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Overcoming Financial Obstacles

Young adults often write me concerning school loans and other financial obstacles they are facing. I often hear from adults as well. Are financial obstacles destined to become mountains of impossibility, or are they opportunities for God to work miracles? I believe the latter, but realize that on a practical basis, financial commitments and financial mismanagement can wreak havoc in sincere people's lives. I also know that many obligations are entered into without prayerful consideration, bringing complications that God never intended. Sadly, Satan is often using financial obligations to keep God's children from serving Him in foreign missions. However, there is a power and help that comes through prayer that can overturn these seeming impossibilities, as God sees that it is for His glory and the good of His children. I happened to hear Erica share her testimony of how God turned her financial situation around and realized it could bless other people. Accordingly it is shared with gratitutde for her willingness to share. Dan

A Young Adult Testimony

"Ask and it SHALL be given...."

Every time I tell the following story I can’t help but be amazed at how loving, merciful, and wonderful our God is.

Everything started one day last spring semester 2006 when I started to realize that the money from the school loan was getting to end. The loan was in itself a blessing—some really close friends had accepted to be my co-signers for the first year of my three year Physical Therapy Doctorate program. So, at the middle point of my summer school 2006 I started seriously thinking about what I was going to do for the next $36,000 that I would need for my 2nd year in PT school. One day I went to the financial office and asked for the balance and discovered there was $600 left for all my expenses for the  next 2 months. I started praying a lot.

One day, I was crying about this, and my friend encouraged me to write a letter asking for donations for my schooling from people in different churches. I then wrote the letter with my friend, and my attitude started improving.

From the beginning of all of this I knew that my God knew how to provide and that I only needed to do my part. Though, I didn’t know how, I knew He would bring me back to school. I talked to my parents back in Colombia, South America regarding my challenge, and they said that they would take care of my rent and food for the next year, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about that. That left me $25,000 that I needed to raise for the tuition of my second year in PT school.

I wrote the exact amount needed in a letter and also gave a reference so that people could find out about me. In my heart I felt the impression that I should pray for a specific person to send the letter to, instead of just sending it to random people. So, as I prayed I felt impressed that I should pray for a specific day. By this time, it was about 45 days before school was going to be starting.

Then I felt impressed to pray regarding the Sabbath during an ASI meeting that was going to take place close to where I was going to be during the next month.  I had attended an ASI meeting before and knew that godly wealthy people go to these meetings.

The day came and it was about 6pm when something special happened. As I was waiting for my cousin outside the cafeteria where the ASI members were eating, a random person that passed by was giving away a  meal ticket. I asked him if he was selling it but he said no, that he was just giving it away, so I accepted it. I went in and joined my cousin in line and the waiter assigned us a table for us to eat at. There were about 10 people eating at that table and we had a very pleasant conversation even though I had never met any of the people before. We talked for about 40 min, then I finished my meal and left, but my cousin stayed longer.

As the day was coming to end I was thinking to myself that nothing had happened regarding the miracle that I was needing and had been praying about. At about 9 PM my cousin called and said that one of the gentlemen who had eaten with us had left something for me. I immediately knew it was God’s answer. My cousin gave me a keychain and a business card that the gentleman had left for me. I found out later that this was a man who loved God, but also had a lot of money.

That next Monday—three weeks before school was to start—I prayed and decided to e-mail this person a sponsorship letter. That next day he wrote me asking how much I still needed for school, I wrote him back and didn’t hear back from him for ten days. I prayed again and decided to write him a second letter that Friday morning. There were only ten days left before school started and I didn’t had anything to lose. By that time I was very concerned about my situation, for I had no money to go back to school and had only the ten days left. At the same time, deep in my heart, I knew that God was not going to abandon me. It was strange because I was concerned but I knew somehow I was going to be back in school.

That night I found an e-mail that said he was in contact with Andrews and had talked to my teacher and thought everything would work out okay. I was so happy. I knew God was in control—He had answered me. Of course there was the small detail of not knowing how much the person was going to help me. That Tuesday he said that he would know something from Andrews by the next day. Friday night he wrote me and said: “mission accomplished. God bless you and your studies.” I was jumping up and down. God had answered me!!!!!

That Monday I went to the financial office and asked if they knew anything about the person who wanted to sponsor me, for I could not find anything in my school account—it was “zero.” They said they hadn’t heard anything about it either and that I should keep praying because I needed a lot of money. I still attended my classes as if everything was going to be paid, because I knew that God had arranged everything.

I wrote an email again and on Tuesday night I learned the name of the person I needed to talk. Wednesday morning I went to his office and introduced myself. At that point I didn’t have any idea how much he was going to help me—$1,000 maybe, or $500. I was really expecting at least enough money so I could start my semester. This person  told me that I should be very thankful for the gift I had received, shared that $25,000 had been donated to my account. I was so shocked!!! That was the miracle I had been dreaming of, but I never thought God wanted to do it for me. I knew the sins of my life and knew that I wasn’t deserving of His help, but that’s the way it is with God and His true love: He helps us even though we don’t deserve it.

The night, before returning to school, I told the story to the people who had cosigned for me. I had asked God to show me if it was His plan again for my financial situation, by guiding THEM to ask me about the money, but they never had. Upon hearing the story, they said they had thought the loan was automatically renewed every year. This means that if I wouldn’t have waited and I would have asked them to cosign for me they would have done it, and I would have thought that that was God’s miracle, and that would have been great too. BUT, God had a BETTER plan.

It is now such a blessing to know that what I do and will do doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to God. GOD WANTS TO DO GREAT THINGS FOR US. DESPITE OUR SINFUL BEHAVIOR, HE WANTS TO BLESS US SO THAT WE CAN KNOW HIS LOVE, AND BE FAITHFUL TO HIM. WE JUST HAVE TO ASK AND BELIEVE.
       
Erika Martin
Student of Physical Therapy at Andrews University


THIS IS PART OF THE LETTER Erika sent:

You may or may not have heard of me. Therefore I will introduce myself.  My name is Erika Martin. I am from Colombia, where my family currently lives.  I have been studying in the United States since January 2000. I received my Business degree and Pre-Physical Therapy from Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) in 2005. I am currently in the second year of the three-year program for the Doctor of Physical Therapy at Andrews University. While at SWAU my school was paid through various full time positions on campus, GPA based scholarships, and colporteur scholarships earned every summer by going door-to-door evangelizing with Christian literature. 

My current DPT program is a very academically demanding and time-consuming program, which requires me to be in school all year round, leaving no time to work. To stay in the program I am required to maintain a considerably high GPA, and the time not spent in classes, which is about 7-8hrs a day, I use to study. Being an international student does not allow me to apply for government loans or bank loans without a co-signer, nor am I allowed to work off campus. Due to these reasons it is very difficult for me to find the funds necessary to pay my tuition.

For the first year of the DPT program God provided me with a family that co-signed a student loan for me, but I believe God has a different solution for this coming year. In order for me to continue my education I need to raise $26,000 by August 18, 2006.  $8,500 per semester (3 semesters/year), which includes tuition and books. I’ve decided to share my situation with you and your family, and appeal to you to pray and consider sponsoring me. I am not asking nor expecting you to pay my tuition in full, but to help me with whatever God leads you to.

All of this is in order for me to fulfill the mission I believe God has given me. My goal is to one day incorporate business and Physical therapy to provide those in need of spiritual and physical wellbeing in a well organized God-centered institute in the US or overseas.

Many young adults have sought God's help with their school fees and have found God is MORE than faithful. Perhaps God has worked in your life and you have a testimony you could share with us. Please do. Write us at path2prayer@yahoo.com. Thank you!


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