“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
A GLORY STORY “So she just gave you her car?” “Yes. Exactly.” I hope you’re sitting down for this one. Last month, I asked my team to “[p]ray for a safe, reliable, affordable option to replace my car.” On February 13, the three-year lease matured on my Hyundai Sonata and I planned to return it to the dealer. While visiting ministry partners the first week of February, I casually mentioned to a friend that I wasn’t sure what would happen after February 13 with my car but trusted God had a plan. “Car? What do you mean?” she said. No sooner than I explained the situation, she said, almost as casually, “Take mine.” What? I must have misheard. “No, seriously. Take mine! God put it on my heart to give this car away as a blessing, and in fact, I was praying specifically to give it away before February 16, when my tags expire.” Just like that – God orchestrated a perfectly timed blessing that will go down in my memory book as a miracle. The best part of the story is no explanation attends such extravagant and hilarious giving other than God moving in the hearts of his people. Surely this “glory story” will point people to His love for years to come! That’s a story I love to tell.
Monthly Ministry Update from Valerie Payne General Counsel’s Office On Seasons, Speaking, and Sowing Seeds
King Solomon recognized in Ecclesiastes “a season for every activity under heaven” (3:1). My travels in January and February opened my eyes to the significance of the season I am still in – raising support. Though I am not yet released to start the exciting international legal work God has called me to do on staff with Cru, more seeds are sown in this rich season of ministry than I can fully comprehend. As a good friend said: when God’s not moving horizontally, He’s moving vertically. On January 24, I spoke by invitation to the entire student body of my alma mater in Virginia Beach, Regent University School of Law, during their annual retreat. Sitting on a panel of three alumni, I had a unique opportunity to speak into the lives of the students and faculty with spiritual advice. Outside Regent’s main law building.
One topic raised involved developing holy habits. From giving God our first fruits (time, talent, and treasure) to spending quality time with Him and honoring authority, I reminded the audience – and myself – that the principles of God’s word just plain work. When we do things His way rather than our way, the benefits far exceed the discomfort of relinquishing control. Another opportunity I had on campus allowed me to interact with law students interested in our summer internship program. At a Q&A session attended by more than 20 enthusiastic students, I fielded questions about Cru, explaining its global reach and the significant work of our General Counsel’s Office. During interviews I later conducted with the summer program applicants, one student’s story stood out.
Hosting the Q&A session.
Erica, a first-year law student, has a vibrant passion for global missions that shines through everything she does. From supervising the spiritual leaders of her college to directing dramas about Jesus in Italy the summer before law school, she is a born leader and eagerly seeks how her legal career will intersect with ministry. Erica’s dad became a Christian in college through Cru, where he also met his wife. Now the chaplain of a pro baseball team, Erica’s dad runs an international ministry that trains baseball players in the game as well as their faith. What a fitting example of Cru’s ministry model – winning others to Christ, building them up in their faith, and sending them out to do the same. Not only does Erica’s dad embody that model, Erica does too. I felt inspired.
Exceedingly, abundantly grateful for this “good and perfect gift”!
As I learn to embrace my season of support, will you pray God completes his inspired work in me as He completes my team? www.valerie-payne.com // 321.544.0360(c) // firstname.lastname@example.org