Who said there’s no God? I just had a wonderful experience that brought tears to my eyes. I called my brother Eddie to chat with him and among other things shared with him an incident that took place in Lothian, Maryland, where our other Joshua house is located, thanks to dear friends, Bill and Leigh Sullivan. The house had been the model home for the Carr’s Grant Development. As the development was completed the house was up for sale. Since it had a large finished basement with space enough to hold almost a hundred people it was a perfect place for talks and retreats. While waiting for the house to be readied for us, the Pulte Homes’ sales manager, Terri Lester, said she would make sure they did a good job for us. The next time Sister Dorothy and I went down to Maryland, we were so grateful for what this lady did, I invited her to dinner. She asked if her mother could come, and we were delighted to have a chance to meet her.
At the restaurant, Terri’s mother asked me where I lived and I told her Albany, New York. She said, “We used to live in Albany many years ago.”
“Where did you live in Albany?”
“On North Allen Street.”
“Oh, my gosh. My father had a butcher shop on Madison Avenue right around the corner from there.”
“What was the name of his store?”
“Peter’s Market, then Pine Hills Food Market.”
The woman was shocked, and burst out, “I can’t believe this. At that time, it was during the war and the depression and I had nine children and my husband was away, and we were so poor. Your father kept us in food during all those years. I will never forget that man.”
Talking to my brother tonight, I told him that story, and he almost had a heart attack. “I know those people. I used to work at Daddy’s store then, and every week two little boys came in with a note and an envelope with two dollars and a little change in it. The note said they needed the ends of cold cuts, and the ends of bacon, if they still had them, and few other left over pieces of meat that would usually be thrown away. When Daddy read the note he told me to get new loaves of bologna and other cold cut meats and slice off the ends with four inches more slices. And get a new slab of bacon and start at the end and cut off five inches of slices. And Daddy would get cans of other things and put them all in bags. He would then tell the kids, ‘There’s too much money here. There’s still enough for a bottle of soda for the two or you.’ The boys were so thrilled. That was routine every week. And I know just where they lived, on 47 North Allen Street.”
That was such a sharing. I cried inside. And just recently, I had a chance to talk to Bill Pulte, who was in Japan with Clark Durant, both of whom are Joshua fans, and who live in Michigan. They were in Japan having dinner with Koji Yamazaki, who translated Joshua into Japanese, and who was preparing for a Jesus retreat for diplomats from Buddhist, Muslim and Hindu countries.
I have a feeling Bill Pulte and Clark Durant are going to team up with Tom Cousins who built the skyscrapers in Atlanta, Georgia, and later demolished and rebuilt the worst crime-ridden neighborhood in the state of Georgia, where there were murders every day, and turned it into a masterpiece of civic planning, which is now the pride of the state, with its own civic center, schools, golf course, and the same people living there who lived there before but now things have changed. The graduates from the high school are getting scholarships to prestigious colleges and universities, and the science students are winning top awards in the state science fairs. CNBC did a documentary on this Eastlake Community. It can be found on the internet. Warren Buffet happened to see it and called up Tom Cousins and said he would like to be a partner in any other projects like that. Tom Cousins told me he had read that idea in Joshua and the City.
I have a funny feeling that, after Clark Durant met Tom Cousins at the Atlanta Golf Open, a couple of months ago, he will be introducing Bill Pulte to Tom Cousins. Bill Pulte owns the biggest home building corporation in the country.
Who says there’s no God. God is a master chess player, but at a game much more complex where the massive details are far beyond what the human mind could begin to comprehend. This is why we should never fear difficult or trying times, because this beautiful God is still in charge, but too often we insist on going it alone and don’t let him help.