Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feb 2009 VT Message

Dear Sister:

As I mentioned last month, my goal this year is to increase my Faith in the Savior. No sooner had I committed to this did my challenges start. Have I ever shared anything from my professional life with you? Well if not, this month I will.

I work for a private company who is contracted by the State to provide personal assistance to those with Developmental Disabilities and/or Mental Retardation. I would say that about 91% of our income comes from the State. We have a little over 100 employees and about 60 participants.

My job in the company is to run the Fiscal/Accounting office. Make sure all the bills go out and all the payments come in. Well, in mid January I started getting concerned about our payments coming in. Only one had come in and it was a very small amount. My boss (also a member of this church) did not see any real concerns, after all the state always pays up. . .right? Not this time. They had some problems within their DAGS (department of accounting and general services) office. Our payments would be delayed by at least 10 business days. (Remember this was mid January). We paid our employees on January 23, not knowing this would be the last time we would see a paycheck for another month. The boss never got worried; after all we were owed the money. Well the money never came.

As the person who answers most of the incoming calls, I can attest to the hardship many families had to face. I could go on and on about employees whose water, electric, and/or gas got turned off. Of families whose pantries were bare. I heard stories of employees whose landlord was not so kind and kicked them out. People being told their cars would be repossessed. It has not been a great month. My family had to turn to our food storage and we prayed a lot. Morning, noon, and night.

Throughout the month we would call the State several times a day because our workers needed the money so badly. They would sound so promising. . .telling us they see payments in the system and we should get them in the next 2-3 days. We would continue to call each day and be told the same thing. Each time we heard of a possible payment the morale of the employees would go up. When they didn’t keep their word, it would go back down, just because most of us were in desperate need to get some money, any money just so our creditors would stop the calls, and we could put real food on the table. I had some worries too. I had taken inventory of the home and knew we only had enough toilet paper for one week. Dishwashing liquid was nearly gone, and there was no fresh vegetables in the house. No pay check meant no gas money – only ½ a tank in the car, we would still have my husbands check but it was so much smaller than mine that it barely covered the bills. Well we decided we would pay the bills and live off of the food in the cupboard. I knew we could eat pancakes for 2 weeks if we had too. We prayed and put our plan into action.

This is what I know now. . . Heavenly Father allows us modern day miracles. The employees called every day. Many whose situation was getting gravely worse. Only 2 of them ever actually threatened us. The rest continued to pray and be hopeful. After 3 weeks of no pay, most were at their wits end. I went into our pantry and actually started making little gift baskets for those who were literally down to their last cup of rice or last can of Vienna sausage. We knew the more we shared the sooner we too would be out of food. But we gave anyway. Finally nearly 5 weeks later, we’ve received a payment from the State, large enough to pay our employees.

So what is the miracle? What blessing might I have received from all this? How has my faith increased? Some how we have enough toilet paper for 2 more weeks, we still have canned food in our pantry even with all the food we gave away. The gas never ran out of our car. Every single bill I had was paid and nothing got cut off. Our creditors that we called to see if we could pay them late – every single one of them said yes and none of them charged us late fees or penalties.

With all the problems we could have had and should have had, we made it to all our church meetings, we didn’t have to borrow money from family to get through, we relied on our Savior, we put everything in his hands, we leaned on him during times of trials and hardship and he did not forget us.

A few days ago I got to call every employee to let them know the State was able to locate the problem and find the money. Although none of them are members of this church, every single one of them gave praise to our Savior Jesus Christ. Every one of them had the right to be angry, every one of them had the right to walk out on our company and leave us hanging. But instead every single individual praised our Savior Jesus Christ. I think this is the greatest miracle of all. Knowing that in our time of hardship and need, instead of playing the blame game, instead of acting out in anger, every person in our company turned to a higher power to get them through, and when it was all over and done with they turned back to that power to give him all the credit. It has truly been my honor to see this unfold from beginning to end.

My testimony of our Heavenly Fathers’ love for us, and His knowledge of our individual needs has increased. I hope I never forget the miracles He brought into my life and how personal they are. He knows who you are and he hasn’t forgotten you. I am grateful to know I am his daughter.

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