Hard Lessons Learned.
(A Page From The Life Book Of Theodore H. Epp—Back to the Bible Founder)
On the fifth of July, 1939, during that first year of the ministry, our pantry was empty except for a can of beans and a little bacon. And we had only three cents in the cash box.
Our oldest daughter, then six, offered to go to the dairy and get a bottle of skim milk, which cost three cents. My heart was thoroughly discouraged. I paced the floor.
A week had gone by, and we had not received one single letter. This was Thursday. Friday’s broadcast was paid for, but we didn’t have one cent with which to pay for the broadcast the following week. What should we do? What could we do?
We prayed and searched the Word of God. We ate our breakfast of skim milk and the little cereal that was left.
We had never missed a meal before, but we planned to skip dinner and eat what was left for our evening meal.
Just about dinner time, a dear lady came to visit us. We invited her to dinner even though we were ashamed to serve only the beans and bacon, and she accepted.
Before she left she pressed a bill into our hands and said, “God has sent me with this.”
We had not gone hungry for one meal; nor did we need to go hungry for the next. God had again supplied for another day’s meals, but the Broadcast had not received one penny.
About the middle of the afternoon, my wife came into my study with a verse from Job 13: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (v. 15). We then and there settled the matter. Since God had sent us to Nebraska, it was His responsibility not only to feed us, but to keep the Broadcast on the air. We purposed to believe Him, regard-less of what might happen.
I read my Bible for hours but found no particular Scripture to encourage me, with the exception of the one Mrs. Epp had quoted and a portion of another verse which read, “For I shall yet praise him” (Ps. 42:11). I could not see how I could praise God for that day, for I had been pouting and almost accusing Him all day long. But He answered our prayers, and the next day the need for the Broadcast was met.
One month later, on August 5, I opened a letter at the post office which had been sent from Nigeria, Africa. It came from a very dear missionary friend of ours. In it was a brand new, crisp, five-dollar American bill! At once my thoughts went back to the fifth of July. I looked on the letter to see when it was written. Yes, it had been sent on the fifth of July with a little statement, “God told me to send it to you for the radio.”
I do not remember who was in the post office, nor do I know what they may have thought, but I broke down, as a child, and wept. Right there I began to praise God for that day when in discouragement we almost gave up. At once He spoke to me and said, “I will keep the broadcast on the air, even though I have to send funds from Africa to make this possible.” —Theodore H. Epp
Read a related article, a book review written by the blogger on one of his books – A brief history of Back to the Bible
Confident Living Magazine ( A Back to the Bible Publication)