I almost made a big mistake. I was about to sell our Malaysian 2004 Hyundai Getz for the money. I had already left the car at my mechanic’s and asked him to contact reliable used-car dealers to give me quotations. The first quotation was low. But it made us pause. The Lord spoke to us. We shouldn’t be selling this car. We should be giving it to someone working in some non-profit ministry to use for his or her ministry.

The decision to sell the car was logical. We are now based in Singapore. It was a hassle to maintain a car in Kuala Lumpur just for the few days a month that we were there. (Of course it was also convenient to have a car available on the rare occasions that sons Stephen and Andrew were in town.) And we were going to Penang more often now to visit with mum and spending less time in KL. Yes, we could loan out the car, but since the car was in my name I would have to be involved in the event of an accident, when insurance claims would have to be processed. This had actually happened a few times, causing us much stress and forcing us to go back to KL to settle matters, using up precious time and monies.

And we needed the money. With our commitment to making monthly trips to Penang to be with mum and to get her whatever she needed, expenses were rising. The money from the sale of the Getz would have come in useful. But that was precisely the issue. The money wasn’t ours to begin with. The car was a gift, given for the purpose of ministry. Here is how we got the car.

The year 2004 was when son Stephen started his studies in Taylors College. (I was a single dad then and we were living in Petaling Jaya.) We had only one car, a Nissan AD Resort. Stephen wanted to go to college via bicycle and public transport. Public transport in Malaysia is not the most efficient. (It’s a little better now, though nothing like Singapore’s.) Buses didn’t show up when they were supposed to, etc. He missed some classes. I loaned him the Nissan when I could but often I needed the car for ministry. Once we had to bring the Nissan to the workshop for repairs. We were without a car for a few days. It was tough. Then the Lord provided.

Some saints from Sarawak felt led to sponsor the purchase of a car so that my ministry would not be hindered. We were deeply grateful. Our benefactors were folks we didn’t know, introduced to us by common friends. That is how we got the Getz, which has faithfully served us all these years. We didn’t pay for the car. It was a gift from God and from His people, and it was meant for ministry. So, when we were thinking about how to proceed with the sale of the car, we realised we were not meant to sell the car at all. We were meant to give it back for ministry.

I contacted a church leader, a good friend, told him what had happened, and asked if he knew of anyone in his ministry who might need the car. He said a bright, committed person would be joining his ministry team soon and the car would be exactly what she needed. Apparently she had given up a promising career in the marketplace in obedience to God’s call to do community work. My friend was delighted that God had provided so early. It would be a very tangible evidence of God’s care of those who trust and obey Him.

I miss the Getz. It has so many memories associated with it from a very turbulent time in my life. I know Stephen and Andrew will miss it too. They would have their own storehouse of powerful memories linked to the Getz. There will be grief as we say goodbye to our bright yellow friend. Beyond the grief, however, there is a deep sense of gratitude. It was a gift from God just when we needed it. There is also a deep sense of rejoicing to see the car now blessing someone else in vocational ministry at a point when it is needed. Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:8b NIV) This is a key economic principle of the Kingdom, something that we particularly remember at Advent. And what about our financial needs? The Lord will provide what we need when we need it. That is the lesson of the Getz.