The Contribution

November 16th at 9:01 a.m. will mark ten years of being Director at a Crisis Pregnancy Center.

I have constantly sought and asked God for his guidance, wisdom, and direction.  This story is one of those memorable times.

A few years ago, I was sitting beside a pastor at a church function and noticed a young woman.  I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something about the way she carried herself.  It was a quiet confidence.

I asked him who she was, then I made a bold statement I have NEVER said before. 

“There’s something about her,” I said.  “If I had the money, I would hire her.” 

I kept noticing how she conducted herself.  At the end of the weekend, she approached me to talk about her interest in volunteering at the Center.

She was taken aback by my response.  “I’ve been watching you throughout the weekend.  I want you to know that if I had the money, I would hire you to work at the Center.”

A few weeks went by.  A gentleman in one of the Center’s programs asked if he could donate.  We never want clients to feel as though they need to make donations.  “We have many, many, people who believe in what happens at the Center.  It is very kind of you to want to do that.  Why don’t you wait until after you’ve completed the program?  If you still feel inclined, you could contribute then.”

Weeks later, he recognized how much his life had changed for the better.  He insisted on contributing.  “I’m in a position to help,” he said. “Please tell me of a need that you have.”

I told him I would pray about it and let him know. 

A few weeks later, myself and two friends of mine, were on a motorcycle trip.  I received a text from him.  “Have you thought about a financial need I can fill yet?”

I felt uncomfortable with the request.  I had no idea how to reply. 

“I’m sorry.  I don’t know how to respond.  How much money are you talking about?”

We had stopped to fill our bikes with fuel.  He responded.  “I was thinking $25,000.”  I almost fell off my bike.

That night, I told my friends about the donation.  “I have no idea what to do with that kind of money!”

The next morning, we talked and prayed as we always did.  One of the stories I shared with them was about the young woman I had seen weeks earlier.

Sometimes, you need someone to help you see the forest for the trees.

“Melony, I don’t know what your problem is,” Becky said. “God has clearly shown you a person you should be hiring at the Center.  And now He’s providing you with the money to hire her.”

I prayed.  Hard.  God, is this what you want?  Am I hearing You correctly?

Within two days, I called the young woman and offered her a position.  She just happened to be on the roof of a house, helping her father shingle it.  She’s not afraid of hard work.

She accepted the position.  Here we go.  Lord, I pray you are behind all of this.

A few months went by.  The man called.  “I’d like to speak with you,” he said.  We set up an appointment for him to come in the next day.

“I’ve changed my mind,” he said.

Oh great . . .  See!  You weren’t listening correctly!  What are you going to do now?  You’ve already hired this woman!

“I’ve changed my mind,” he said again as he reached into his pocket.  “I’ve changed my mind about the amount.”

He handed me a cheque.

It was for $50,000.




“Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together through all kinds of trouble.”—Proverbs 17:17 (The Message Version)

“That’s interesting,” I thought, as my friend Kate read from her devotion that morning.  It was the same scripture that had been revealed during a previous time of adversity.  She continued to read.  “If you have Godly friends, love and nurture those relationships as though your life depends on them, because it does.”

My eyes teared.  Kate is my best friend.  We have stood beside and propped each other up through some tough times.  Times like her daughter passing away in an accident in 2011.  Times like my son-in-law passing away two years later.  Times like both of us being ready to throw in the towel on the ministries that God has called us to.  She is a “friend that loves through all kinds of weather.”

Although the wind started to blow from the same direction it had the previous day, it was a beautiful morning.  Kate, my eleven-year-old grandson Alex, and myself were on a kayak trip on the Qu’Appelle river. 

The day before had already proved to be an adventure.  We had taken a couple of breaks along the banks of the river, but as we tried to find a place to camp for the night, there was nowhere in sight to get out.  The embankments were too high and steep.  Finally, after seven hours of paddling, we found a spot.  A herd of magnificent horses kept peering over the embankment at us.  It was their watering spot.  You could practically read their thoughts as they flicked their ears. “Yep, they’re still there,” they said to each other as they trotted away.

Alex was asleep early.  We had found wood for a fire and Kate and I warmed ourselves as shooting stars burned their way through the clear night.  It was breathtaking. 

“Grandma, I’m not feeling well,” Alex said after Kate finished reading her devotion the next morning.  Then he started vomiting.

We took turns towing him a few times the day before.  Kate’s kayak was longer and sleeker than mine.  Even when she towed Alex, it was hard for me to keep up. 

“No problem Alex,” I said.  “I will tow you.  All you have to do is sit in the kayak until we reach our destination.”  Kate and I looked at each other.  The long day before had already taxed our bodies.  So, she insisted on towing Alex, knowing we would reach our destination sooner.

After we launched, I started to become sick.  At one point, Alex and I vomited over the sides of our kayaks in unison.  I would’ve laughed, had we not been in this situation.

