Gospel Fellowship Association Missions
By Joanne Landon

The Brown Packet


One day while homeschooling, I was teaching my children about Father’s Day. I mentioned that this was a special Sunday when we remember all the things Dads do for us and thank them for all of their efforts. I mentioned how nice it is for Dads to see our love by a gift, a card, or a special meal.

David, my seven-year-old, eagerly responded, “I want to buy a gift for Daddy.”

“Well,” I replied, “we really do not have the money for a gift, but you could pray about it. I know Daddy would like a card. Make him a nice card.”

At that exact moment, there was such a loud “clunk, clunk” at the front door, I wondered if someone was breaking in! I jumped up and ran to the door. A fat brown packet had come through our letterbox and lay on the floor. (We do not have mailboxes in Scotland, like Americans do. Instead, each front door has a mail slot for delivery. To send mail, one must walk to the nearest pillar box and post their letters.)

I picked up the fat brown packet. There was no stamp or post mark, so I knew it did not come through the mail system. I quickly opened the door to see who had dropped the packet in. My friend Ilene stood there with her two children.

the brown packet 3

“Oh, hi!” Ilene said. “I thought no one was home. Your car is not here.”

“No,” I replied, relieved to see a friend and not a burglar, “Mark is out just now. Come on in. And what’s this?” I asked, holding the lumpy packet.

“Well,” Ilene grinned, “that’s the change my children and I have been collecting for you. We like to fill a coffee jar with spare change and when it is full, we give it to someone in full-time Christian service. This is your turn.”

“Oh, Ilene, you’ll never guess what just happened! David was just hoping to get his daddy something for Father’s Day, but we have no extra money.
What perfect timing—this is so exciting! And Mark is not here, so he won’t know. It’ll be a surprise.”

The children ran into the living room, emptied the packet and began counting the change. Irene and I went into the kitchen to chat over a cup of tea.

The brown packet held almost 10 pounds (about $19). I don’t remember what our children bought with it that year, but we all remember God’s most unexpected provision. Our children too were learning about the special timing of God’s provisions—even before there was a chance for them to ask!

Isaiah 65:24 “It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”

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