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Metro Christian Fellowship is an evangelical charismatic church on the south side of Kansas City, Missouri. Our worship services embrace heartfelt worship, expression of spiritual gifts, prayer for the sick and teaching from the Bible. Visit us at our website.

A Financial Miracle for the Schneider Family

I (Fred) would like to tell you about a financial miracle that greatly impacted our family. Mike Bickle, the founder of Kansas City’s International House of Prayer, has said that God is just looking for ways to “wow” everyone who gets involved in a financial miracle - from the giver, to the receiver, to the ones who hear the resulting testimony.
When my contract job in California ended on December 31, 2004, we had already decided to move to Kansas City to attend the Intro to IHOP course. However, we were facing some tremendous financial pressures, and definitely in need of a miracle.
So, prompted by Mike Bickle’s teaching as noted above, my wife, Gretta, and I took a step of faith by “sowing“ my last and final paycheck from that contract job right back into the Kingdom of God. We gave it to various ministries that God had used over the years to touch our lives.
We knew that if we had used that money as we typically would by depositing it in the bank and writing checks against it, the funds would have only covered a few of our already overdue bills. Then, we would still be facing tremendous needs because we were planning to make a big cross-country move.
Not only had my job in California come to an end, but Gretta had just finished up her five year job as accountant with a Christian radio station syndicate.
To make matters worse, we needed to somehow come up with tuition for our IHOP course, and we were planning to move halfway across the country to an area where neither of us had any contacts or knowledge of the job market. What a pickle we were in!
So, contrary to all sound, logical, and fiscally responsible thinking, we sowed the money into God's work - taking the Bible literally when it says that “with God, ALL THINGS are possible.”
We had a family meeting and told our children that we were going to give this money toward ministry, and then we prayed together and asked the Lord to “show-off” and move on our behalf.
We boldly asked God to give us a TEN-FOLD RETURN on the amount we were about to sow, because when we added up our projected needs for the next three months, the needed amount came to approximately ten times the amount of my paycheck. We didn’t need $630 (my final paycheck) … we needed $6,300!
We did not tell anyone outside of our little family circle about our sowing in expectation of a ten-fold miracle return. However, we were counseled by our pastor to simply let it be known to our family and friends that we were planning to move to an International missions base in Kansas City, and if anyone would like to give towards that move, we would gladly receive any assistance offered.
This was a humbling experience for us, but definitely part of God’s plan.
Well, now we come the exciting part: Over several months, Gretta, the accountant in the family, kept accurate records as friends and family from all over gave financial gifts toward our adventurous move as we headed off to Kansas City … including a $1,000 donation from an old family friend living in Qatar over in the Middle East!
Approximately three months after we began this process, Gretta sat down in our apartment in South KC to look at the family finances. She was shocked and amazed to discover that we had received exactly $100 less than the amount we were asking for – a literal ten-fold return on the amount that was originally “sown” in faith.
Thrilled, but a bit perplexed, she forgot about it until later that same afternoon when she opened a card that came in the mail that day. It had been sent to us by her brother, and it contained a check made out for exactly $100.
The check was accompanied by a thoughtful card that said the following: “I woke up a couple of days ago and had the distinct impression from God to send this. I hope this arrives in time for whatever reason.”
Wow! Equally amazing is the fact that ever since the day we received that final $100 check, we have not received another penny in “donations”. What an amazing, wonder-working God we serve!We hope and trust you are as “wowed” about this financial miracle as we were and still are. This was certainly a miracle from God’s hand, and it has made a lasting impression on our family which we will never forget.

Financial Testimony-Scott O'Brien

As with all long journey’s it began simple enough. I was living by myself in a one bedroom apartment making about 30k a year. At the time, I thought the concept of having a credit card was a bad idea, but after receiving the envelope that promised “0%”, I decided to follow the crowd’s idea to have a card to build credit and for any emergencies. I was confirmed for a 5K credit limit with 0% interest for the first 12 months, and placed the card in my wallet to supposedly collect dust.

Psychologically, having access to 5k in funds when you only have $300 per month in discretionary income is dangerous. Soon things happened that began the downward spiral into debt. My wife, who had been my girlfriend for a year at the time, needed a new car, more so out of convenience than necessity. Up to this point, and the year to follow, I had no relationship with Christ. We started shopping around and found the perfect used minivan. After doing research, we landed on a selling price of about 14k for the one year old van. We patted ourselves on the back for such a good purchase, and then came my brilliant idea. Since I had a credit card just collecting dust in my wallet, how about putting a $1,000 down payment on the van with my card? After all, financing 1k at 0% interest is better than having it financed at 6%.

