, “It is an apple tree!” I shouted quickly, “Sure shake it!”
Wow!!! In the moment that he shook that tree hundreds of apples fell to the ground. Hundreds of them!!! I stood in awe at the goodness and faithfulness of God. After the electric company left, the children with all of our pots and pans went and collected all of the fallen apples. We praised God and had the greatest day eating cooked apples. We even had many to share with our neighbors!!
The very next day, a car pulled up with a family from Ohio that brought us a half of a cow of meat. We did not know them, but they said the Lord told them to bring it to us. And from that day on we never lacked food again. Praise God!!!
As I look back on that time, I always remember the testing of the “One Piece Of Bread and A Little Mayonnaise”. I always have wondered if Jimmy was perhaps an Angel, because I never saw him again after that night. I will never forget his beautiful smile. I was surely tested by God that night when he came because God knows how much I wanted that one piece of bread. I can only thank my Heavenly Father for sending Jimmy to me that night. To think that one year before, the owner had ordered the tree to be trimmed in the back yard, and on the day we had absolutely no food left in our home, God sent them to trim it and provide us with apples. How Great is our God!! How faithful to His Word!!
The lesson I learned through this was that God can be TRUSTED!! He is faithful to His Word. Proverbs 3:5-6 TRUST in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.