Willing To Say Yes
The potential to change the world is locked up in the word “Yes.”
A few weeks ago, I heard about an incredible story in Wisconsin. Retired real estate developer Harvey Hielkema of rural Baldwin decided he was going to give away his entire collection of beloved antique cars and tractors, worth nearly $80,000. Why? In Harvey’s own words:
“I heard the Lord tell me, ‘You don’t need all that stuff in the shed. You should sell them and give the money to Feed My Starving Children.’”
And Harvey said “Yes.”
He called an auctioneer (who donated his services), put the word out in the local paper and lined up his shiny collection outside of his home. On auction day, a few hundred people showed up at Harvey’s home in Baldwin. At the end of the day last Wednesday, Harvey had raised $78,000 for FMSC – enough to pay for more than 350,000 MannaPack meals.
I was at the auction. I saw Harvey sit in each of his prized vehicles as the auctioneer rattled off numbers and bids broke out like wildfire.
The antique tractors: SOLD!
The 1917 original Model T: SOLD!
The cherry red convertible Corvette: SOLD!
And Harvey’s favorite, the bright turquoise ’57 Chevy: SOLD! To the highest bidder.
It happened just like that. In a matter of moments, with little pomp and circumstance, Harvey Hielkema sold all of the possessions he loved most.
As I watched this, I was overwhelmed by one thought: the only reason this crowd is here, the only reason the TV cameras showed up and cars lined the rural road for a mile; the only reason that FMSC can now send 350,000 more meals to hungry children is because one man said “Yes” to God.
One man, a grandfather from rural Wisconsin, took the call of God seriously. With a simple “Yes,” Harvey Hielkema started a small revolution in western Wisconsin, and nourished struggling communities around the world.
There’s something you’ve been called to do. Perhaps it’s to give up the things you cherish most, just like Harvey. Maybe it’s to get out of your comfort zone, or to try something new or seemingly impossible. Whatever your call from God, there’s power in it. God works through willing people just like you and me. Imagine what would happen if all of us said “Yes.”