For Kelvin Gwala, the opportunity to serve on the Durban Temple Committee was a blessing that initially came with concern.
As a resident of Umlazi, South Africa, Brother Gwala had a round trip drive of about sixty kilometers each time he traveled to Berea for committee meetings, which were held for almost a year with increasing frequency. If it wasn’t a temple committee meeting, he needed to attend on a Sunday, he traveled to practice with one of the temple dedication choirs. He made additional mid-week trips to attend stake training meetings since he also serves as the Durban Stake clerk.
About the same time, he was asked to serve on the committee, the price of petrol began to rise dramatically, and food prices increased. Each time he needed to drive to Berea for a meeting, he would sit and wonder where he was going to get money for fuel. But, he says, somehow, someway, he would end up in Berea, the small amount of fuel he had in his car lasting longer than he thought it would.
“At first,” he says, “I felt like it was putting a strain on my budget. But at the end of the month, we would be fine. To my amazement, the Lord saw us through.”
Those first worries about his tight budget, Brother Gwala now believes, were just negative thoughts that could have stopped him from serving. Instead, he made a faithful effort and experienced what he calls “my own miracle.”
As he reflected on his experiences, he came to an important conclusion: “The Lord just wants us to start,” he says. “No matter how difficult a situation might look, if you start, then the Lord does meet you halfway. For me, those were the blessings. [We] were living on a tight budget, then you pay your fast offering and your tithing, but the Lord saw us through, and the family managed well. The Lord did bless us and continues to bless us.”
Nephi’s example also teaches us this lesson. When Lehi asked his sons to return to Jerusalem to get the family records Laban had in his possession, Nephi’s older brothers murmured, fearful of what might happen to them. But Nephi, acting with faith, told his father, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). Nephi took the first step and the Lord helped him.
When we are fearful of what might happen as we begin to serve in new callings or assignments, if we are unsure how we can afford to fulfill that service, in either time or money, we should always remember: The Lord just wants us to start and he will meet us halfway.