Trust in Jehovah (Part 1)

A Moving Experience



Proverbs 3:5,6, encourages us,
”Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for GOD's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.” ―
The Message (MSG)


In the summer of 1972 I wrote the Canadian Bethel about making myself and my wife available to serve where there was a need for more proclaimers of the good news. Their reply suggested three places in our province, with phone numbers and addresses of brothers to contact. My wife and I discussed the locations mentioned and decided to leave it up to Jehovah as to where and if he wanted to use us. We chose to start with the first place shown on the list. I took the matter before Jehovah in prayer. I mentioned that our heart’s desire was to do more in his work, but I was not sure if I was mature enough to be of any use to him. I had seen others move away with good intentions just to return in a few short months, financially and spiritually hurting. I invited Jehovah to look us over very carefully and determine if he actually wanted to use us, because if we were to move away we would be much more dependent on him then where we were now.

In order to discover if and where he wanted us to go I told him that there were two things that we would need, a place to live and a job for me. I would drive with my wife for a weekend to the first place listed on the letter. Since nothing is impossible for him I told him that if he would provide me with a job and find us a place to live during that one weekend then we would move there. If we did not find those two things then we would try the second place on the list on a different weekend, and likewise with the third. And if he did not want us to go anywhere at all because maybe I had some secret yearning for adventure, or wanting to escape my in-laws, then it would be simple for him to frustrate our plans by not helping us with these two obvious necessities.


The following Friday we set out for the first destination on our list. It was five hundred miles (800 kilometers) away and we spent the night in a Motel half-way there. When we arrived the next day we contacted the brother named on the letter. He was very happy to meet us. He had a large family of seven children and was a school teacher in this small town of 1,000. As I discovered later, he was anxious to move his family out of there to a larger city where there would be more association for the children. No wonder he was eager to help us move there. He introduced us to a brother who owned a gas station and thus I was offered a job. The rest of the day and the following one we drove around looking for a place to live. We had no money to buy a house and I could find nothing to rent. This brother with the seven children invited us for dinner on Sunday evening and asked how our search for a place to live went. We told him we were unable to find anything and thus came to the conclusion that Jehovah had something else in mind for us. As we were eating he suddenly remembered that there was a small, desolated house that had not been lived in for several years, and the owner had mentioned to him a little while ago that he was going to fix it up. Perhaps he would be willing to rent it to us. So he phoned the owner.


It was already dark when we were going with the brother to meet the owner to view this house. Whereas we had become hopeful our hearts sank when he showed us around with a flashlight. The ceiling, walls and floor had substantial damage from the water pipes having burst some winter ago due to them freezing. It was a mess and we had to be careful as we stepped over things as he showed us around the tiny place. The owner of this dilapidated house said he could have it ready in a couple of months, the end of October, and if we wanted he would rent it to us for very little money. It must have been Jehovah’s turn to test our resolve and humility. I asked my wife for her feelings on this and then we agreed to rent it. Now I had the two things I had requested from Jehovah, a job and a place to live.


We returned home and informed everybody that we were going to move in two months. That’s when the problems began. My wife discovered she was pregnant and started to have a hard time with morning sickness. She couldn’t keep her food down. Also, her doctor told her that she had diabetes and she had to go for endless tests. The well meaning friends tried hard to discourage us from going through with our intended move up north, to such an isolated place where winter temperatures dropped to minus 40°. Had it not been for the fact that Jehovah had given us the two things I had requested as a sign, I am sure I would have changed my mind about moving. An elder in our congregation took it upon himself to counsel me about taking my wife, who had come from a warm climate, Greece, to such an isolated hostile place. I was being irresponsible. But we were determined to press ahead. We gave a month notice to the landlord of our apartment where we were living, and I went to the Railway Company to inquire as to what was involved in having our belongings moved to our new home and get a cost estimate for it. The man I talked to gave me a quote per pound and told me to be sure to tie address labels on everything. That sounded easy enough. But as I was to find out later, he had no clue what he was talking about. Did he even work for them?


I thought everything had been well planned and arranged. The two months had gone by fast. Our one-bedroom-apartment furniture and other belongings were to be picked up on the last Friday of the month as we had to be out of our place by the following Tuesday. And on that last day of the month my wife had an appointment with her doctor to get her first insulin injection for her diabetes. Right on time, at noon, the truck from the Railroad Company came to pick up our possessions. The man came in and announced that he was there to pick up some furniture. When he saw the furniture with labels dangling from them he announced, “I cannot take that. The furniture needs to be crated. Get it crated and I’ll be back Wednesday to pick it up.” It was no use arguing and pleading that we had done what we had been told. And Wednesday would be too late as we had to vacate the premises by Tuesday. He left and about a half hour later the shipper from the company phoned to explain that I needed to have the furniture crated and that they could not return before Wednesday, and they never went back to the same address twice on the same day. Oh, well, I thought, now I would have to arrange to rent a truck and drive it up myself. I phoned every truck rental company in the yellow pages but without success. It was month’s end and nothing available. I was stumped. My wife and I sat there wondering what to do next. I turned to Jehovah and asked him to look at this mess. Everything was packed and ready to go but with no way of getting it to go. I told him that the reason we were in this predicament was because of him giving us the two things I had asked for, a job and a place to live. It had been a sign for us to go with his blessing. This was not a good start.


