Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
My wife and I were missionaries with the Fellowship of Baptists for Home Missions. We were trying to plant a new church in Poway, California, which is now the Pomerado Road Baptist Church. The Lord had provided the second floor of a World War II navy housing unit for the first building. We had it moved onto leased land and were trying to recondition it in time for evangelistic service.
I had gone back to work for San Diego County in my seasonal job, so I had very little time during the week to work outside on the building. On the Saturday before Brother Riggs the evangelist was to arrive, I had the job of digging a trench out to the street to the sewer lines. This had to be done so that the plumbers could lay and connect the sewer and water lines.
Even to start this project involved a spiritual battle. I had tried to get the permit for the sewer connection earlier, but was frustrated. Why? The inspectors’ schedules couldn’t be made definite. I wondered how I could even have made the appointments, if the Lord hadn’t given me temporary work at the County.
In the morning, I lamented that the former youth workers had outings every Saturday, which the youth counted on very heavily. Because of their expense and lack of other funds, I had decided to dig the sewer trench myself, by hand. The trench had to be about 30 inches deep and about a foot wide and about 40 feet to the street. I consciously said to myself and the Lord, “By faith in your grace, I’m going to get this done this morning, so I can keep the bowling activity, the youth are expecting.” What I didn’t know was that at the street the sewer pipe was over 10 feet deep! Quite impossible for me, but not for the Lord!
On the back lots next to our building, apartment buildings were being built. As I was digging, I had the disconcerting experience of digging up at least one tarantula spider. While I wasn’t making that much progress, about 10 feet, I noticed a large back hoe tractor digging a similar trench for apartments being built on the lot north of our location. I thought that it sure would be nice if we could afford to get them to do the job. But then, while the cost of transporting the machine could be saved if it could be done then, yet I thought that the man would probably have his schedule already committed. So, I just gave up the thought. However, my wife Marion saw the situation from our backyard, so she sent a “wish to the Lord.”
As I labored, I saw the operator finish his job. My heart sank with the thought of the possibility of getting the machine to finish the job would be impossible once it was loaded on the trailer. As I labored on, the operator walked over to me. (I thought that he was probably curious about what this industrious man was doing.)
He introduced himself stating that he too was a Christian. “Well, that’s nice.” I thought. Then, he said those beautiful word, “Would you like me to do that for you?” When I asked how much he would charge, he said, “Nothing, and if you would like, my friends from my church would be glad to provide special music at your meetings.” Wow! Another miracle on top of a miracle from the Father above! And, I didn’t even have to miss taking the youth on their beloved bowling bash!
That evening, my teeth almost fell out when I went to inspect the work and found how deep the county sewer line was at the street. At times like this, those who trust the Lord don’t have to know how impossible the job is for them, when the Lord intercedes! What a joyous time: Digging dirt by faith!