I told my future wife that I would make the down payment on the credit card on the stipulation that we would move in together, in sin, a concept that was still foreign to me. After all, if we could eliminate the living expenses of one of us, then we could pay the $1,000 off and make extra payments on the van, so I pushed the idea. She grudgingly agreed. As a result of this one transaction we ended up with a 14k car loan, 1k in new credit card debt, and a choice to live in a way that would bring us no blessings. All of these factors caused unbelievable hardships in both our lives and finances. My future wife came to her senses later and decided that we would not be moving in together. I didn’t understand her reasons at the time and we broke up, albeit for a month. Later, I learned greatly to respect the hard line she took. As I became a Christian, I was thankful that we never moved in together. Regardless, we still had the debt.

The next year began some transitions. I lost my job twice that year. Since I had no savings, I used my credit card to pay bills and get by. My future wife also had some financial issues and we used my credit card to cover several of her bills as well. Add to this the use of the card for impulse buys, and the debt started to mount. The balance was growing faster than my salary.

In October of 2002, one year after purchasing the car, I had lost my job. I was at the bottom. Then one day, while driving in my debt laden car, I came to Christ. The next 10 months I worked 60 hrs a week as a temp, using the overtime pay just to keep afloat. My future wife and I still managed to increase the debt load with little things, like eating out and planning for a very modest wedding. Working as a temp is a challenge because you never know when it could be your last day. This was a great time for me to trust in the Lord. As I increased my faith, more doors were made open to me. I was eventually hired as a permanent employee and have continued to work for this firm, doubling my starting pay in 6 years.

During this time, we decided to have my wife quit her job one month before the wedding. We thought that with our combined income and decreased bills, this would be good timing for her to find a job that would be less demanding and allow her to spend more time with her daughter, my future adopted daughter. Two months after we were married, my wife was pregnant and never went back to work.

One income put a stress on our finances, but the rewards of my wife staying at home were great. In reality, we had a negative cash flow for the first year. With a negative cash flow, we found ourselves using our credit card even more. We ended up getting a second card as well. While our blessings were multiplying, our debt was too. At this point in 2003, we had two cards and two cars worth of debt. In 2004, our daughter was born and we bought a house, financing 7k of debt into the house. But even with this transfer, we still had some debt left on the cards. We were too ignorant at the time to cut them up so the debt became as high as 17k with no savings and nothing to show for it.

The year 2006 was an amazing rollercoaster. At this point the van started to fall apart. We had our first son in May, and after a miraculous delivery, my wife and I were on cloud nine. “Debt, what debt? I’m just clag my wife and child are well.” That’s what I thought until a hospital administrator came in and said “I’m your case worker, and I was wondering why you delivered at this hospital since you don’t have insurance here.” The smile immediately left my face. Somehow that hospital fell out of our network in 2006. We would have to come up with all the money to pay for the birth. The bottom fell out financially. God again saw us through that situation. Because the delivery ended up being an emergency and we had no other options, the insurance ended up covering the birth. Glory to God!

Other things started falling into place; the van, the start of all debt, was going to be paid for, and I was going to get a raise, which would increase our cash flow by almost $350. Unfortunately, that was a full month away, and we needed to pay some bills now. I talked to my wife about how dire our situation was. We agreed that we would ask my wife’s parents for a bridge loan, an amount of money that would get us through the next month until our cash flow turned positive. Her parents had some reluctance, but they extended the loan. It wasn’t a large sum, just what we needed for the bridge, but it marked the beginning of the end. I am very thankful for their generosity. From August 2006 until present, we have not taken on any new debt.

Once our van was paid for, my Saturn died forever. We were now a one car family, but had no intentions of getting a car loan. Again, my wife and I prayed for God’s provision. During this time of waiting, our life group leaders decided to do the Dave Ramsey financial study. Although I was against this concept, I relented and put money down on faith. Following this decision, we received a phone call from a wonderful family in our church, who decided to give us their spare truck! I never would have thought such a thing was possible. God had a plan, and we faithfully followed it. It is amazing what can happen when you just wait.

We continued with the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University with our life group, and have held to the principles we learned since January 2007. One by one, we have watch credit card debt fall away. During 2008, we also became parents of twins. Talk about your double portion of blessing. It is one of the most awesome things God has blessed us with. It is truly a unique and wonderful experience.
When you are close to a goal, the enemy will try all kinds of things to derail you. In October, I crashed the truck beyond repair. We were a one car family once again. Because my wife needed a car to transport the kids to home school coop, this was a very bad circumstance. But God gave us friends that work from home who allowed us to borrow their car so that my wife could take the kids to school on Mondays. We had to put our debt snowball on hold. In its place, we began a car savings snowball. After 3 months of saving, we were able to buy a 15 passenger van with cash. It was the van we always wanted and it came without debt. This happened just 3 short weeks ago.
Since that time, we have received our tax refund and paid the bulk of our remaining debt. On February 6, 2009, we made our final payment toward debt. God has a plan for us after this adventure. It might be just sharing our story. In this difficult time in our nation, we need stories of redemption. I have a desire to lead Financial Peace University classes in my church. This is the time for us to all take up the yoke of Christ. Where your money is, your heart is also.

