By Teena Myers
“My husband promised he would never cheat on me again, and he kept his word. The next time he found someone new, he moved out,” said Ellen.
An intercessor at Ellen’s church told her it was time to separate from her husband. Ellen felt only God had the right to dissolve her marriage. She prayed, “God, if you want me to separate myself from my husband, I need you to separate my husband from my heart.” Ten days later, Ellen realized she had stopped praying for her husband’s restoration. When she received divorce papers, she agreed to the dissolution of their marriage.
While attending a prayer conference, Ellen saw a vision of a seaport. She left the conference with the conviction that God had called her to missions. Later that year, she took a group tour to Israel and searched in vain for the seaport she saw in her vision. The following year, she felt a growing burden to pray for the city of New Orleans. It never occurred to Ellen that New Orleans is a port city. For the next three years, she continued searching for the seaport she saw in her vision.
One day, Ellen rummaged through a drawer for her camera when a picture of a seaport caught her attention. “There it is!” Ellen shouted. Snatching the picture from the drawer, she turned it over and read “New Orleans Tour Guide.” Ellen fell across her bed, crying and praying, “If you want me there, you will just have to pick me up and put me there.”
An hour later, she heard a still small voice say, “Call Teen Challenge New Orleans.” Ellen had recently read an article about the opening of Teen Challenge, a faith- based drug rehabilitation program, in New Orleans. She glanced at the clock—9:50 p.m. Even though it was late, she called the operator for a phone number. The operator gave her two numbers. She chose one and decided to forget about the vision if no one answered.
“New Orleans Teen Challenge,” said a young man.
Before he could say another word, she rattled off, “My name is Ellen Brown. I live in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and would like to know how to apply as a secretary with your organization.”
“As a what?”
“As a secretary.”
“That’s way out! Even for God, this is way out!” the young man exclaimed.
“What do you mean?” said Ellen.
“I was praying for a secretary when the phone rang!” Ellen filled out the job application she received in the mail and then called Teen Challenge to inquire what she could bring with her. The director of the center informed her she would only have one medium sized bedroom.
“I don’t know if this is God’s will or not,” said Ellen. “God told me to bring my bedroom furniture and organ.”
“You have an organ! We’ve been praying for an organ.”
Convinced God had called her to New Orleans, Ellen mailed the application. The application lay on the front desk when the director’s wife pointed at the attached picture and said to her husband, “That’s her. That’s the secretary God wants.”
Ellen planned to pay off her bills before she left Fort Smith in October, but the Holy Spirit told her to be in New Orleans before April 21. The unplanned and abrupt departure left her with a financial problem. After fasting and praying, she promised God she wouldn’t be too proud to accept a financial gift.
Ellen arrived in New Orleans on the evening of the twenty-first. During a conversation with one of the students, she shared how a deacon at her church in Arkansas had given her an application for credentials and told her to fill it out, but she had never submitted the application. When the dean of men learned from the student that Ellen still had the completed application, he invited her to attend a minister’s meeting with him and told her to bring the application.
“The next morning, I was locking the door to my room and started to say, ‘God, if you called me here, I have to have some financial help.’ I’d only said, ‘God, if ’ when the Holy Spirit asked me if I doubted that he had called me to New Orleans. I cried and said, ‘No, I don’t doubt that.’”
During the minister’s meeting, a pastor approached Ellen and told her God had awakened him in the middle of the night to tell him she needed financial help. Not only did Ellen receive the much-needed help, but the district officials at the meeting accepted her application for Christian Workers’ Papers that led to her ordination.
Ellen swallowed the last bite of her jambalaya and set her fork on the table. “New Orleans has been my home for thirty-three years now, and God hasn’t failed me yet.” She spoke with the conviction that comes from experience. When God calls us to ministry, he supplies our every need.