Earlier this year, I wrote an entry for this blog titled Great, Big Dreams. Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of getting to watch the fulfillment of the dream that God had given me.
When I asked God to give me a big dream, He told me that I was to bless the Hill Country Youth Ranch in Ingram, TX. I was not even sure at the time what that meant, but I knew that it was going to be big, and I knew that it would be something that God would accomplish through me.
My wife and I began to think that we could load up our van with as much donations as we could get and we would drive it to HCYR. That’s when the Lord stepped in and made His presence known.
My wife and I both use electric toothbrushes. When we go to the dentist, they give us a standard toothbrush, which we don’t use. We had collected about 15 or so. After we had started our donation collection, my wife had a dental appointment. She asked the dental hygienist if she could have a child’s toothbrush instead of an adult toothbrush. When she explained why, the hygienist said she could probably help us out. She asked how many children were at the Ranch. I thought there were about 105 at the time, but I wanted to account for any new additions, so I said about 120. She then asked how many adults worked there; I didn’t know that, so I told her I wasn’t sure. We decided that she should just use the same number as the children – 120. She donated 2 boxes of 72 adult toothbrushes (144 total), 2 boxes of 72 children’s toothbrushes (144 total) and 2 boxes of 72 sample sized toothpaste (144 total).
God was just getting started. One evening, the Lord prompted us to call a friend about making a donation the next day. When we called her, we found out that she had seen a couch at an estate sale that she couldn’t pass up. However, it was not a couch that she could use. When we called, she said she knew exactly why she felt she needed to buy it, and she donated it. It was here that we though that we would have to rent a trailer. Soon, though, that trailer became a truck!
I was genuinely touched by the amount of people who donated to this effort. We saw an assortment of furniture, small kitchen appliances, tools, games, puzzles, toys, lamps, dishes, baby items, books, and a mountain of clothes! And then people continually thanked us for allowing them to be a part of this.
God chose to bless the Hill Country Youth Ranch, but He also chose to bless many people who opened their hearts to this ministry.
I am so glad that I prayed a simple prayer asking God to give me a “big, hairy, audacious dream.” I am so blessed that I had the courage to obey, realizing that it would have to be God accomplishing it, because I didn’t have the ability or the resources to do it on my own. However, when you make yourself available to God, to be used by Him as He wills, then who knows where it will lead. When the Lord calls us, we must be ready to immediately answer the same way Isaiah the prophet did:
Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Is. 6:8 NASB)
If you would like more information on the HCYR or on how you can also be a blessing to their ministry, please visit their website at http://www.youth-ranch.org.