Christian Missionary Appliance
"But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:19
e went to New York as missionaries for Christ in 1976. We had no supporting churches, no mission board, or money. We just had faith. We lived on the forth floor of an apartment building in Brooklyn. Doing the laundry was not a simple affair for Ivete. She had to carry a hamper-load of clothing down four flights, and then walk to the laundry-mat on Fifth Avenue. She never complained. After the clothes were washed and neatly folded, put back into the basket and placed in her two-wheeled wire “buggy” she would push the load back home and then step by step lift it back up the four flights of stairs. Often, because we did not have enough money to pay for the dryer, the clothes came back wet and heavy.
She would usually tell me about her time at the laundry-mat, who she spoke to, anything unusual, and more often than not, the usual that happened. She would witness to the proprietor about Christ and we prayed that those opportunities would continue if it was the Lord’s will.
God will not always strive with man. If people refuse to listen, God sometimes stops speaking. One day she returned and was upset. The proprietor had “made a pass” at her, and made her feel very uncomfortable. What was I going to do? One option would be to confront him, maybe punch him in the nose, but that would probably make things worse. She could not go back there any longer. We needed to get a washing machine. We could not, however, afford one.
Ivete began to pray. Ivete brought this need before the Lord. There was an appliance store on 86th street, four blocks from our house. Ivete went in to look at the beautiful washing machines that were there. She was like a kid in a candy store, a kid with no money, that is. The machines were beautiful. However, they may just as well have cost a million dollars, we had so very little. As she stood there looking at an apartment size washer she took a deep breath and sighed silently. Just then something amazing happened.
A stranger, a woman stepped up close to her and spoke in a thick Greek accent and in a hushed tone, “come outside for a minute.” Who was this person, what did she want? Ivete thought “should I go?” Once they were both out on the sidewalk, the woman said “Honey, I saw you looking at that washer.” Ivete admitted that was just what she was doing, but they were expensive. “That’s why I wanted to talk to you,” the woman said. “My daughter recently bought one like that and has moved back to Greece. It is brand new and I can let you have it at a good price. What color is it?” I never would have thought the color made any difference, but Ivete was praying for a “Golden Yellow” washer. “Golden Yellow,” Ivete answered. “Well, this one is Golden Yellow, and it is brand new.” She went on, “I live on Staten Island; if you can pick it up, I will let you have it for fifty dollars.”
Ivete described this encounter when she got home. God had heard her prayer and knew our need. We had fifty dollars. That’s “all” we had, fifty dollars. It was enough. We drove across the Verrazano Bridge and picked up the answer to Ivete’s prayer. We used that washing machine for seven years. That this Greek woman would be in the appliance store at that precise moment, that Ivete would be there with meager resources, was not coincidence, but providence. That many have entertained angels unawares is no surprise to Ivete. When a man acted like a devil, God sent an angel who had a washing machine just the right color, just the right size, and just the right price, in just the right time. We no longer have that washer, but we still have the same faith. When faith brings our hearts into alliance with God, God can supply any needed appliance. -id