Editor's note: The following article first appeared in the February/March 2012 North Dakota District Council newsletter, Echoes. We were inspired by this story and received permission to share it with our AG News audience.
One day in November 2011, Mic Rhoads, pastor of Regan (North Dakota) Assembly of God, and his then 4-year-old daughter, Dani, traveled to Bismarck, North Dakota, to pick out Christmas gifts for her brothers and sisters.
As one of five children, Dani was the only one who had been saving up change in her piggy bank. "The change added up quickly, and as promised, I took her down to my bank to cash it in once it was full," Rhoads says. "We were both shocked when it amounted to $120. She decided to spend it on her brothers and sisters, and so we made a day of picking out little gifts."
With $50 left to spend, Mic and Dani decided to stop for a lunch break since they had been shopping for hours. As they pulled up to Taco Bell, Dani noticed a homeless man on the corner. As she realized the man was without food or money, she had an idea.
"Since we frequently make it a point to model giving to our children, she knew a homeless person when she saw one," Rhoads says. "Dani asked if she could give her money to the man, and we decided on $10."
Rhoads watched as his daughter handed her money to the man, and the man began to cry. "‘Don't cry, God is with you, Jehovah Jireh will take care of you,' Dani said to him. I was a bit surprised that my 4-year-old put that together, most likely from the praise music my family enjoys," Rhoads says. "The man thanked me, and I told him I really had nothing to do with it."
Even when He uses His people, God does indeed take care of us, Rhoads thought. As he and his daughter ate their lunch, he pondered these words. Earlier that year, Mic's wife, Veronica, had become sick, and soon needed an expensive surgery to get better. With the surgery and additional medical costs, they needed to raise almost $40,000 in a short amount of time.
Medical bills were quickly mounting, and Veronica was getting sicker by the week. "We had already been juggling finances and were going under fast as we paid the thousands of dollars in doctor bills that had already added up," Rhoads says. "We needed a miracle - either healing or provision."
While they finished up their lunch, Mic and Dani prayed for "Mama." Rhoads says he found peace in that moment and believed that he had heard from the Lord that by Christmas they would have nothing to worry about. "Jehovah Jireh would provide," Rhoads says.
Soon after, Veronica, who plays the violin, began working on recording a Christmas CD to use as a fundraising tool. While the funds indeed came in, it seemed like it wasn't going to be enough. Remarkably, one by one, as people heard about their need, donations started rolling in that blew the Rhoads family away.
"A call came from a dear brother that a friend of his wanted to purchase 20 CDs for $100 each. A friend in Michigan sent a check for $1,200 for one CD - ‘keep the change!' A church in the district brought a check for $1,000 and meals for two weeks. Another church gave us a check for $2,000," Rhoads says. "One church adopted our family for Christmas, loading us down with so many gifts for our family, then took a love offering that amounted to $4,500. The week of Christmas we were down to a balance of $2,500 with the hospital - but God wasn't done. A fellow pastor met us with a check for $2,000, and the rest came in the next day."
Now, Rhoads says Veronica is doing better than ever. "We've been married for 13 years, and she is healthier than when we first met," he says. Veronica has taken up canoeing, hiking, zumba and other activities since she fell sick.
"Our need was completely met financially, and the Lord has taken care of us," Rhoads says. "God could have healed Veronica without even breathing a word - He created these bodies and it is nothing for Him to set aright that which He has created. But He chose to do something different in our situation. Jehovah Jireh provided through his people."