When I first arrived on-island 10 years ago and lived in Taipei county, for transportation I made do with the public bus and then-new but not yet completed MRT mass-rapid-transportation system. Later I bought a coworkers' motorbike and the next term thanks to one church's generous financial gift, my own new little 125cc scooter. Though I could borrow a van most of the time when I needed one, I rarely drove and never thought of purchasing a car. God provided through other means.
Last term the need for a vehicle gradually began to grow as my job required me to travel more but even then I could make do most of the time with the inter-city bus system. This past year, having moved out into the countryside, the need continued to grow although even here there are semi-regular buses. Thankfully, I have also been able to borrow another coworker's vehicle as needed. God continued to provide.
About 2 years ago I opened a fund to collect contributions for an automobile. Although several generous persons gave from time to time, the total grew very slowly. Though giving accelerated considerably the last 4 months of last year, by year's end I had still not collected enough for a good used car even though the time was approaching when I could no longer borrow this one.
I am ever-thankful for our organization's Great Commission Fund which supplies for the basic needs of international workers around the world. I do not take it for granted at all in today's unstable financial times. Thank you to those who give sacrificially to it! God's abundant supply flows partially through you.
Being human though, sadly there have been times when, as perhaps you do, I grovel in a little self-pity that I don't have the income to buy myself some of the extra and unneeded "toys" I wish I could have. Last year on home assignment, when I worked as a substitute teacher in order to supplement my income, in spite of the labor not being particularly difficult, there were times when I felt I could relate a little to the oxen who were being muzzled while treading out the grain (Ti 5:18). As a middle-aged guy and also as a once-upon-time time gainfully employed engineer, it feels a little humbling not to be able to afford even a used car.
Thankfully, just like He always does, God comes through in the crunch. He knows our true needs and when we need them (He also knows when to hold out on us to lead us to trust in Him). Today I received notification from our accounting office that 6 additional generous individuals made donations in the last month totaling almost $5,000 US, putting me over the top for a good used vehicle.
I'll thank them all in personal letters later this afternoon, but wanted first to take the opportunity to thank God in this blog for His continuing timely provision. "Give us this day our daily bread...." May He provide for you this day also according to His timely manner.