When God called me to Australia for a Discipleship Training School with YWAM, I obeyed, even though I got off the plane with only $800 in my wallet.
I didn’t like the thought that God wanted me to do a DTS without having all the money I needed. I couldn’t even pay the $3,500 for my lecture phase. In spite of my financial need, I now see that God purposely called me to Australia not only to prove to me that He is capable of providing, but also to show me who He is.
I loved everything we learnt during the lecture phase of DTS and I felt like I was really growing closer to God. Then week 5 of lectures came along, and I still owed $3,000. I had one week to raise all the money I needed, otherwise I would have to go back home.
One of my school leaders suggested that I should stay out of classes that week to fundraise. I honestly was so devastated. I had never felt so alone in my life. My family gave what they could, but I didn’t feel like I could turn to anyone else. I only had a week to fundraise $3,ooo. One night, in tears I asked God why He would put me in such a lonely situation. Then I felt Him say, lovingly, “Come, know me”. I didn’t know what that meant, but it was so clear to my heart that I should just seek His face.
While I was sitting out of lectures that week, I dove so deep into the Word and I feel like I learned more about God than I had in my whole life. My final day of fundraising (the day before I would be sent home), a boy from my class asked me why I hadn’t been in lectures. I explained that I didn’t have the money for lecture phase and that I’d probably be sent home that day. Without even thinking twice, he told me wanted to help. The next day, I got a receipt saying that $3,000 came in and I was able to go back into class. God is so good!
That was only the beginning.
I still needed about $5,000 for my outreach phase. I asked God what I should do, and He said, “Come, know me”. I already knew who He was, yet I developed a desire to know Him even more, so I dove in deeper. I continued to praise the Lord and I had so much certainty that He would provide that even my roommates thought I was crazy!
We were in class, and on the white board our leaders wrote down the names and amount of money of each person that still owed for outreach. Then we were told to pray for each other. I started praying with my friends that they would be able to understand His character as the Giver. 20 minutes later, my amount went from $5,000 to $0. When I saw that my funds had come in, I wasn’t in shock; I honestly expected God to provide.
He had revealed to me how much He delights in providing.
I was the first to be paid off of that list. I promise you it gets crazier. While I was on outreach, my Australian visa expired and the YWAM centre had to make an emergency payment of $300 to get me a visa. I had to pay for it by the time I arrived back in the country. Here’s the problem: I didn’t have $300. I didn’t even have three dollars!
It came to the point on the last day of outreach where I was balling my eyes out because I didn’t understand what God was doing. Still, I knew that this wasn’t a moment to forget what He had done in the past. I prayed with my friends, and one of my best friends told me she would pay the money. When we got to the bank, she took out all she had in her bank (which was exactly $300, leaving $0 in her account). We went in to the accounts office to pay back the money for my visa, but they told me that I didn’t owe anything!
God doesn’t only provide for missionaries and He definitely doesn’t always provide in ways that we expect. Although letting go of control and trusting God can seem pretty terrifying, God’s Word is my foundation. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself…” (Matthew 6:25-34). These verses gave me the courage to step out and do my DTS, trusting God enough to provide for my every need.
God hasn’t stopped providing for me, and because my faith has been strengthened by seeing Him provide in the past, I know I can always depend on Him.
by Leslie Palencia
YWAM Newcastle Staff
Leslie, along with her one-on-one and school leader, celebrating when her lecture phase fees were paid.