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While God’s providence is always under the surface of our lives, occasionally He goes above and beyond to make His hand of provision undeniable. Josh Bleeker and his wife Eva have watched Him provide for their financial needs time and again since they decided to come to seminary … now when faced with a challenge, they have learned to anticipate His work and find themselves saying, “We’ll see what God does this time!”
The steps leading the Bleekers to seminary also showed God’s provision. Though he had made a profession of faith earlier in his life, Josh’s real trust in Christ didn’t come until he was in college at Kansas State University. He was involved with a fraternity there, and in this brotherhood his identity had become the “music guy.” He made sure he always knew the latest news on bands and shows. But in his sophomore year God began to convict him of sin and righteousness.
“I recognized that music was my idol, and God began the painful process of stripping away my false identities,” he said. “He made me realize that the only identity that offered any truth and security was being found safe in Jesus Christ.”
It was around the same time when Josh met Eva. They met through a mutual friend, and he learned that Eva drove a ’68 black Mustang with mag wheels and liked Led Zeppelin. Josh immediately thought she was cool, but it wasn’t until they began attending the Baptist Student Union together that he found out she struggled with her own false identities, especially regarding music.
“We helped each other through the process of having our fingers pried from our idols. As we grew together in Christlikeness, our friendship developed into a romantic relationship.”
Josh and Eva were married after Josh graduated, and then Eva began her senior year. And within one year, they had made the decision to come to Dallas Seminary for ministry training.
“I don’t know if it was faith or arrogance, but DTS was the only place I applied. I was convinced that it was the only school I wanted to attend, and God allowed me to be accepted here.”
And it was then that the real adventure began for them. Eva’s grandmother had died just before they made the decision to start seminary, and her father received an inheritance from the estate. With part of this money, he offered to buy a house in Dallas that Josh and Eva could rent inexpensively while they were in school. Eva also was offered and accepted a full-time position in Dallas before they ever moved. And this was just the beginning.
Then after applying for financial aid, Josh received a letter in the mail saying they’d received it. He was shocked because when he was in college, he always applied for financial aid and never actually got any. His immediate response was that this confirmed that they had made the right decision to start seminary.
Then, just a few weeks later, he got another letter in the mail saying that he had qualified for the presidential scholarship based on admissions criteria. This scholarship was one Josh didn’t even apply for and it was good for four consecutive semesters.
“Before we had even crossed the state line, God had provided everything we needed and gave us the clearest possible ‘yes’ we could possibly imagine.”
Josh also worked part time as a pool cleaner while he attended classes. His boss, who is a believer, was amazingly supportive of Josh’s school schedule. He even said, “My goal is to run a pool cleaning business so that you can get through seminary.” Josh’s mandate from his boss was to make seminary his priority—once his classes were lined up, then he could schedule the pool cleaning.
Josh loved his courses at DTS. Eva would even teasingly offer that they could both just stay home and watch movies all day, but his response was, “Are you kidding? I have Greek today! Why in the world would I want to stay at home when I can go to Greek?” And although they were joking, he was totally serious about his love for his classes. “I would drive down in an ice storm to go to class,” he said.
But it was not all so cheery. “God also enrolled us in an elective called Life—it was much tougher than the languages.” Eva’s job situation was not good, and due to the circumstances she began to experience some serious health concerns. After much prayer and consultation with a trusted friend, they decided that Eva needed to quit her job. So she did, just before Christmas break, and they came back from the holidays with no way to pay their bills.
“We had to trust the Lord with our future in a way that we never had before.” And God was pleased to be good to them—they were never late on a bill, never had to turn off their heat, never went without a meal, and never went into debt.
“People brought us food, mailed us checks—even those who didn’t know our situation, because we hadn’t told anyone but our family that we were in trouble financially.”
Some friends even gave them tickets to the Cottonbowl, where their team, the Kansas State Wildcats, was playing. And their friends had more tickets that they hadn’t been able to give away, so they told the Bleekers they were free to do whatever they wanted with them—sell them or give them away.
“So, I was standing there with these tickets in my hand and I said to Eva, ‘Do you really think we could sell these?’ And just that minute someone walked up to me and said, ‘Do you have tickets to sell?’” They came home that night with nearly a hundred dollars more than they had left home with. And they got to watch their team win.
“It was like the Lord was saying to us, ‘During this time when you don’t know what’s going to happen, remember that I am much bigger and more creative than you can ever imagine.’”
Josh keeps those ticket stubs hanging on the door to his office where he studies every night—and whenever he gets concerned or starts to fear, he remembers that sunny day at the Cottonbowl.
In the meantime, Eva was applying everywhere for a job with very little response. They now know that God was protecting her because He knew the job He had for her.
She went to East-West Ministries to interview for a visa coordinator position, which was very administrative. “That is not my wife … administration is not her gift. She knew that, but she was just trying for anything at that point.”
After talking with her for a while, the interviewer said, “There is no way I will hire you for this job. You will only last about three months, and that won’t be good for either of us. But I would like to create a position for you.” Following much more discussion, Eva took a position created for her that was primarily editorial, working on the East-West newsletter.
“The Lord didn’t just open a door, He created a room for the door for her to walk through—now she goes to work full of joy.” Instead of draining her, this job continues to invigorate and edify her, helping her heal from her past experiences.
Now, when they face financial concerns, while the situations are often still irritating, the Bleekers have a new perspective. “We have seen God work in such broad strokes and do such incredible things that we just anticipate His provision for our needs…we just wonder what God will do this time.”
And now as they are into Josh’s final year of school, they have seen God working in other ways to help them finish strong. “He is guiding, providing, giving grace, and just in general being a father who knows how to take care of us even when we don’t know what we need.”
After Josh finishes school, Eva hopes to take courses in the MA/CE program and be trained specifically in women’s ministry. They would like to work as a team, both teaching somewhere overseas.
The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to
glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders
for the proclamation of His Word and the
building up of the body of Christ worldwide.