My name is Jackie and I have been attending ICC with my parents for years now. My mother encouraged my dad, my sister and I to attend ICC after a friend had invited her to a service there. Since then, our lives have transformed for the better. Mom taught us the importance of prayer and faith. She gave us the opportunity to accept the Lord into our lives, and honestly I have no idea where we'd be without Him.
We've had our share of financial troubles throughout the years but always have more than enough to pay all the bills, buy groceries, and little extra after that for whatever we might need. I see my parents tithe and give a part of every paycheck and have witnessed the blessings the Lord pour out on my family. My mom works in the billing department at a doctor's office and has received several pay raises over time. My dad is a truck driver and owner of two tractor trailers. To this day, our family has constantly prayed for guidance in making these large financial decisions, and with God's help we are able to go through with them confidently.
Recently, this year actually, we were flooded with financial troubles. Never in our lives have we been so behind on payments and low on money. My sister and I try to help as much as we can but with her own bills and my student worker position there's only so much we can contribute.
Our tractor-trailers have a nasty habit of breaking down at the most inconvenient times and for the most unbelievable reasons. In case you don't know (until recently, neither did I) parts for these trucks can be VERY expensive. My parents, however, kept their faith through it all and we pray frequently, but the physical wear it has placed on my parents is obvious. My dad works so much every week during his 3 rest days to make sure the trucks get fixed (and we all know how hot Brownsville is) when he should be using those hours to rest before his next trip. My mom has been very stressed with late payments, working over-time, and having insufficient funds notices. Even the furniture company has come by a couple of times due to more late payments. I discuss these problems with my parents and it worries me how many more financial punches we can take before we finally crack. But they never complain. They give, pray, and remind me that I should use these situations to learn that by having faith, the Lord cannot and will never fail you.
One day I asked my dad about some of the troubles we were having that week, and I remembered the sermon Pastor Bob had given the previous Sunday. It was about how once you pray to God about your worries, they are lifted from you and it's not right to keep worrying after that. We should have faith that the Lord will help us. It really stuck with me, and I kept praying for my parents. All I could think was, when we get through this, my parents are going to receive so much from the Lord. I could feel it. I don't know how to explain it but I could feel it. I even mentioned to my mom a couple of times that once this was all over, her and my dad were going to be so blessed.
Earlier this week, after months and months of craziness, my mom received a letter from a former employer saying we needed to fill out some forms and return them to receive a possible payout. We were confused, but we did it anyway. The next day my mom called me and said she spoke to a rep from the company and asked how much this "payout" was going to be. The lady informed my mom that as of right now her amount was over $6,000 dollars, but the company was still working out the numbers so it is sure to be more than that. We will be receiving this money sometime in September. The relief in my mom's voice was indescribable. There's nothing I can say to explain how much joy, praise, and love I felt. My parents will overcome their trial, and it's all because of the Lord. Without God, none of this would have been possible.
I am 20 years old and currently a senior at UTB and will be graduating this December with a Bachelor's in Biology. I have been working on campus a little over a year now and tithe with every paycheck I receive. To graduate this December I needed to take a class during the summer. I usually do not qualify for financial aid during summer semesters (I've tried before, even had to take out a loan last summer). So I was very hesitant but I applied for financial aid assistance for the summer anyway, even though I knew I wouldn't receive any money. I had other payments to take care of, and I did not want to ask my parents to pay for this summer class because they could not afford to spend extra money. During this time Pastor Bob preached about finances (and I believe even gave a testimony about a student). So I prayed all of Spring semester and tried to save as much as I could, completely dreading for summer to come around. The month of June arrived and I received an email saying I had been awarded $1000 to pay for my summer class! I had enough for summer school and even $200 left over after paying for the course. I could not believe what had happened. After a few calculations, I realized that the total amount of tithe I had given from every paycheck since I began working was the same as the cost of my summer class. This meant that the Lord blessed me with the amount of money I had tithed and more.
This year has been a wild one with many bumps but we overcame them. A couple of weeks ago I even had the opportunity to afford a brand new car all on my own. I am grateful to God for all the experiences my family has had this year. I hope others realize how much lives can change for the better with prayer and faith.