We kept going.  But every time we traversed an oxbow, there would be a long distance of the wind blowing straight at us.  It was strong enough that if we stopped, it would blow us back against the current.

The reception on our cell phones wasn’t great, but I managed to call my daughter, Jodie, to let her know we would hopefully be at a spot soon where she could pick up Alex.  But the reception wasn’t sufficient to load the GPS on our phones.  We had no idea how much farther it was.

I could see the worried look on Alex’s face.  His condition was not improving.  Things were starting to look bleak.

Kate steered her kayak into the reeds.  Her neck muscles were in extreme pain and she had an eye condition that was rearing its ugly head.  She felt as though daggers were being driven into her eyes.  She needed to keep them closed.

“Mel, I’ve lost hope.  I feel like I’m going to pass out.  I don’t think I can go on.”

It just got bleaker.

Kate was my rock.  And she was one tough cookie.  If she was losing hope . . .

I took one look at my grandson’s face.

“This is not a problem,” I said as I tied a rope onto Kate’s kayak, then mine.  “I will tow both you and Alex.  We will make it.”

No one said a word.  A strength from a deep, deep, place came out of nowhere. 

The wind continued to blow.  I could hear Kate and Alex’s moans as we rounded each bend, only to see another long stretch of river.  But we kept moving.  With me in front, Kate could paddle most of the time with her eyes closed.

Finally, the lake loomed ahead.  But the wind blew harder.  A building emerged in the distance, but it was miles away.  We would never make it.  Alex continued to vomit over the side of his kayak. 

“Grandma, what are we going to do?” he asked, his voice shaking.

I looked around.  And prayed.  “I’m calling Uncle Rod,” I said.

‘Uncle Rod’ is my other son-in-law.  Within minutes and without hesitation, he dropped everything.  

Time ticked away.  “Grandma, what if he doesn’t make it?  What if he can’t find us?”  Storm clouds started gathering overhead.

“He will be here.”

The sound of a motor was heard, and there in the distance, relief filled our hearts.  Rod, and my daughter Lindsey, were coming to rescue us and tow us home.

I didn’t realize how desperate it appeared to Kate until we were safe in the truck.  “Honestly, Mel, at times, I was ready to press the 911 button on my phone.”

But there had been three towropes before Rod and Lindsey arrived.  The rope between Kate and Alex’s kayak, the rope between Kate’s and my kayak, and the rope between my kayak and the Lord’s.

“If you have Godly friends, love and nurture those relationships as though your life depends on them, because it does.” 

It wasn’t a life-threatening situation, but it affected us deeply.  Kate had worked through some safety-based issues, Alex experienced the joy of being rescued.  Me?  My faith rope was extended a few more meters.

I had prayed that my grandson would have an unforgettable, memorable experience.

It was.

The next day, tears fell as I listened to a worship song, “The wind and waves surround me . . . I am tired, I am weak, I need You here with me . . .”

He was.

Our Value...

I’m not sure how many high school students I’ve spoken to over the last few years, but it would be in the thousands.

Many of them have very low self-worth.  And I’m aware that even the ones who can appear to “have it all together” are many times wearing a mask.

Sometimes, at the end of a presentation, I will use the money analogy.

“Does one of you have a $20 bill?”  Typically, a couple of students start digging into their pockets.

“Will you allow me to use it for a demonstration?  I promise I’ll give it back.”  They smile as they hand it over.

Holding up the $20 bill, I ask if I gave the money its value.  Of course, we all agree that I didn’t.  Then I ask if they gave the money its value.  Again, we all agree they didn’t.

“So we all know that something greater gave this $20 bill its value.”  Heads nod up and down.

“Would you like to have the money?”

They all look at each other then start raising their hands and yelling, “Yes!!!”

I take the money and crumple it, spit on it, assuring them that I’m probably sick, and throw it on the floor, my heel crushing it some more.  Picking it up, I ask, “Would you still like to have it now?”

“Yes!!!” they all exclaim.

Looking them straight in the eye, I explain, “This is the way God views you.  No matter what has happened to you, or what you’ve done, you are still worth your same original value to God.  And He always wants you back.”

Tears form in some of their eyes.

I then give the money back to the student who gave it, but offer to exchange it for a clean one.  They always politely decline, and very tenderly put the dirty money back in their wallet.

After one presentation, a young woman said, “I found the $20 bill on the street the other day.  I think you’re supposed to have it….”  She insisted that I keep it.  I put it into my jacket pocket.

A few months later, my husband and I were in church and it was time for the collection.

The pastor said something he didn’t usually say.  “As you give your offering this morning, please remember that it represents you.”

I could feel something in my pocket and pulled out the money, immediately knowing I was to put it into the collection plate.

My husband said, “You can’t put that in their there.  Just look at it!  It’s dirty.”

“Oh yes I can,” I said as my eyes filled with tears.  “It represents me…”

Read More