I wish you could meet my friend Delmi. Delmi loves the Lord with all her heart, but many years ago God told her to do something that seemed impossible. She stepped out in faith to do it anyway and ever since we have been awed by God’s miraculous and seemingly impossible provision in her life. If you have ever longed for something that seemed impossible, her incredible story will inspire you.
It was ten years ago when I first met Delmi and her husband Jorge. Our Dallas church was visiting our sister church in Houston and they had graciously opened their home to my family. They lived in a small townhouse with their 5 year old daughter. The townhouse was simple but also well cared for. “You have a lovely home,” I told her as we were getting acquainted. “Thank you,” she replied. “But we are praying to be able to move out into the country so that my daughter can grow up away from the city.” Delmi and I share the belief that it is easier to commune with God in the country among nature than in the city where there are more distractions. I knew, for her, this was a goal with a spiritual purpose.
I looked around. Their little girl had a very small “yard” to play in that was all concrete and led out into the parking lot. It was not a pleasant and safe place for a child to play. There was an even smaller balcony which was an equally uninspiring place for a little girl. I imagined this sweet girl being able to run free on an acre or two covered in grass, but it seemed like an impossible dream. A lot would have to happen in order for this family to move away from their concrete world into a world with grass and trees.
When Prayer Seems To Go Unanswered
The years passed and Delmi and her daughter never stopped praying.
But nothing happened. No little farmhouse landed in her lap. So Delmi decided to move forward in faith, behaving as if she was moving to the country, and believing that God would provide for her family’s needs as she moved forward.
The first thing that had to happen was for God to change her husband Jorge’s heart. When I met their family, Jorge was a pleasant, friendly and hospitable man, but not a follower of Christ. At first he didn’t see the benefits to moving into the country. He wasn’t motivated by the same spiritual advantages that Delmi thought were so important. But as the years passed and another baby was born, he began to catch the vision. After a few years he was ready to move forward.
Moving Forward In Faith
They decided to downsize. They donated many of their belongings to charity and moved into a small apartment. And they waited for God to open the next door. But while they waited, they actively searched for the next door God might be opening for them.
They searched for a few acres they could purchase out in the country. One day they went to visit a couple of acres that was for sale. The acreage turned out to not be a good fit, but there was an 80 acre blueberry farm nearby that was for sale. It was completely out of Delmi and Jorge’s price range. As they visited with the owner, they discovered that he was sick and needed help… and they knew they could help him! Delmi and Jorge became friends with the blueberry farm owner and in exchange for working at the blueberry farm, the owner allowed them to live there. The accomodations weren’t great for a family. The cabin didn’t have a formal kitchen, but Jorge knew he could build an outdoor kitchen so that they could keep their children fed and clean. Delmi and Jorge were so excited to be able to live in the country and the owner was thankful that he had the help he needed. It was a win-win for everyone, so Delmi and Jorge moved and gave their remaining belongings to their church. They said, “Sell it and keep the profit for the church.” They couldn’t take the furniture with them and they were feeling abundantly blessed.
Her Family Thought She Had Lost Her Mind!
Now, what I haven’t told you yet is that Delmi has two adult daughters. They came to visit their mother at the farm. One look at her living without her television and furniture and cooking over an open fire had one daughter in tears. To them, Delmi and Jorge had clearly lost their minds. They cried and begged their mother to come back to the comforts of the city, but to no avail. So they promptly drove back to the city, went to the church and purchased Delmi’s furniture back from the church. They put the furniture in storage, hoping that Delmi and Jorge would come back to their senses and need the furniture one day in the near future.
(As an aside… what lovely young ladies they are to take care of their mother in that way!)
When God Answers Prayer In Unexpected Ways
Delmi and Jorge stayed at the blueberry farm. One day, Delmi was cooking stuffed peppers for lunch over her open fire. A gentleman walked up to her and began asking questions about the food she was cooking. Delmi didn’t know it at the time, but this gentleman had recently had a heart attack. He’d heard about Delmi and her vegan cooking and had been doing his research. He was fully convinced that a vegan diet could help his health condition. He visited Delmi at the farm several more times and each time she shared her knowledge and her simple meal with him. I met him this summer and he said to me, “I knew this food could keep me alive and so I wanted to keep Delmi close.” Who can blame him? When the blueberry farm went bankrupt, this gentleman and his wife had a suggestion. “I have land out in the country,” he said. “Come live on it. I want to hire Jorge to be the grounds keeper. I’ll build you a house to live in and I’d sure appreciate it if you would cook for me once in a while.”
So they moved to his land. His 6,000 acres. Yes, I said they moved to a six thousand acre home in the country.
