The Tractor

A “PFP Moment” from David Donahue in Virginia:

“Beale Memorial Baptist Church is in the small community of Tappahannock, VA. Our church runs about 230 on a Sunday and we are active in a variety of ministry endeavors throughout our community and region…. We are a fairly mission minded people and try to remain open to creative ways to express our faith in a practical manner.

Last summer a member of our church traveled to Ghana to distribute mosquito nets in the northern part of that country. While there he met a church planter name Emmanuel Mustaffa. Muss has had wild success in planting churches. At that time he had helped plant over 80 in just under two years. His goal is 400 by 2010. Along with the starting of churches he has built a school, is helping farmers, and training leaders. While our fellow was with him for the day, he told Bryan that his ministry needed a tractor. He was very specific about what type of tractor he needed and said that he was waiting for God to provide the perfect one.

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God’s timing… Bryan farms about 5,000 acres of land in VA. Bryan knows tractors. Muss showed him the land that would be cultivated. Discussed what the needs were and said that he would wait for God’s timing. Bryan told him in that our church would buy him the tractor…he didn’t put a time on delivery. But promised that we would get his ministry a tractor.

Upon Bryan’s return to church he was giving us a report of his trip. At the conclusion he told the story about the tractor and how he promised Muss that we would provide. At first I was a little perturbed that he would offer a tractor when we:

  • Were in the midst of a major building campaign.
  • Were buried in debt.
  • Had no spare money to spend on buying a tractor.
  • The pastor did not want to begin a mission campaign to buy a tractor for Ghanaian farmers.

Bryan continued to speak, my heart began to soften. The deacons were sold as well and we thought that God would use us to raise money for months on end to buy this tractor, implements, shipping costs etc.

After that meeting I told a fellow member about the opportunity. They were excited, but not too excited. I told a second family and they gave me $20,000 to help buy a tractor!

Interesting thing. The tractor Musstaffa needed cost right at $30,000. We had $20,000. Bryan told the tractor dealer his story and they knocked $10,000 off the price. We had our brand new tractor for $20,000. Another side note….the money this family gave us came from their stock holding. The company was Bear Stearns. If they had held onto their stock, that same gift would have been worth less than $100 right now.”

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