"In the still quiet place we meet Him."

Who Do You Work For?

Celebrating Christmas was not easy for many Americans in 2009. Thousands lost jobs and homes because of the current economic crisis. Recently, Chaplain Paul Northcut met a family in Russellville, Arkansas, with nothing left but their trust in God.

My family was about to sit down to eat supper when the phone rang. It was a man named Billy. He, his wife, and two small children—a three-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl—were at the Main Street Mission in Russellville. By this time, about 6 p.m., the mission was closed, but several families live there temporarily, and one of those folks told Billy, “All I know to do is call the chaplain,” and gave him my number. So I went to the mission to meet Billy and his family and to see what we could do.

Fully Relying on God
Billy said that they had come from Colorado, trying to get somewhere, anywhere, that might be better. He and his wife had lost their jobs and then their home. They had some contacts in southern Arkansas and thought that by coming south, it would at least be warmer than Colorado.

Billy told me that he and his wife were both Christians and had been praying that, somehow, God would help them take care of their family. He told me that they had taught the kids to pray and that all along the way, his little girl would pray, “Jesus, please take care of us.”

A Compassionate Mission
Billy and his family needed food, gas, a place to spend the night, and maybe most importantly, some encouragement. I called Gary and Marilyn, the mission directors, and explained the situation—one that we have heard over and over again. Marilyn said the mission would fill their gas tank, so I led the family to a local convenience store and took care of that.

Next, I talked to my good friend, Al, at Brown’s Catfish Restaurant. When I explained the circumstances, Al said, “Let’s get these folks fed. Don’t worry about cost.¬ I’ll take care of it.” So while they feasted on the best catfish in the state, I went down to a motel and arranged for a room.

After taking care of the lodging, I went back to the restaurant to tell the family where they would be staying. I prayed with them at their table and put a couple of bills in Billy’s shirt pocket.

As I was about to leave, the little girl looked up and, with the sincerity that only a four-year-old could have, asked, “Mister, are you Jesus?”

I just stood there for a couple seconds, pondering her question and how to answer it. Then I said, “No, honey. I just work for Him.”

To tell you the truth, sometimes I get tired of ministry; it’s called “compassion fatigue.” But every now and then, everything gets put back into perspective, and I remember who I work for. I am most blessed!