“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ…” Colossians 4:3
It didn’t seem to make a difference that we had prayed for over nine months, or that those who so faithfully support us had been praying in agreement for open doors in Minnesota.
Every door seemed to not only be closed, but also chained shut, keeping the message of salvation securely out.
Despite our discouragement, Pete and I continued to pray and ask others to do the same. And yet, every time we contacted a farmers’ or flea market, or any community event asking to rent a spot to set up our Christian Farmers booth, the response was the same.
“We do not allow any religious groups.”
How can this be? I asked myself. Isn’t his America?
We did what we could, handing out walking sticks around our campground, in restaurants and gas stations, and we started a Bible study at our camp ground. But it seemed not many campers were interested in a summer Bible study.
I’d forgotten about Minnesota’s distinct culture, how after a long winter, with snow and winds so ferocious that snow covers the windows and doors, most Minnesotans are ready for outdoor fun. And in Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Lakes, outdoor fun means boating, fishing, and time at the cabin. There is little time for campground Bible studies. For many, little time for God.
It was a Friday night in early July when my sister Diane called. “They’re having a craft fair in Anoka tomorrow,” she said. “Would you like to go?” I remembered Diane talking about the Anoka craft fair. It was her favorite. Pete and I knew it was one of the most well-attended craft fairs in the area because we had checked it out and were told all their vendor spots were filled.
That night Pete said, “I think I’ll go with you, find a place to park close to the event, and hand out some walking sticks. We have about forty made. That should be more than enough.”
We didn’t see it at the time, but God was leading us to a door that he was holding wide open and no one would be able to shut.
The next day was sunny and warm, a perfect day for a craft fair. By the time we arrived, crowds filled the streets, strolling from tent to tent in search of that one thing they absolutely had to have. Diane had told us to park in the city parking ramp. We tried but the ramp was full. We tried area parking lots and along the streets. There wasn’t a parking spot to be found.
Was God closing this door too?
Just when he was about to give up, Pete found a spot to park behind a business that was closed on Saturdays. It was on a corner about a block away from the craft show. “Go ahead and shop.” He opened the back of the car where we had hundreds of walking sticks without the beads attached and forty that were ready to hand out. “I’ll stay here until the forty sticks are gone and then head out.” I left Pete with a large coke to sip on and left to meet Diane.
Diane and I spent the next hour or so shopping the market. By the time we went to check if Pete needed a fresh drink, our walking sticks were gone, given away to people who asked where they could find one for themselves.
Pete did not need a fresh drink. In fact, with such large crowds gathering around, he hadn’t had opportunity to take one sip of his coke. After giving away the first forty sticks, he was too busy sharing the Gospel and adding beads and Bible verse cards to walking sticks to take time for anything else.
Diane and I pitched in, adding beads to the walking sticks and sharing the Gospel.
We couldn’t have prepared all the walking sticks that were given out without the help of my sister Diane. What a joy it was to have Diane working alongside us!
We were hoping to give out forty walking sticks. God had other plans. And one BIG OPEN DOOR. By the end of the day, about 250 walking sticks were given out and the Gospel shared! God had opened a door for us in Minnesota, a door that no one, no rules meant to silence the Gospel can close.
We praise God for your prayers and support. Most of all, we praise him for the opportunity to share the salvation message with folks who need to hear.
We also learned a wonderful lesson. When it comes to sharing the salvation message, God does not want us to be silent. We simply might have to be more creative in looking for opportunities.
God always makes a way, always opens doors that he wants opened.
We were thrilled to learn that Pete (Sandy has previous plans and cannot attend this year) will be handing out walking sticks and sharing the salvation message at Farm Fest in Redwood County Minnesota for The Fellowship of Christian Farmers. Farm Fest is a huge 3-day gathering with over 400 vendors and thousands of visitors.
If this post would have been written just a few days ago, the title would not have been When God Opens a Door, it would have been When God Closes a Door. The things we see with our earthly eyes and hear with our earthly ears do not always reveal the truth about what God is doing. He makes a way for his will to be done, despite men’s efforts to chain doors shut.
On a much sadder note, we just learned that Pete’s sister, Clare, has been moved to Hospice. This was a difficult decision for her family. Pete dearly loves Clare and will want to spend as much time as possible with her. We have visited and look forward to more visits. We appreciate your prayers for Clare and all the family at this difficult time. Please pray that the conversations Pete has with his sister will count for eternity. Thank you.
More Prayer Requests:
- God will continue to open doors for us to share the salvation message.
- The people we have shared with–those who have prayed for salvation that they will grow and find a good church home–and those who have not yet made that decision that God will continue to bring to mind the message of the beads.
- Continued good health for us, our RV, and car.
- Healing for Bill Brown, the person we work under in the Fellowship of Christian Farmers. He is having problems with blood clots.
- God will supply our growing ministry needs. Our needs are greatly impacted by the recent inflation.
Pete and I want to thank each of you for your generous support. We are so blessed that you are our friends. Thank you for your continued prayers. Each one who supports us financially and with prayer are precious treasures. Please know that Pete and I pray for each of you every day.
If you would like to reach us this summer (until September 1) or you feel God leading you to support the ministry with a gift, you may do so at Pete and Sandy Singer, C/O Kozy Oak Kamp, 8620 277th Ave NE, North Branch, MN 55056, or via the address on our giving page. Thank you.
We love you All,
Pete and Sandy Singer