Relying on God Resolves Personality Conflicts

Rachel Crandell describes how relying on God helped overcome personality conflicts and obstacles in order to give her 2nd grade class the opportunity to help save a tropical forest.

By Rachel Crandell, Town and Country, MO

Categories: Guidance, Loving and Forgiving

Rachel is a retired teacher and environmentalist. She is President of Monteverde Conservation League U.S., which works to protect El Bosque Eterno de los Niños, or the International Children's Eternal Rain Forest, in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Here is her story:

At one point I did a large drawing of a tropical forest with many animals in it. I wanted to print it as a poster so my students could sell it to raise money for the forest. When I inquired about printing costs, I discovered how expensive it would be to make a large color poster. I would have to put up thousands of dollars at the outset, and there wasn't that much room for profit. I left the printer's office and sat quietly in my car. I knew that to let in discouragement was a mistake. I turned to God for an answer. I knew that "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28). I knew that I was working unselfishly to help my students help the forest. My prayer was one of listening. After a few minutes, the idea came to me to go to another printer I had used before. I already knew that his press was too small to print the poster. It seemed like a useless effort because I knew he couldn't do this project. But I had listened for God's message, and the angel idea that came to me was to go see this printer. So I did.

He couldn't print the poster, but he told me about another printer just down the street I had never met. He took me there and introduced me and suggested we might work together. The printer I had known told the man I just met that I was trying to save the world and that he should print the poster for free. Well, guess what?! He agreed to do it for free!! It turns out that this new printer had a reputation of being a grump. As he and I worked through the process, he often acted like a grump. He would throw up obstacles about the layout, color, paper, font, just about anything. He seemed to love creating walls. I felt on several occasions that he was going to back out completely on the whole project. Whenever I had that sickening feeling in my stomach that he was about ready to scrap the whole thing, I would quietly know that this was a blessing, a blessing for him as well as for the forest. It was an opportunity for him not to be so cynical, so grumpy, so defeatist about everything. I knew the promise -- "all things work together for good to them that love God." I felt that the poster was a work of love, an opportunity to express love for the forest, a tangible way to protect part of God's creation. Eventually each hurdle was quickly overcome. He printed 1600 posters for free. We sold them all and made $16,000 for the forest. Step by step, "poco a poco," as we say in Costa Rica, the solutions were forthcoming. I am very grateful for this manifestation of God's love for each of us and the world.