After praying about the matter I felt that maybe Jehovah would soften the heart of the shipper of the Railroad Company and he would agree to send someone back and get my belongings. With that in mind I phoned the company again. I was transferred to the shipping department where I found myself explaining the situation again. The man listened for a short time and then in a raised voice said, “It’s you again! I told you we don’t come back to the same address the same day. Have your furniture crated and we’ll pick it up on Wednesday.” With that he hung up on me. Again I turned to Jehovah and said, “that was obviously not the man to talk to. Is there anyone who will listen and help?” Then I got the idea to go right to the top (of the company). In the phone book I looked for the phone number of the president of the company. There was no president listed but there was a vice president. So I phoned that number. A friendly voice answered. Upon my request to talk to the vice president I was told that Mr. White was out for lunch and would be back in half an hour. I looked in the phone book again and found an assistant to the vice president listed. So I called that number. Another secretary answered, even sweeter sounding than the first one. I asked to talk to the assistant to the vice president and she told me that he was not in. I answered back, “I guess he is out with Mr. White for lunch.” For once in my life I said the right thing. “Why, yes,” she answered, “how did you know?” I told her that I needed to talk to either one as I had a major problem. She asked me to tell her what the problem was. I told her I didn’t think she could be of help, but she shot back, “Try me!” So I explained to her the situation, how over a month ago I had come down to their company to make arrangements to have my possessions shipped by them to my new home. The man behind the counter had told me what I needed to do, which I did, and now they refused to pick up my belongings because they were not crated. On Tuesday I had to be out of the apartment and the shipper told me that they would not come back until Wednesday. What was I supposed to do now? She told me to leave it with her.


A few minutes later the phone rang. It was Mr. White. “I understand you have a problem,“ he said, “could you explain to me what it is about?” So I went through the whole story again. “Who were you talking to originally?” he wanted to know, as that man did not give the correct information. He had written the estimate on a piece of paper but there was no name with it. Now he wanted to know what sort of furniture I had. I told him it wasn’t much and nothing new.

“Can you wrap cardboard around it to protect it? Have it ready and we’ll have a truck come by around four o’clock to pick it up.”

Since it was already past two o’clock I asked him to give me till five. Now my challenge was to find cardboard large enough to cover my sofa, chair, dining room table, mattresses, etc. I drove around the main streets of my neighborhood, a shopping district, and found a plumbing store. I went in to ask if he had any cardboard I could have, reasoning that maybe his bathtubs came in cardboard boxes. I guess they do because he had exactly what I needed and he told me to help myself. We tied the cardboard around everything in sight. It looked ridiculous, but as we tied the last knot the new truck driver arrived.

“I understand you have some furniture to be picked up,” he said.

“Yes,” I answered, pointing at it.

“You mean all that?” he replied with shock, “they won’t take that. It needs to be crated.”

He phoned the office, explained the situation but was instructed to pick it up. I felt so sorry for him. It was already six o’clock in the evening. Not only was it time for him to go home for the day but he looked old enough to retire. The two of us loaded everything into his truck, which was barely big enough. I won’t bore you with the details about it raining and a policeman coming and telling him to move the truck around the side of the building and not to block the sidewalk. Where were all my friends and relatives when I needed them? Anyways, we finally had the truck loaded and he instructed me to follow him to the warehouse.


I was treated like royalty by the shipper, the same one who had hung up on me. “This is most unusual,” he kept telling me. Everything was being carefully unloaded. I saw them taking the mattresses and putting them in large plastic bags. All I needed to do was fill out new address labels that stuck to the items, and even that someone came and finished doing for me. When everything had been unloaded and put in one place the shipper came with the papers.

“Sign here,” he said as he handed them to me. The cost for the freight showed as $72.

“What is this?” I asked, “the down payment?”

“No, he replied, “that’s the cost of shipping it to your home in (name of town).”

Now I realized that I would never have been able to afford to ship it the regular way I had arranged, because even the estimate I had been given by whoever that man behind the desk was, was way off. It would have cost me hundreds of dollars.


You can imagine the prayer of thanksgiving that we offered up that evening. We spent the weekend cleaning our apartment with the help of our Bible study. He and his wife were impressed with the way things had worked out. On Tuesday my wife kept her appointment with the doctor who was going to show her how to give herself her first insulin shot. He apologized profusely as he informed her that he had made a mistake. She did not have diabetes. What a relieve that was. (But she was still pregnant :)


We left for our new home the same day, staying in a Motel half way there. It was a new beginning for us, and it was during this last stretch of the trip that I felt compelled to tell my wife that she was going to have a son, a replacement for me, as I already mentioned in my main account. When we arrived we went straight to the Railway station to see if our belongings had arrived yet. They had been there since Monday we were told, and had already been delivered to our house.

“How is that possible?” I asked, “you don’t know where we live.”

“Sure we know,” the man answered, “You are renting Mr. so-and-so’s house on Third Avenue. This is a small town. Everybody knows everybody as you will soon learn.”

As we drove to the house we couldn’t contain our joy at what we saw. It was beautiful and cozy far beyond our expectations. It was all fixed up, the oil heater was on and our furniture had already been set up. What a warm welcome that was, and the beginning of many blessings, some of which I would like to share later.


Especially our first visit of the Circuit Overseer was memorable. On that occasion Jehovah again demonstrated that he can take care of us. (Numbers 11:23)



Make Sure of All Things