Mother (Elaine Knadle) in the midst of family.
My sister called me on Tuesday. Mother was selling everything she had to go to Israel. She’d done this before when she’d gone on the road with a friend to minister in nursing homes across the southeast. She’d ended up in Shekinah, a Christian community in the tri-city area of north Tennessee. It was at Shekinah that she received God’s call to go to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem.
Sandra’s excitement about mother met my skepticism. Mother had little to sell except her 10-year-old car. But neither of us wanted our mother’s heart broken, so we were going to do everything we could to get together the money she needed. She’d figured $3000 for a round-trip ticket and a week’s stay. She needed the money for the plane ticket by Thursday of the following week. The two of us together didn’t have enough to buy a one-way plane ticket much less a round-trip ticket, but we were still determined to do what we could.
My husband, Frank said, “If God called her, God will provide.” Which at the time sounded the same to me as him saying, “I’m not going to support this foolishness.”
But Frank’s statement would prove right. None of us knew the Lord then as we’d come to know Him over the next few weeks and the next years—in mother’s life and even in our own.
Since neither Sandra nor I could foresee the miracle God had in store, we both figured up ways to raise money. I didn’t tell Frank, but I took all my gold jewelry except my wedding ring and headed to downtown St. Petersburg. A friend gave me a tip on a great pawnshop.
Two blocks from the shop, a car sideswiped my van. I swerved off the road and stopped, shaking. In a minute, I stepped out to look at the damage. I was sunk. At that time, our deductible ran higher than any money I could hope to get from the pawnshop. Frank had us on a tight budget (you know how men are when they want to live within their means! J). No way would he let me send money to mother now.
Sandra had a similar experience, and when Thursday rolled around, my heart hung heavy. I had prayed and prayed, but still couldn’t figure out how Mother would have enough money to buy a plane ticket. Her car had brought her only $500 at a garage sale the past weekend.
When she called that night, her voice sounded so high and excited that I could see her dancing on the other end of the line. “I got it!” she said. “I got the whole amount! I just booked my flight!”
“You got it? But how?”
“Do you remember Nancy Wallace* down there in Tampa?”
“Last time I saw her, I prayed for her daughter-in-law to have a baby. She and Nancy’s son have been married awhile, and they were told she’d never get pregnant; but you know our God. He can do anything! I told her God could fix that, and so I prayed; and now she’s pregnant!”
“That’s great, Mom, but…”
“I got the letter earlier today telling me about it, and she sent a check. Guess how much it was?”
“You tell me.”
*Name changed for privacy. The baby is now a grown woman!
My Mother’s Journey is about the life Elaine Marwick Knadle lived after recommitting her heart to God at the age of 50. She went on to serve Him in Israel, Singapore, Indonesia and India as well as here at home (the USA). Elaine passed away at the age of 89 in 2011. She preached her last sermon that year.