About seven months after I committed my life to Christ I signed up to go to a thing called Kaleo with one of the campus ministries at the University of Arkansas. Kaleo is a summer project where around 100 college students go to Florida for 9 weeks, live in a hotel, get jobs, and then we were taught how to share the Gospel with people on the beach and our co-workers at the jobs we got. To pay for the program everyone was supposed to raise support. This is where you send letters to your friends, family, and church and ask them to financially support you as you go the beach and learn how to share the Gospel. The trouble with that for me was, I was a new Christian and I didn’t know all that many people who would “support” a trip to the beach or people who had much money (or maybe I just didn’t try that hard). We were supposed to raise $2,200, which would cover some of our food, place to stay, and pay for some of the speakers who came.
Anyways, to make a long story short I had not raised the full $2,200 and they had me on a payment plan throughout the summer. I had realized that a payment was coming up and I was running dangerously low on funds. On top of that the summer was coming to an end and I was having a rough time finding a way or finding the courage to share the Gospel with my co-workers at the restaurant I worked at.
Right around the same time as this I had been trying to get up early in the mornings to head downstairs to the courtyard area and spend time praying and reading. When I got down there at about 5:30, I always noticed this guy sitting at a table praying. His name was David Bingham. It looked like he had gotten down there earlier than me and like he knew what he was doing. So one morning I struck up a conversation with him and was really impressed. For one thing, the guy was disciplined enough to get down there at 5:00 every morning and he said he had been most of the summer. He also knew the Bible really well and seemed very disciplined in his prayer life. Something in my conversation lead me to ask him to pray with me in the mornings or to teach me to pray. Fortunately, he said yes and I started meeting him down there at his usual time of 5:00. I can’t remember how many days we had been meeting up, or if there were things we had prayed about before this. But one day I told him about by dilemma, that I needed to make extra money so I didn’t get sent home and I needed a way to share the Gospel with my co-workers. We prayed that maybe God would provide the money through lots of tips and that He would help me find a way to share the Gospel with my co-workers.
That whole day at work I kept waiting on extraordinary tips, but they just weren’t there. It was an average or below average day for tips and the day was pretty much over. My manager had actually just asked me to start my check out process for the day. Right as she did three people showed up and asked for a table. I asked her if I could have one last table and she said yes. I waited the table. It was around lunch time so they ordered about $30-$40 worth of food. I figured I would get a $5-6 tip and would call it good. I brought them their ticket, checked them out and told them to have a nice day. I was really down about the day still. But then I went to the back to close out the order and record the tip in the system. As I stepped up to the kiosk one of the other waitresses got in line behind me to close out an order after me. As I pulled out the receipt to see what the tip was, my jaw dropped. They had left me a $100 tip on a $30-40 order!!! I couldn’t believe it! And then right below the tip they wrote God Bless! It was like God had written it Himself, like he was looking down with a smirk saying “don’t worry, I got this”.
So I started putting in the dollar amount for the order and then typed in the tip amount and went to hit submit. Before I could the waitress behind me tapped me on the shoulder and told me she thought I made a mistake. She said, you typed in a $100 tip on such a small order, didn’t you mean $10? That is when, still in shock, I blurted everything out to her. I told her that I had woken up at 5:00 am that morning and prayed for more money, specifically I prayed that it would come in tips! I also told her that I prayed for a way to tell everyone I worked with about Jesus. Then I showed her that the receipt even said God Bless! She couldn’t believe it. I was still shocked, so I went out back and sat on some boxes. Meanwhile the waitress was going around the restaurant telling everyone who worked there the story. People started coming to me right then asking me if I could pray for them about different things. Even the guy who frequently smoked pot (at work) came up to me and started talking about it. And I got to sit down with my manager and walk her through the gospel and ask her if she would like to give her life to Christ.
That night I came back to the hotel and told everyone what had happened, especially David Bingham. We met up almost every morning after that and prayed about all kinds of other things. Many of those things God answered. For example I really wanted to work for a non-profit called LifeSource and we prayed about this everyday. The day I got back they called me and asked me to work for them. This was the beginning to me seeing the power of prayer work in my life.