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Posted by: John_Hamilton on 08/04/2012 09:53 AM Updated by: John_Hamilton on 08/04/2012 09:57 AM
Expires: 01/01/2017 12:00 AM
:

Respirit – 23 “Single Mom’s Auto” By Catherine Cornish

Angels Camp, CA...You may remember I recently wrote a column that vaguely described a gift I had received. I made reference to being in danger and in desperation, and that God scooped me up and gave me exactly what I needed. Well, today I get to add the detail to that story. I am so excited because it is indeed a fantastic story. More importantly, it is a story that reminds us not only of the goodness of Our Lord, but that good people still exist right here on earth....



Several months ago, I came to the conclusion that I needed a new car. Well, not a new car, but a different car. There were a lot of reasons for this decision, some of which are not relevant to the story. I had been driving a Honda Odyssey, which is of course a minivan. I use it for the Christian school that I own (Little Angels Preschool) to pick up children for our after-school program. We also use it at least weekly to transport teenagers to and from our church’s youth group or to any other church-related event. So, as I looked for something else, I couldn’t help but think I absolutely had to have another minivan. As I considered more affordable options, I would constantly look in my rear view mirror to find 7 wonderful children with me. My life just needs a minivan. With all my cancer-related expenses though, my wallet needed like a 1979 Corolla.

Finally, with my back up against the wall, I found myself with no car at all. There’s a humbling experience for you. I have had a car since I was 15 years old. There is a horrible human tendency to make our cars part of our identity. I am no exception to that. God constantly warns us not to invest our hearts, minds, or worship on material things. “They are the enemies of the cross of Christ… who set their mind on earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19). Perhaps we Americans are the absolute worst in this regard.

So one day when I was at work, one of my recently graduated students came back to visit his former classmates and me, his former teacher. He brought cookies, and a hug, and his wonderful mother who I have known for 20+ years. As I shared with her my struggle, she asks, “Do you know what my father-in-law does?” I sat there in awe as she described his ministry to me.

Though he is a successful local dentist, Dr. Ron Neufeld also operates several charities under the name The Ogopogo Foundation. One of these projects is Single Moms’ Auto. As someone who has always loved cars of all kinds, and as a true servant of Our Lord, Dr. Neufeld donates cars to women in need. He finds vehicles, fixes them up however necessary, and finds deserving women who need them. These women must be working, trying as diligently as possible to provide for themselves and their children. They usually have suffered a hardship like me, such as an abusive relationship or a health issue. These women must not be living with a man. This was, in particular, such a huge affirmation to my boyfriend and me who strive every day to conduct ourselves and our relationship in a Godly way. We proudly hold ourselves to a standard that will set an example for the children in our church and to our own children… to our community… all to glorify God. Is it always easy? Absolutely not! Would it be easier or cheaper to share a home? Of course! Would it be simple to justify a reason to escape the Word of God with some pathetic human excuse? Easily! But would we reap the eternal rewards promised to us and enjoy the blessings that He is literally heaping on us right now? Not likely.

Dr. Neufeld called me on the 4th of July – Independence Day – to share with me the amazing news that he had a car for me. His gift would certainly be granting me my independence! Not only that, but he shared that he had possessed this car since last fall, but the Lord had been telling him to wait. While he donated other vehicles to other single mothers, he held on to this one car in particular. Dr. Neufeld shared with me that God had promised him that some woman would come along who would need this car in particular.

Can you guess what kind of car it is?
So, last week, I joyously met my friend and her father-in-law at his home. After a trip to the DMV, I am the proud owner of one of Single Moms’ Auto’s donations. Yes, a minivan. I no longer have to worry about working when I’m too sick to do so, because of the burden of a car payment.
Dr. Neufeld explained to me how his process works and I was amazed, because he has essentially a whole team of local businesses who support this ministry. (BeeBack Motors and AutoBCraft in Sonora, to name a couple.) We should know that businesses such as these donate their time and labor to good people such as Dr. Neufeld and women in our community, and we should support them when we are able. Also, we should be inspired. We should be inspired by Dr. Neufeld and his team of course. We should be inspired to find how our own talents or interests can be used to serve others. Of course, most of all, we should be inspired by God. He creates us each in such a unique way that when we function together, to glorify Him, we can accomplish great things. “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…” (Romans 12:6).

Editors Note...Catherine's fight with cancer and the manner in which she has fought it publicly has been an inspiration to many. If you would like some context and a more personal look at her battle you can find it on the Caring Bridge Website Here! We would like to welcome Catherine as one of our contributors and we hope her story can help you along your journey in life.


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