Back in the days of the townhouse with the concrete yard, I prayed that Delmi and Jorge would find a small home on an acre or two in the country. But I didn’t have enough faith to even think about praying that they would end up managing six thousand acres!
The gentleman was true to his word. He built a little cabin for them to live in:
while they waited for the main house to be built:
He built her a dream kitchen. Do you see that fabulous wood cooking stove and the stone bread baking oven built into the wall?
I call it her service kitchen because this is an extra kitchen just outside the house. Delmi spends many hours in this kitchen cooking for others. While we were visiting she made us delicious vegan tamales. (Papa the Farmer LOVES tamales, but alas, his Canadian wife is not known for her tamale-making skills. And so he only gets a good tamale when we visit Delmi! Bless you, Delmi, for keeping my husband supplied in tamales!)
(You see? I told you Delmi is an excellent cook! No wonder this gentleman wanted to keep her and her healthy cuisine nearby.)
The kitchen windows look out into the greenhouse:
and the gardens:
Everyone who comes through Delmi’s kitchen gets to go outside and pick vegetables that will become their salad or a glass of fresh vegetable juice. Here’s the juice-waiting-to-happen that Delmi made for me. It was so fresh and delicious!
I would be remiss if I didn’t show you the view in Delmi’s front yard. What a peaceful place to go pray or read your Bible! I am swooning…
Who would have imagined, all those years ago, that my friend who lived in the little townhouse with the concrete yard would one day be raising her children out on six thousand acres! I admire Delmi because she knew without a doubt that it was God’s will for her to move into the country and so she took steps to fulfill God’s will for her life, even when her family thought she was crazy. (By the way, they don’t think she’s crazy any more!) She waited until the Lord changed her husband’s heart and then took action as if the opportunity to move had already presented itself. No sooner did she move forward toward the goal that she knew the Lord had for her family than the opportunities she was expecting happened! The Lord sent exactly the right people into her life at exactly the right times and opened exactly the right doors for her to walk through.
Why am I telling you this story?
I got a lot of emails from would-be homesteaders… City or town-dwellers who want to live in the country. People who yearn for the blessings of country life and know that God’s plan for their life involves a radical change from the life they are currently living. But, when they look at all the practical details, a move to the country seems impossible and a bit crazy, even. I want to encourage you that if God can take a woman with a no education and no money from a small townhouse to a 6,000 acre country home, He can put you exactly where He needs you to be!If God can take a woman from a small apartment to a 6,000 acre home, He can put you exactly where He needs you! Click To Tweet
Keep praying. Keep moving towards the goal. Stay encouraged.
The Unexpected Ending That Isn’t The End
I’d like to tell you that Jorge and Delmi lived happily in their country home together and served the Lord together for many decades. Unfortunately, life rarely turns out they way we want it to. Last May I received a dreadful call. Jorge had decided to take a quick weekend trip to Mexico with his niece and niece’s baby. At one point in the car ride, he noticed that the baby’s carseat was not strapped in securely enough for his liking. Instead of waiting until the next time they stopped for gas, Jorge pulled over immediately and fixed the car seat. Just a little later he fell asleep at the wheel. Stopping to secure the baby’s car seat probably saved the baby’s life. The baby’s mother broke her leg, but the baby didn’t have a scratch on her.
But sadly, Jorge was killed instantly.
Delmi and her children are – as expected – devastated. But even in this awful and unexpected circumstance we see God’s provision. Over the past several years, the Lord has led Delmi and Jorge step by step, so that now, during her time of need she would be exactly where she needs to be. In all the time I’ve known them, Delmi and Jorge always worked to serve others. Now the people whose lives they have blessed have the opportunity to bless Delmi in return. Through these people the Lord has provided Delmi with a beautiful country home and the funds to bury her husband. Through these people He has provided educational opportunities for their children and met every physical need. People want to bless Delmi and the children now because Delmi and Jorge were always such a blessing to anyone around them. Delmi won’t ever ask for anything, but she is a woman of prayer. When she has a genuine need, she prays and the mail truck comes a day or two later with a package from somebody who was inspired to send her the very thing they didn’t even know she was praying for.
If Jesus walked in to Delmi’s kitchen He would encourage her and provide for her needs. Instead, He is using His people to meet her needs. If you are part of the body of Christ, remember that you are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. When you see – or even suspect – that a fellow human being has a need, don’t ever hesitate to fill it in whatever way you can.When you see - or even suspect - that a fellow human being has a need, don't ever hesitate to fill it. Click To Tweet
That’s how the Lord works… through His people. Through you and me. Don’t ever stop praying. Don’t ever stop being faithful. And don’t ever let a need go needlessly unfulfilled.
Do you have a story of answered prayer? I would love to share it on my blog! Please contact me with your story.