Did you know that Jesus makes the statement “O ye (or thou) of little faith” five times in the Bible? This saying is one my family has used several times this year. Some more verses that I would like to share before I tell you our exciting story are Matthew 17:20 “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” The other verse is Mark 5:31, “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:” Is it not amazing what a little bit of faith will do? In the year of 2008, God took my family through one of the hardest trials we’ve ever had to go through. We had to leave one church and become members of another one (of which I am so glad we did). Shortly after being moved from our first church, we went to the Answers in Genesis “Defending Your Faith in a Secular America” Conference. The first whole day of the conference, we went out to eat. The restaurant that we wanted to go to was so packed that it wasn’t worth the wait. Therefore, we went to a different one. At the same restaurant that we ended up eating at was Ken Ham (president of Answers in Genesis) and some of his staff members. Feeling led of God; Dad asked the waitress if we could pay for their meal. He also told her not to tell them. However, our waitress did not tell Ken Ham’s waitress about not telling them. Anyway, Ken Ham and his crew came over to tell us thank you, and we started to converse. Believe it or not (this is a joke), the Hope Kids were brought up in our conversation. One of the staff members (Mr. Cecil Eggert) asked us if we had ever taken them to the Creation Museum (Answers in Genesis’ multi-million dollar museum). Dad answered no because of the cost. Then Mr. Eggert told us, “Don’t worry about it. Just call me and I’ll get them in for free.” We were so happy, but we realized that we no longer had a van to transport the Hope Kids. We had been putting all the eleven kids into our two cars (plus, the four of us were in the car, too). We realized that having fifteen people with only eleven seats for about six hours (probably longer with bathroom breaks) wasn’t going to be all that great. So we started praying for a van. Well, God again supplied our need, and brought to Dad’s attention one in Brighton that never moved and was extremely dirty. He went to go talk to the man about it, and, along with finding out that the man was a CHRISTIAN, that he would be willing to sell us the van. Being the lover of wood-cutting that Dad is, Dad offered for us to bring some boys (the Hope Kids) to cut down a tree that had fallen, and to chop down another one that also needed to cut down, and work a deal for the van. Well, the man was obliged and we took the boys over to cut down those trees. After awhile, we were starting to get a little nervous, for we hadn’t heard from the man. Daddy ended up going over there, and the man just giving us the van because in his Sunday school class they had learned about not hording up our treasures on earth but to lay up treasures in Heaven. Feeling convicted of this, he GAVE us the van. Well, we now had a van, but it didn’t run. L What were we supposed to do? Not being able to find anything wrong with it at home, we ended up taking it to the Ford dealership in Millington. They looked at it and told us the starter needed to be fixed and gave us a price for them to fix it. Daddy found out that if he himself bought the starter and put it in that it would be cheaper. BUT the weather was very cold and it seemed like Daddy would have to work OUTSIDE. Like in the past, God blessed, and the dealership ended up allowing him to work in their heated garage!!! Therefore, Dad was able to fix the part, but the van still didn’t run. L So, we left it there for them to look at. While waiting for them to look at it, we had gone down to Mississippi to see my grandfather from my mom’s side to get baptized. While we were there, God blessed AGAIN. Daddy and Victor had been playing outside, and they saw some VAN seats in the neighbor’s yard. We know the people who lived next store, but did not know them very well. So my dad and brother went over to ask them about the seats. They found out that the lady was dying, but that they would be glad to allow us to have the van seats FOR FREE!!! We were not able to take the seats home, for we had just brought our car and in it was my brother’s harp. So we had no room for seats, but the next week Mom took my brother and two of the Hope Girls to Mississippi to pick up the seats. While down there, Mommy was able to witness to the lady (please pray for her). Well, we got the seats, but we did not have the brackets to clamp them down with. Without the brackets it can become very dangerous for a long trip and many kids. We started praying about what to do, and during this time we went to spend Thanksgiving with the Jessie Brennan’s family and another family we love to hang out with. We were on the way to the beach and God laid it on Jessie’s dad’s heart to stop by a junk yard. He, Dad, and my brother all went in to see if they had any brackets. Well, the man said that they wouldn’t go look (since it was raining), but he did say that they had five minutes to go look. As before, GOD blessed. In the van that they looked at, were the exact brackets that we needed already unbolted and just lying TOGETHER on the floor!!! WOW!!! The entire trip was a blessing, but this was definitely one of the high points.
After our wonderful vacation, the dealership called and said they had fixed the part that we had asked them to fix and the van was running. That is where this week comes in. Mom and Dad went to go pick it up. When they went to go pay, for some reason (GOD) the secretary had done something with the receipt or something like that, and what was supposed to be over $300, ended up being $0. That is not the only blessing that we have been on the receiving end of, but we also were on the receiving end of another one in one week!!! Lately, we have been a little worried about where we were going to stay. We were originally going to stay at the church, but the secretary had not called us back. We had started to be of “little faith” again (or at least I was). We got a call/ daddy called and found out that the boarding is taken care of. The girls will be staying in the mission’s house and the boys will be staying in a closed down fire station. Fun huh? So not only do we have free admission but we also have free boarding. In addition, Daddy had gone to get some carpet for the floor of the van, and Vic had measured the floor to be 5ft. 9in. by 11ft. 11in. When he went to the store to get it he found a remnant of a carpet half off that was SIX FEET BY TWLEVE FEET!!!! Now you tell me that’s not GOD! With just the little faith that we had about what God would now have us do, HE has moved mountains! All that we have to do on the van now is to change the fuel filter and the alternator (which will be done Saturday/Sunday by the boys). just thought that you would like to hear that even in a messed up world, in the center of God’s will is the best place to be !!!
The year of 2003 was a year of change for my family. By taking on the small ministry of picking up children for New Hope Independent Baptist Church, we did not know that we would be taking on our future family. I’ll never forget the day Dad sat the family down and told us that we were going to be picking up the bus ministry of our church. At first, I’ll admit, I did not want to take this on. These children were from, what I say, filthy homes. I didn’t want this, but I acted as if I was excited. I had a lot of bitterness in my heart at that time, and this was the last thing that I wanted to do.
Once we started, I knew that I would have to give these children love, but I was determined not to do so deep down within myself. God had a different plan for me, however. When I gave my faked love to these love-starving children, they gave me so much more. I became so overwhelmed; and on a Sunday morning, I went to the altar and gave it up to my forgiving Lord. During my time at the altar, our pastor gave an invitation to salvation. As I rose from the altar, I saw one of the children raise her hand. God gave me the opportunity to lead that child to Christ, and He has given me a love for the ministry ever since.
We renamed the children we picked up the “Hope Kids” because we realized they are the hope of our future. We realized that if we were going to win the world for Christ that it was mandatory to start with the children. After all, “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.” We are trying to be God’s hand to rock the cradles that might one day make decisions that could affect our Christian nation.
In the year of 2008, God made it clear that we were no longer to attend New Hope Independent Baptist Church. The Sunday that we told the Hope Kids is a Sunday I’ll never forget. We were all in tears because we thought we were going to have to leave our ministry, that had blossomed into family, for good. With tears we said goodbye. But praise be to God, He, through many circumstances, gave the Hope ministry back to us.
Later on I’ll post some stories about what happened next.
My name is Katrina Hard. I live in Hot Springs, Ar. and am a freshman (or freshwoman) at Champion Baptist College. My major is Secondary Ed. with my interest in Math and -- well, either History or English. I was homeschooled all the way through elementary and high school. I was born in Scotland, spent my childhood in Italy, and have spent my teen years in Memphis. I enjoy talking about dinosaurs, the Hope Kids, and the many things God has done for me.