“This can’t be happening!” I was out shopping and about to meet a friend and something was not right – my handbag felt too light…
Nunawading church member, Violet Lear, shares a touching testimony…
The day had started like any other.  I gave praise to God for keeping us safe during the night, for life, for a new day… Then my prayer requests followed and I gave total surrender to God for His will in my life for that day. I told Him my plans: I was looking forward to meeting up with a dear friend and going to the bank to get the interest due on my term deposit account. I was looking forward to having a little extra money and getting a new battery for my watch which I particularly liked. After giving my plans to God I asked Him what plans did He have for my day?
Little did I know…
Oh no, my purse! Gone. All my cards, the watch… The money!
“Please God, help me to find it,” I prayed as I went over my tracks back to the Bank and the Post Office, to my car and the public conveniences. But it was nowhere to be seen.
I made my way to the cafe where my friend Jeanie was waiting.  After telling her what had happened, she immediately opened her purse and gave me $20.
“Thank you, but I’ll be OK,” I said.
“Let me do something for you,” pleaded Jeanie, who has terminal cancer. How could I refuse?
I cancelled my cards and reported it to the police. Without evidence the purse had been stolen, there was nothing they could do. So I checked at the Post Office to see if they would look at the Security Camera footage – and there I was walking out with my purse in my hand.
So that was it. Nothing more I could do.
But I continued to pray. Maybe there was no hope of getting money back. “Could I please get my purse and watch back as I am unable to replace them.” The purse was a gift and the watch from an op shop.
Two days later my husband suggested we go back to the beach suburb and have a look in the grass to see if we could find the purse. So we were sitting in the car ready to go. The post had just arrived and I was flipping through the mail when I saw a parcel.
“Not my birthday today is it?” I joked, before exclaiming “It’s my purse!” I hurriedly unwrapped it and there it was, my green ‘made in Italy’ purse, carefully wrapped in bubble wrap.
“Thank you God.” I hesitated to open it. Yes, the money was gone. More than I should have carried with me. Cards were all there, my watch too, and even small change. I notified the police who said that the person who sent it would have found it after money was taken and purse thrown away. I wrote a note thanking the person for my parcel, and asked the Postmaster if he would put it in the window. I hope he did.
Jeanie was so excited when I told her – her faith is growing and she had prayed specifically for the purse and watch. She was thrilled God had heard her prayer.
I decided to share my story because of what happened next: when I rang to get a new seniors card I told my story with the man on the other end of the phone and was taken back by his reply. In a gentle voice he asked, “And how are you Violet?” I queried his question and then he said, “Well, you have been through a trauma. How are you?” Again, in the kindest of voices. How nice was that. People were concerned as I’d lost a lot of money, but a stranger was more concerned about me.
The lesson of kindness and empathy will linger on. Yes, some people said I shouldn’t have had that amount of money in my purse and that is true. (Another valuable lesson learnt!)

There was an unexpected ending to the story. I attend a Know Your Bible group and at the time the loss was made a prayer item. Four weeks later the lady I was sitting next to in class put something into my handbag and I thought I could see a $50 note. I started to say no but she said the Lord has impressed her to do it. Then she left.
When I got home I looked in my bag and saw a number of notes… $750 worth in all. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t contact her til next day when she then told me that a week ago God had impressed her to give me the money and I was to take it and use it for whatever I wanted.
This is a story of kindness and God’s loving care. At that time I was on His mind. Amazing!

Violet Lear