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The day one family became the Providential answer to prayer

Providence planted reformed doctrine through these small Presbyterian Churches all through the colonies
Providence planted reformed doctrine through these small Presbyterian Churches all through the colonies
By Randy Pope

At the Baptist Church testimonies of answered prayer was common during Wednesday night prayer meeting in the 1970's. It was an encouragement to those who ventured out to church for the mid-week service. But what if you and your family were the answer to prayer. That is exactly the place one Akron area family found themselves one Sunday morning. How is it that a seemingly ordinary happening, Providentially orchestrated, became an extraordinary event for two families, demonstrating the Providence of God to both families?

God began the orchestration of this event before the young boy who was praying had ever even been born. An impressionable young man became an Amway distributor in the early 80's, more than 20 years before the Providential event. To be sure, not everything taught by this young man's leadership stuck, but at least one habit learned during this phase of the young man's life played a role in strengthening the faith of a child, in the middle of the first decade after the turn of the century. This young man was taught to sit near the front of any event in which he would have the opportunity to learn. For the rest of his life he mostly sought out seating near the front of any event he attended, including church.

In the early 90's the young man, now married with a couple of children, became a leader in the pro-life movement in Canton, Akron, and Alliance which lead to his involvement in the campaigns of a conservative Christian candidate for State Representative. As a result the young man developed a network of politically active Christian leaders in the Canton/Akron area. One such leader was the pastor of a small Presbyterian Church in Minerva.

At this point it should be stated that the young man had been raised in the Baptist tradition, but in the mid 90's he began to explore reformed Presbyterianism. It wasn't until after the turn of the century that he began to accept reformed Presbyterian theology as his own.

In 2001 the young man, now the father of 4 children, ran for City Treasurer in Alliance, and the next year he ran for State Representative. This strengthened his relationship with the pastor of the small Presbyterian Church in Minerva. Over the years the pastor learned of the young man's journey toward reformed Presbyterian doctrines and began to cautiously invite him and his family to attend worship at the little church in Minerva.

Being very loyal to the pastor and church he had been attending since moving into the Akron area he was reluctant to leave his home church. However, one Providential Sunday morning he decided to take his family to visit the small church in Minerva. As was his habit he sat his family in the second pew from the front of the church, filling the pew. After the worship service the young man learned that the pastor's 5 year old son had been praying that that pew would be filled.

The Providence of Almighty God was demonstrated for 2 families that Sunday morning. Certainly the 5 year son of the Presbyterian pastor was thrilled to see the hand of God in answer to his prayer. But it was only the young man himself who could fully grasp the Providential hand of God through the years that led to his family being the answer to prayer of a 5 year old boy.

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