The week before Christmas I had the privilege of leading a mission trip to San Martin, Costa Rica with a group of 13 individuals to put on a Christmas Outreach to an estimated 1,000 children. This was a little intimidating for me because the team had never met (except for those who traveled with a loved one). I was nervous that the team wouldn’t be unified, someone might get left out, etc…
That week we worked with Pastor Warner who has a church of about 80 children that he has fed every Sunday for the past eight years. He also is one of our Praying Pelican Missions staff members and does the transportation for all of our trips. Pastor Warner is an amazing man who truly loves Jesus with all of his heart. His vision for the children of San Martin is huge and God is using him in powerful ways.
For our morning staff meeting, Pastor Warner told us that we have a small problem. He had ordered tons of food for the party on Wednesday, but there was mixup with the hot dog buns. The 2,400 would not be ready on Wednesday, but on Friday….2 days late! Pastor Warner was told that it would be “impossible” to get them by Wednesday, but they would try. We immediately prayed!
Pastor Warner encouraged the team the first morning with the story from Matthew 14 about Jesus multiplying the bread and fish. We then called the team to pray for a miracle! We needed bread, a lot of it, in the form of hot dog buns!
Not only did we need hot dog buns, we had no candy, were lacking funds for the party, and our team wasn’t organized at all. On top of that, a Pastor and some of her congregation were coming from San Jose to help us. Talk about a language barrier! How would all of this work?
Something I saw for myself firsthand is the power of God to multiply things! And it all came down to the final hours, in God’s perfect time.
God multiplied our talents and abilities. We had to make tons of balloons animals, paint faces, apply temporary tattoos, cook 2,200 hot dogs, as well as make a couple thousand bags of water and tea to pass out.
God multiplied candy. Literally. You may be skeptical, and I may have been too if I wasn’t the one who counted the candy bags. We started with zero bags of candy, we had none to give. We received a phone call saying to come to a candy shop and get $250 worth of candy! I was “like a kid in a candy shop” gathering candy as quickly as possible and drooling over it all. It truly was a miracle. We went back to the house to put them in little bags. When it was all packaged up we had 666 bags of candy, so we ate one bringing the total to 665. That sounds like a lot, but last year they had 800 children, and we knew we needed over 1,000 bags. One more donation of money came in so we bought some more candy, but it only made about 100 more bags, 765 in total. It was all we had.
The next day 1,350 people showed up! Did you read that too quickly? 1,350! And I tell you in complete honesty that we passed out candy bag after candy bag to everyone at the party. We gave many kids multiple bags even though we could see the candy bags weighing down their pockets already. You may ask why would God multiply candy since it’s not good for you? HE LOVES HIS CHILDREN! If his child asks for a piece of bread, would he give him a rock? No way!
God supplied 2,200 hot dog buns…ON TIME! Remember we were told it would be impossible to get them by Wednesday. Yet, what is impossible with man is possible with God! When Pastor Warner came to breakfast Wednesday morning he said “we have 2,200 hot dog buns!” and we all joined in his crazy excitement!
Rewind the story though, did I have doubts??? YES! I was tempted to go out Tuesday night and buy every piece of bread in Nicoya but something inside me kept saying to hold on to faith! I’m so glad I didn’t get in God’s way!
All this to say, God is not done multiplying! He takes the little that we have to offer and He mutliplies it to glorify His Son, Jesus! In one week I saw Pastor Warner and the amazing team offer the little that they had and God blessed it to bless 1,350 of His children! Many hands went up to put their faith in Jesus as Pastor Warner preached to the large crowd! There is no better Christmas present than Salvation!