I caught a ride back to Charleston and discovered that I had been the subject of my friends' prayers. Her mother was ill and they had hoped I might take charge of the property while they were gone and it was OK with me. There were a couple of "hangers on" and we decided to tackle some of the junk that had been collected along the way. Many of the pieces of furniture were not designed for a Mission and we seemed to have an over abundance of china and silverware. So, we decided on a yard sale and one of the fellows had friends on the local newspaper. We went to them and talked them into running a feature story on the "opportunities" we had to offer.
Saturday morning at 6:30, we had people knocking on the store windows asking if were open. Some had read the story and we began to realize the "shoppers" were talking among themselves about the need we were providing. As it turned out, Charleston was high on the list of transient "snow birds" who headed South in the winter. We were not only selling much of the stuff we had, but we had placed a can on one of the tables so that we might receive donations from those not interested in buying.
That was Friday and by Saturday, we were almost sold out, but we were surprised to meet a "band" of sorts who were just passing through and offered to provide a concert that evening - if they could sleep in our loft. Of course. They were pretty good and we were surprised - again, to have people from the yard sale dropping in to hear the music. We discovered that many of them came from the neighborhood in which we were located. Someone suggested we have "church" in the morning.
Out of the blue. someone came up with a poster announcing the services and we had a fair sized crowd, many of them sitting on the floor because we had sold all of our chairs. The band started playing early and everyone was in a good mood. I had been "elected" to offer a sermon and it was easy in this kind of atmosphere. The title, "Look around, Jesus is passing through." It caught on and while I stumbled a lot looking up scriptures in my Bible, no one seemed to care. When one of the band members started to cry as I had mentioned the prayers of our fathers and mothers as we leave home, I offered an "altar" call and two others came forward as well.
All I could think of was the advice my Grandfather had offered so many years ago, "God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform, He plants His footsteps in the sand and rides upon the storm" Then, there were tear in my eyes,
The band moved on the next day, my two main helpers had found jobs through one of the neighbors who had stopped to see what was going on. We seemed to be in "business". Then, the police came by and citing us for not have the proper local licenses. That was no problem. We had raised over $400 and I went to court to pay any fine and obtain a license. When I went to the counter to pay what we owed, I learned that the Judge had set aside his order and paid for our license out of his own pocket.
I called my friends and they were delighted to hear our news and let me know they were heading back in the next couple of days along with a contractor who had agreed to paint the store front and fix many of the problems we had overlooked. I was amazed by all that had happened and called my moving van operator to see if there was work to do. He happened to be on his way and I would be leaving as soon as the real operators had returned. The experience left me with an attitude of gratefulness to have seen what God can do when He has, even a little help.