Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and poor you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
(Malachi 3:10, KJV)
A number of years ago while my wife and I were missionaries in Singapore, we personally experienced the proverb: “You can never ‘out give’ the Lord.”
We were mentoring a small Seventh-day Adventist church in the satellite city of Queenstown, Singapore. This little branch church, planted by young people from the large Balestier Road Church, met in a small noisy shop in a cul-de-sac between a clattering print shop and a bakery that emitted delicious smells at sermon time. We badly needed a more suitable place to meet, and a private residence for sale nearby would be just the place for a “home church”. The problem was how our congregation, composed mostly of students living “on a shoestring,” could raise the purchase price of $60,000.
My wife and I longed to make a substantial contribution toward the purchase of a new venue for the Queenstown church but couldn’t see how we could do that on our limited mission salary. One Sabbath, we invited a fellow missionary family to join us for lunch just before their scheduled permanent return to the United States. A concern of theirs was how to dispose of their family car, an older Australian Holden that had not sold because of its age and its high gas consumption. Gasoline in Singapore at that time was four dollars a gallon.
My wife and I talked it over and decided to put our newer Vauxhall car up for sale and buy our friends’ Holden. We could contribute the sizable difference in profit to the Queenstown project because we needed a car only until our own departure in two years.
We asked the Lord for sign- sell our Vauxhall in a week, thus indicating we should purchase the Holden. Our car did sell in a few days for a good price, and our friends gladly accepted our offer of $200 for the Holden. We were pleased that we could then contribute a substantial amount to the Queenstown church project.
The old Holden ran perfectly for the next two years. Then it came time for us to leave for our homeland. We wondered what we could do with the old Holden. Singapore, a very small country with too many cars on its roads, had recently passed a law that new cars could be purchased only with the trade in of an old car. I asked the Mercedes-Benz dealership if they had a need for old cars for “trade in” purposes. “Yes, we do,” they replied.
I offered to show them the old Holden, which I needed to dispose of. They said, “We don’t need to see it; we will give you $1,200 for it as it is. You drive it until the day before you leave, then bring it in, and we’ll give you the $1,200!” Just before we left, and true to their promise, they gave us $1,200– an amount six times what we had paid for the car!
Truly, when God makes a promise, He keeps it, and pours out a blessing as He promised (Malachi 3:10). What a wonderful God we serve!
-Galen H. Coffin, LLUSM class of 1949