Trust in Jehovah (Part 2)

  Circuit Overseers Don’t Go Hungry



“I am the LORD All-Powerful, and I challenge you to put me to the test.
Bring the entire ten percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house.
Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing after blessing.”

―Malachi 3:10; Contemporary English Version (CEV)


As I wrote in my previous experience, my wife and I had decided that we wanted to make ourselves available where preachers of the good news were needed. We had faith in Jesus’ assurance that his disciples’ daily necessities would be taken care of. (Matthew 6:33) Also, Jehovah’s words in Malachi 3:10 encouraged us to trust in him. We “put [him] to the test” as to whether and where he wanted to use us. After he had given us his answer by providing us with the two things I had requested of him, it was his turn to put us to the test. Happily, we did not waver in our resolve to act on what we believed was his answer. And so, with Jehovah’s help, at the end of 1972 we ended up in a small northern village, located in a valley between two high mountain ranges, and five hundred miles away from family and friends. Our house was cozy but small, one bedroom and a tiny other room, too small to be another bedroom but large for a closet. I am mentioning this because the circuit overseer and his wife were scheduled to stay with us for his next visit.


In the past the congregation had always put the circuit overseer in one of the ten rooms above the post office. It was an old building with only one washroom between all ten rooms. As we learned, there was also very little in the way of association with the circuit overseer. Usually, only one family volunteered to have him for a meal. When it was announced that the CO was coming for his visit in early February we immediately offered to have him and his wife stay with us. The brothers argued that our house was too small and that the CO actually liked staying above the post office. We insisted, telling them that we would give the circuit overseer and his wife our bedroom and my wife and I would sleep in the large closet, and so they arranged for them to stay with us. Somehow, I was sure, it would work.


We did not have much in the way of money. I was pumping gas for a dollar an hour, forty hours a week. We had no fridge or freezer and thus had to buy perishable groceries daily. The milk and eggs we would store on the windowsill, as it was cold outside. Often it got so cold overnight that the milk would freeze and the eggs cracked. As the week of the circuit overseer’s visit drew near we discovered that he and his wife were scheduled to have all but one meal with us. Although we deemed it a blessing to have them stay with us, my wife panicked as we had no food and only five dollars to go shopping with. I assured her that Jehovah would not allow the circuit overseer or his wife to go hungry. True to my policy of never mentioning our needs to anyone I made the situation known to Jehovah only. We needed a miracle.


Two weeks before the CO’s visit a brother in our congregation was moving away, having sold his house. He was going away for an undetermined time and, wanting to keep his furniture and appliances for his new house later on, decided to store them with a brother. He felt that the refrigerator and freezer should be used and so asked if we would kindly look after them for him as he knew we had none. We happily agreed. Now we had a fridge and freezer, albeit empty. A few days later my mother phoned and wondered how we were. I told her we were very happy and thankful for the cozy house as the winter was very cold. I also told her how happy we were to finally have a fridge and freezer.


On the following Tuesday at noon, the circuit overseer pulled up in his car in front of our house. While we went to greet him and help with his luggage there was a knock on the back door. It was the truck from the railroad station delivering five boxes. My family had sent them. We opened them with the help of the circuit overseer and his wife, laughing as we unpacked chocolate bars, spaghetti, sauce, coffee, tea, etc. etc. You name it and it was in there. Enclosed also was an envelope with some money, and a note stating that this was not from the family but from Jehovah. Our shelves were full with groceries and with the money we went shopping and filled the fridge. I turned to my wife and said, “See! Jehovah does not allow the circuit overseer and his wife to go hungry.” We explained to them that before this we had only five dollars to get us through the week and they were scheduled to have all but one meal with us.


As there was no time to make a fancy meal before the meeting that evening, my wife made spaghetti with a tasty sauce, and of course, garlic bread. Everyone at the meeting was able to guess what we had eaten for supper. There was a lot of laughter and the brothers (as they told us later) came to realize that the circuit overseer can be a lot of fun. Others now wanted to invite them for lunch, and when the time came around for his next visit there were arguments as to who had the privilege of having the CO stay with them. The CO confided in us that before this none of them looked forward to visiting this congregation. Now they actually enjoyed it, even spending some extra days and going hiking with us in our famous national Rocky Mountain park.


Jehovah’s hand never proved to be “cut short” while we endeavored to seek first the kingdom. (Numbers
11:23) He would find various ways in which to provide for our needs, often depending on the circumstances. Sometimes he opened the way for me to find extra work, usually in advance of the time when the need arose. We came to realize that if we had some extra money there was always a reason for it. Other times Jehovah would put it in the heart of someone to help us, without us having mentioned our need to anyone. That way we always knew it was from Jehovah, although we were reluctant to accept any gifts. This proved to be especially the case in connection with our moving to Greece. Next I would like to relate how Jehovah answered my request about having a means of transportation in Greece, how he provided it and how he took care of it while we had it. We experienced first-hand that Jehovah’s hand was never “cut short.”  

Make Sure of All Things