Maybe you are one of those lucky individuals who has received an
inheritance. Or perhaps you recently won the lottery for 50 million dollars. Or maybe just maybe you have parents who saved a rather decent amount for you to use for university tuition. If you are I advise you don't read this- actually you can because you can apply this aspect to other facets of your life. If you are like me who did not have any of the aforementioned options then welcome.
I am an individual who often worries about things before they come to pass. Thankfully, I was accepted in all my programs for University but I was already thinking about how I would pay the government back, because as I often state : I do not want to be a slave to the OSAP machine. It did not help that the entire summer I could not find a job. So here I am barking to my uncle about how no one loves me and feeling like a failure because I couldn't get a
job (I did spend hours sending applications out and many mornings scurrying to interviews). At the same time, many of my friends acquired jobs and I was even more discouraged.
Thankfully, the CrossPower leaders granted me a job at Oasis Youth Centre. Initially, it was not the job I wanted and it didn't help that people would constantly remind me about how it was not a 'legitimate' job. I hope this paints a
picture of how I felt last year. Irrespective of how I was feeling, I continued to give tithes and offerings to the church because God has still blessed me with many things so I'm grateful for that. Come September, I received my first installments from OSAP. Not only did I receive OSAP, but I also received some grants - I was not phased because this was a grant that a lot of people received. However, I forgot to mention that entering my first year I received a $3,500 deduction from my tuition as a result of acquiring a scholarship
and bursary - thus already being in a better financial standing than a lot of people. Any ways, at our church we had a special September offering and this was meant to challenge our faith . Initially, I was hesitant - I mean I don't mind giving and all but I haven't really seen the benefits of my sacrifices (which
sounds really childish but this was my train of thought at the time). However, I decided to take a leap of faith and gave some of my grant money to Christ.
It wasn't instantaneous- myself receiving loads of money. Despite this fact, I still gave the money that I had and thanked Jesus for what he was going to do in my life. So I applied for some bursaries and I was more hopeful, despite doing the same thing last year and not receiving any scholarships. Wow, I sound pretty morbid - but once again those were my sentiments at the time.
Finally, near the end of the year I got an email from one of the bursaries I applied for stating how they were
considering me for an award. I was like, "Someone is actually considering me, wow don't I feel special." Then after that email, I didn't hear any responses for a while. So I kinda became discouraged. I believe it was January
when I heard I received an award (which was a couple of months). Of course I was ecstatic and when the cheque for what I believe was $1,500 came in the mail I was just in awe- it was sort of a surreal experience for me.
Once again, I felt led by the Lord to give a portion of my savings to the church- I would think that my family would be ecstatic at this notion, but boy was I wrong. They were thinking I was off the wall for wanting to give a huge amount to the church. I was angry because I couldn't understand why they couldn't see
what I was doing was clearly working, so ultimately I gave a portion to the church.
That very same week I received two letters regarding bursaries/scholarships that I applied for in October. Obviously, I gloated in front of my uncle who was berating me before. I didn't even fit the requirements for some of the awards; I mean weren't there other students that wanted awards as well? It's to my
knowledge I don't have any Native blood in me. To add the icing to the cake I did not really work, whereas I have some colleagues who I know bust some serious hours in work, but still seem to be struggling to make ends meet.
Now I don't know, off the top of my head how much money I have accumulated through bursaries and scholarships but I would estimate over 10 grand. It was used to pay my tuition, tithes and offerings, and some is left over for my future years. This did not happen over night. I recall from middle school giving a tithe of the lunch allowance I would get weekly (2 dollars) and over the years my tithes/ offerings increased as God increased my funds. Like the Word says, if we're faithful with small things, God will give us big things. So don't say , " That's just for you Habiba". Anyone can apply the principle of tithes and offerings. Even secular people follow this principle and seem to have reaped from what they have sown. Take a leap of faith and let God take you as far as you will enable Him to.
I am reminded of this scripture:
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. I believe that as I was faithful and diligent to give when I did not have much that God was faithful and just to give when I needed it.
I also would like to provide an update on my job situation. After applying to countless jobs I will now be working at York University housing apartments as a front desk clerk. It is an exciting opportunity, but in a
way the job in Oasis relates to the job that I will be doing at York. So I guess the scripture is true that God does work in mysterious ways.
To summarize for those who do not want to read an extensive story I have enough money to pay back
OSAP for my first year, as well as additional money to put towards my second year as a result of God's goodness to my faithfulness.