How Margie Became “Mom” (an excerpt)

by Margie Randall with Susan Murphy

ATCO MargieRandall LoavesFishes

One morning while I was in Thailand, I asked God what He wanted me to pray about and I clearly heard the word “Bhutan.” After looking up information on Bhutan, I began sporadically praying for the country and its King. Over time, God put such a love for that country and its people on my heart that I tried to arrange to go there with a mission organization, but the opportunity never materialized. Something always seemed to prevent me from going.

A call came in September 2008 that turned out to be God’s answer to my prayers for Bhutan, but not in the way I had expected. A friend phoned to say that Bhutanese people were living in Houston. I felt such excitement! I was never allowed to go to the Bhutanese, but that was because God saw fit to bring them to me. And I had no idea why they were here; I was just glad they were. God had begun preparing my heart, and filling it with love for the Bhutanese people that morning I prayed in Thailand.

God gave me a desire to help refugees from other countries as well. While taking pictures for a Baptist General Convention prayer walk, I met people of all nationalities at an apartment complex and saw needs that deeply touched my heart. As early as 10 a.m. police officers were already on patrol.  They explained to me that many residents became involved in selling drugs to help their families survive. I also met a young girl who was being prostituted to help her family. My heart ached as I saw the deplorable condition of the playground and burglar bars on a building where children used to meet to learn about Jesus.

Friends began giving me clothing, which I gave directly to the Bhutanese people from the back of my car each week when I visited their apartments. Eventually, I felt God directing me to do something that was very scary: quit my job and work with them full time. I had some savings, but not enough for “indefinitely.” I felt as though I was being asked to get out of my comfortable boat and walk on water.

The first confirmation of God’s leading to quit my job came from the missions pastor at my church. I will never forget the day that the phone rang and he said, “Margie, we heard what you are going to do and we want to support your work financially.”  I felt shock, relief, joy, gratitude and love all at once. It was just the first of many affirmations God gave that I could trust Him to provide – for all of us.

What I did not know, and what God did know, was the size of the work He had planned. It turned out that the expenses were even greater than I initially expected. But God again came to my rescue through friends who came to me and promised their financial assistance. I wept at God’s faithfulness because I had not filed to become a non-profit organization, which meant I could not give my friends a tax receipt for their gifts. I met with the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) and learned that they would help as well, and as the size of the work continued to grow they responded with additional monthly support. It was obvious that God was touching hearts to give so that His work and His will could be accomplished. There is no question that God knows our future, and He provides for it.

Hundreds of people have been helped with donations of food, blankets, clothing for every season, emergency food, medicine, transportation – to and from – the many hospital and doctor visits, and more. My greatest pleasure has been to help children, giving them school shoes, backpacks and school supplies. Another huge blessing has been to work with a great group of volunteers, and to see how God is touching their hearts.

We are touched through the smile on the face of a young boy when a soccer ball is put into his hands, or through the light in a little girl’s eyes when she hugs a new stuffed animal. And God affirms our willingness to serve Him through the look of appreciation from parents when their entire family receives much needed clothing. The delight I see in their faces is more than enough reward for me. But I get a bonus: experiencing the blessing of God’s provision as one who gives and one who receives; it is an adventure I would not trade for anything else in the world.

 

We can reach the world by starting in our own corners here in Houston. Read the full article here: http://www.ubahouston.org/initiatives/community-transformation/good-deeds/social-justice/refugees/margie-s-days/mom-to-the-bhutanese