Tim and Keri Richardson have provided foster homes to more than 70 children over the years. They have five children who are biologically their own — and they have provided “forever homes” for another seven children.
About five years ago, they were going though a rough time financially, but things got worse when one of their cars was stolen. With only one vehicle remaining, the family had to make two trips when they went anywhere. They tried a GoFundMe campaign, but they raised only $390.
Through a Texas church, Christian comedian Michael Jr. found out about the family and wanted to help. He said he didn’t feel as though God was telling him to just buy a car for them, but he felt called to give members of his audience a chance to help.
He sold tickets to a “No-Show Comedy Show,” which allowed his fans to buy tickets to a non-existent show of his — and all the money went toward a vehicle for the family. Working with a Texas car dealership, Michael Jr. selected a Nissan NV as the right vehicle for this large crew.
After everything was put into motion, the comedian went to the family’s home — and he found something quite unexpected on the family refrigerator, something which had been placed there two years before.
It was a picture of the vehicle that the family had been asking God to bring them. At the top, they had written, “God is awesome. This is our car.” And the car was a Nissan NV, exactly the vehicle that Michael Jr. had already arranged to buy for them. (You can see a copy of the old photo below.)
The family had been praying and believing for that specific vehicle for two years. Michael Jr. didn’t know that. The family certainly didn’t know what Michael Jr. was doing. But God seemed to have been leading both of them.
In this dysfunctional and cynical world, it’s not popular to believe God even exists, much less that he can do work in our lives that defies explanations. It’s far easier to write off such stories as coincidences or to pretend those involved have all lied.
I understand that. If you’ve never experienced this inexplicable Creator who I call God — but who you’re welcome to call whatever you please — it’s easy to assume that nothing exists but the material world that we can see and touch.
But I know better. I can’t claim to understand everything about God. I can’t claim to have all the answers. I can’t claim that any religious group has done an acceptable job of representing who this Creator really is, because we are all hopelessly human. All I can say is that I’ve experienced God — and I know he can move in our lives, even when we don’t expect it.
God doesn’t do everything I want. I’m often left wondering why prayers aren’t answered. I sometimes beg for answers or solutions which don’t seem to show up.
But there are times when God is working in ways we can’t see — sometimes to give us what he’s led us to ask for. For the Richardsons and the 12 children who were in their home in 2016, this was one of those times.
There are times when I feel like Job from Hebrew scripture, when I feel as though I’ve had everything taken away from me and God is testing me. But through it all, I know that God already knows what I need — and a small part of me knows that he’s already working on things that I can’t yet even see.