A Facebook message sent accidentally to the wrong person turned into an unexpected blessing for a young mother of three kids who was in great need of some help. There was no way Amy could have known what was going to unfold in her life.
Back in 2016, Amy Rickel had just moved from Michigan to Green Bay, Wisconsin for her kids to be closer to their dad. But unfortunately, she lost her job, her car also broke down, and there were no openings in any of the shelters where her kids could stay.
One day, she inadvertently sent a message to a complete stranger on Facebook thinking it was her friend and what happened next was nothing short of a miracle.
“Hi Brian, wondering if you know a good Bible verse for someone to pray when in deep fear, weak, scared, and personal despair/lost breaking?” Amy wrote in the Facebook message.
She quickly realized her mistake and apologized. However, the man who received the message, Brian Van Boxtel took the message as God directing him to help Amy.
Brian recalls asking himself what Jesus would do in such a situation and remembers Amy ‘bawling and praying’ when he told her in a follow-up message that he was coming to pay for her motel.
On the advice of Brian, Amy also set up a donation page asking for help. She wrote, “Any and all help will be welcomed and received with warm loving grateful hearts, and we as a family will pay it forward as soon as we are able. Thank you all in advance for even considering helping my family out, you may never know how much it will mean to me, but know that it will be everything this time of year knowing they are all warm and safe!”
The sequence of events that followed was beyond the wildest dreams of Amy. It restored her faith in humanity and also renewed her faith in God.
Complete strangers came together out of nowhere extending their help. A woman named Kathy Schumann offered the use of her minivan to Amy. While a man named, Chad Morack got Amy in contact with a medical recruiter when he learned Amy was a licensed practical nurse. A full-time job for Amy was then secured by the recruiter.
“[I’m] pretty amazed,” Rickel said. “I still kind of find it unbelievable… It’s totally restored my faith in more than just humanity, my faith in God.”
Brian could have easily ignored the message and none would have batted an eye if he decided not to help a random stranger who texted him. However, something prompted him to reach out to Amy. He acknowledged that God had put him where he was needed. He said, “I know that God had me in the right place at the right time and so I listened to my heart.”
This story is a pertinent reminder of how, one small act of kindness, listening to one’s gut and acting on it could have a huge impact on the lives of people. Just as Brian questioned himself and was led to help Amy. Including the others who came together to help her.
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