A Hope and a Future - by Cecilia York

My husband, Kelvin, and I had been married for two years when we thought it time for us to have a family. However, it wasn’t turning out the way we wanted. The doctor told us that it wouldn’t be possible for me to get pregnant. That was horrible news; we love children and we had a strong desire to become parents. We knew that everything is possible to God, no matter what the doctors think. So, we prayed and cried out to God, “Please, Lord, bless us with a baby!” But as the years went by with no answers from God, we thought maybe it wasn’t for us. During that time, Kelvin worked at St. Luke’s Hospital in the evening shift as a Patient Care Technician. While he worked, I prayed and cried to God, asking Him, “Lord, where are you?” Then one night I realized that I was asking God for a blessing when He wasn’t willing for that blessing to happen yet. So I asked God what He wanted me to do. In my thoughts came the word: FORGIVENESS.

I grew up in a dysfunctional family, which was not easy for me. My father left us when I was a baby, so my mother took all her frustrations out on me. My older sister followed my mother’s attitude towards me. I always thought I deserved it, because I was too ugly, worthless, good for nothing, and wasn’t worth anything to anyone. The Lord reminded me that I was carrying a heavy load of pain and resentment against my family. That night I changed the way I prayed, “Lord, help me to forgive them, help me to forget my past!!” Every night I spent time with God, I cried with so much pain inside of me, “Heal me Lord, this is too painful!!” One night I was pleading to God for His divine help, when all of a sudden I felt His presence around me, and peace fell over me. I stopped crying and felt better. I knew that my Lord healed me that night; finally I felt joy in me. A few days after that, my sister called me for the first time in many years and invited us over for Christmas. I accepted the invitation very happily, and knew that God was doing something on purpose. That Christmas was the best Christmas ever; for the first time we asked each other for forgiveness, and felt love around us. I thanked God for preparing my heart. I was free of resentment, and instead my heart was full of forgiveness. After we got home that day, there was a peace and love around Kelvin and I.

Around January, Kelvin came home from work with tears in his eyes. When I asked what happened, he told me to get ready; you will be a mom very soon. What?! He was taking care of this patient who had been unconscious for three days, but one night he just sat up and said, “Kelvin, you have a beautiful son! He’s standing next to you.” Kelvin was stunned, how did the man know his name in the first place? How could he have woken up, said those words, and then just go back to sleep? The man’s wife was a witness to this. She told Kelvin that he had better believe it, because her husband loves the Lord strongly and was a deacon at his church. We finally had hope again that God was going to bless us with a baby.

In March around my birthday, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. We told ourselves not to get too excited until we saw the doctor, but it was very hard not to be excited. That night when I finally fell asleep, I had a beautiful dream. I asked, “Jesus, is this you?” He said, “You are pregnant, and it is a boy.” I told Him in my dream thank you, thank you. He said, “But I want you to do something.” He said, “Follow me,” and took me to Noah’s ark; inside of it were the 12 apostles preaching to people. He said, “I want you to help him to become just like them.” In my dream I told Him, “I promise to you Jesus, I promise.” I woke up, and after telling Kelvin, we both knew that I was pregnant and it was going to be a baby boy. The next day, the doctor told us, you are very pregnant, but don’t tell anybody yet, because at your age we don’t know if this is going to happen or not. But nothing is impossible for God; I was 39 years old and pregnant. As soon as we left the doctor’s office we told friends and family the good news. After 10 years of waiting, God blessed us with a beautiful, healthy boy, because it was in God’s timing, not ours.

Since I became a Christian, I’ve loved Jeremiah 29:11-13. It reminds me that my Lord has given me so much in my life. He has given me hope and a great future. “‘For I know the thoughts I think toward you,’ says the Lord. ‘Thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you future and hope. Then you’ll call upon Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’”.

Cecilia York

What Kind of “Zilla” are You? - Heather Trent Beers

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5)

Godzilla: a gargantuan lizard that terrorized New York City in the movies.
Bridezilla: someoone who makes life miserable for others in order to have her dream wedding.
Too bad those examples are not confined to TV. Do you know someone like this?
Cleanzilla: someone who rants and raves when dirty socks and dishes are left on the floor, in a bedroom, or in the family car rather than “where I told you to put them three hours ago!”
Fashionzilla: someone who shops (often without regard to the family budget) so she (or he) can “have something to wear” or who pouts and makes life unbearable for others because she (or he) “has nothing to wear.”
Dietzilla: someone who is going to lose weight “if it’s the last thing I do” and who makes sure that those around her start praying for the end to come quickly.
Those examples hit too close to home with me. And when I read Philippians 4:5, I was completely struck out.
As a woman (or man) who professes devotion to Jesus, do you have a few Zilla tendencies of your own? Or do you make it your goal to please Him (2 Cor. 5:9)?
Challenge: Ask the Lord to show you your own ugly Zillas. Then, humbly repent, knowing that the Holy Spirit loves you and is there to help you in your weakness.
Lord, I don’t want to be a Zilla of any kind. Make me a new creation. I want to please You.