I haven’t had a job since January 12th, 2015.
When I first felt Holy Spirit tell me to apply to BSSM I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. It became outlandishly ridiculous when He told me not to work but to use my time wisely.
I hadn’t taken a vacation in my adult life. I was very used to the idea that anything requiring money was my job and God was kind of far away and disinterested and possibly a little awkward when conversations about money happened.
My life seemed to be falling apart. I’d built a life I was proud of and had invested in significantly in London. I was just going ‘home’ for a short time to get a new visa and then I was heading right back to my real life. Holy Spirit had other plans and the crazy part is that His other plans were in answer to prayers I’d prayed in London.
When I had haemorrhaged all of the money I had, a friend got in touch and told me that Holy Spirit had spoken to him, he believed I’m a prophet and was standing on the scripture that says, “If you receive a prophet in the name of a prophet, you receive a prophet’s reward.” He told me I could stay at his place for as long as I needed, eat whatever’s in the fridge and if I needed anything that wasn’t in the fridge, just ask. It was 3 weeks later that I got my acceptance to BSSM.
That was a weird moment. I had no money left and the acceptance letter told me I needed to pay $450 USD to secure my place by a certain date. I let my community in London and in Toronto know the journey I intended to embark on and the money for the deposit came in. I was incredibly moved by some of the amounts people gave.
One night when I’d been telling Holy Spirit that I’d really like to have some money so I’d be able to do like, anything, I was at an Encounter weekend with Catch the Fire and He told me to take all of the change in my pocket (which was everything I had left) and put it in the offering plate. I was like, “That’s pretty much the most offensive thing you could possibly tell me to do right now. What about coffee tomorrow morning?” He persisted so I took all the money I had in the world and put it into the offering plate. When I got to the house I was staying at that night there was an envelope waiting for me that said, “To: Jeffrey Ryan Barkman, From: Your Heavenly Daddy”. There was $500 inside.
I was wrestling with Holy Spirit over needing money to do what He told me to do. I remember one night having a conversational moment with Him where I said, “This whole thing would be a lot easier if you just dropped like $20k into my lap right now.” He responded with, “But then your peace of mind would be rooted in how much money you have.” I realized He was building genuine peace of mind in me that’s rooted in Him. The only peace of mind that is real is peace of mind that’s found in Him because He never changes.
Shortly after this I was messaging a friend in England saying I wouldn’t be able to play video games with him for quite some time as my Playstation 4 is in London and I wouldn’t be back there for a while. He brought up this Bethel thing I was doing and asked how much I needed. At the time I had maybe $100. He sent me $2000. That bought my flight and fed and housed me for the first month in Redding.
There were a whole bunch of contributions to my BSSM tuition. By the time I showed up to registration day I was owing $3480. I anticipated either some kind of miracle or them telling me to go home. (International students have to have their tuition paid up front) They gave me an extension to the Friday. On Wednesday a friend contributed $150 and on that Thursday my buddy Jim and I were hosting a little worship/encounter night. I was about to start leading worship but there weren’t any songs in my head. I just kept hearing, “Pray for finances”, over and over. So I prayed a simple little prayer that went something like, “Holy Spirit, you told us to come here so I just reach into the heaven realm and release what we need to obey you.” A song came into my head and we went on with the night. Hours later, when the night was concluding I checked my phone and I had an email saying there had been an anonymous donation of $3330. The time the email came through was around the same time I prayed the little prayer.
During the first week or so in Redding, I began to stress out over a specific amount of money. I went to write some kind of facebook post asking for money but my computer crashed and the post didn’t post. When I booted my computer back up a friend in London had messaged me saying Holy Spirit told her a very specific amount of money to send me. It was the amount I was stressing over.
I had couch surfed for the first two months of school. It came time for me to move on and I didn’t know where to go. I felt Holy Spirit tell me to ask a specific person if I could sleep on their couch that night and so when I saw him I did and he said yes. Turned out there was an empty room in that house. I was very thankful to have a bed for the first time in nearly 10 months. I’d had a night in a bed here or there but not consistently. So I stayed for a week before the landlord understandably wanted rent money. The day before I would have to move out, someone came up to me at school and told me Holy Spirit had told them to pay my rent that month. This was on the 11th of November. I know because my rent is due on the 11th of each month. Right before I was going to have to move out again because I didn’t have any rent money, someone else came up to me and said Holy Spirit told them to pay 2 month’s rent plus 2 month’s food plus 2 month’s whatever I needed. Around this time I needed to make my first payment on the mission’s trip the entire school is going on. Someone sent me a message the night that payment was due saying he wanted to give me a month’s rent which was almost exactly what that first payment was.
I’ve been learning to not contend for my needs. It is my Father’s good pleasure to provide for all my needs. Last month the exact amount of money I needed to pay rent, utilities and food came in. While I was writing this post, my mission’s trip got paid off. That was $1300 beyond needs and tuition and whatever. One of the most transformational revelations I’ve had through all of this is that I’m worth investing in. People need what I carry and I’m very happy to give it to them.
I release all these testimonies to you for your situation for whatever you need.
If you’d like to contribute to my living expenses for the remainder of the school year, you can send any currency via paypal. My paypal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.