Hope, Faith, and Miracles in Libby

"A gym for our school? That would be nice, but remember we are a small school with only seven students and very few financial resources. But maybe there is a way.”

Such were the comments and thoughts as Libby Church members met for a business meeting on Aug. 29, 2004, to discuss the possibility of building a new gym.

After much prayer, the facts were presented and questions asked. “Can we use the gym for other events?” “Yes, besides school functions, we would like to use it for evangelistic outreach, public meetings, and community events.”

A 50-by-100-foot shell could be built for $90,000. That would include a cement floor, shell, insulation, and doors … and lots of free labor. Beyond that, we would need wiring, lights, and a propane heating system.

When the vote was taken, many hands shot up. Let’s do it! A few were tentative, but majority rules. The pastor recounted how the Red Sea didn’t part until the priests put their feet in the water.

Then one of our new members pledged to match up to $10,000 raised by the rest of the group. You could feel the electricity in the air as pledge slips were handed out. Many prayers ascended. When the pledges were collected and counted, the total was announced—$33,000! Again we praised God as His Holy Spirit was very evident.

There was no time to waste. Winter was coming! The building committee met the very next day and again four days later. The plans were ready to move ahead by Sept. 4. The steel building was ordered. Excavation began Oct. 31. We prayed for good weather so the foundation could be poured. God answered, and within nine days the foundation was poured.

A crane was borrowed to facilitate setting the steel beams in place on Nov. 21. Daily we prayed for good weather and angels to protect the many volunteer workers. A bonfire was kept burning where the group could warm themselves when the temperatures were in the 20s, and hot meals were provided by the church women.

Again, God answered our prayers for good weather, and the walls started going up on Dec. 5. “Now, Lord, the roof needs to be on before it snows,” we prayed. A neighboring contractor saw our need and offered the use of his scissor lift. What a huge blessing! The roof was completed just in time for Christmas vacation.

Because of so many men donating their time, we will be able to complete not only the shell, cement slab, insulation, and doors for the budgeted $90,000, but also the wiring, lights, and propane heaters. Praise God!

We plan to have the gym completed, debt-free, by late spring. Even the students and home schoolers are involved in raising funds for the building. They had a jog-a-thon that raised over $1,000. We still have $37,000 to raise, but our God is a God of miracles, and we know we can trust Him for yet another miracle.

February 01, 2005 / Montana Conference