When days are busy, there’s just no way around it — not everything gets done that ought to have been done – but haphazard or intentional (or vice versa) what’s really most important usually does (get done – even if poorly). That’s how things have been or have seemed in the last couple of weeks. I’ve wanted to blog so many things – for there have been so many great things going on – so many things to comment on or to share with you. It seems that for the last few weeks life’s been almost a blurry series of hurry up, clean up, make food, hurry up, wash up, eat up, get up, clean it up, make food… and it’s all good. There’s a big difference between being tired in ministry and being tired of ministry.
For the last ten days we’ve had missionaries, students and other guests here — and before that, we had family from all over. Now, all the hurry, hurry, hurry has passed and all those days, events, and activities are part of a mental scrapbook of sweet memories. So, today is the first day of the new normal. I’m trying to unwind the reel and review the events – and as I do, I’ll write about a few of them… you know… now that things are back to normal (?). Through the years I think we redefine normal about every three weeks or so — for that’s about how long things seem to stay essentially the same — about three weeks. Maybe two. Maybe a day.
So, we’ve had students here from the same mission’s school that Timothy attended. It was great to see them bright and early each morning, to listen to their classes and to serve them meals each day. They had opportunities each day to go street preaching, witnessing and to do door to door evangelism. From Oregon to Seattle provides quite a different venue and mix of people to talk with. They had ample opportunity to sharpen their skills, to listen to the LORD and to *see* people. It’s one thing to walk along and see the masses, but it’s wholly another thing to *see* people and hear their stories and share with them the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And around Seattle — at Pike Place or Union Square or at the University of Washington, or Western Washington U, there were plenty of people with strong views – plenty of people gathering ‘knowledge’ but none of that knowledge will save, none of that knowledge has eternal value. So, they talked… they walked… they heard and they spoke of the Truth. We pray for God’s Word to not return void – that those who spat on them, those who burned tracts, those who ate tracts would one day come to the knowledge of the Truth – and we pray that God will continue to strengthen the church that the church would see the mandate to go into all the world preaching the gospel and making disciples.
We had a tremendous answer to prayer… One of the young women Wes was talking with, on one of the days street preaching, was a woman new to the area. She asked if Wes was a believer in Jesus – and when he said, yes, she asked if he was a born again Christian — a follower of the Saviour, Jesus Christ the Son of God? She wondered if there were believers in the area – Wes told her he didn’t know specifically in that particular area – but that if she was looking for an opportunity to hear the Word, to sing and to fellowship that she could join us in our fellowship of beleivers on Sunday. Problem – no transportation. Wes told her no problem – he & our family would pick her up. He gave her our phone number. She gave her address – no phone. So, Sunday when looking up her address on Streets ‘n Trips, no location found for that address. Sigh. What to do, what to do? Mapquest? No such address found. So later he came downstairs and asked us all to come into the kitchen and pray with him that Ruth would call. He prayed in earnest to the Lord that the Lord would have her to call, that he would be able to bring her up to our fellowship that was to meet later in the day to accommodate all the guests, students and families. He prayed; we joined him and asked the Lord for His will to be done. Riiiing, riiiing…. Riiiing, riiiing… (we have caller ID announce) call from _________. We had never heard the name before (nor could we understand it), but we knew who it was and we praised the Lord that He had, indeed, heard our prayer and He intentionally answered.
Wes and a few of the children went to pick her up and eventually brought her to the home where our church met. I had gone ahead with a few of the children and waited there for his arrival. When he arrived, he introduced the beautiful Ethiopian woman, Ruth, to the church and they welcomed her. It was lovely. What seemed haphazard was truly an intentional blessing of the Lord. She was blessed and was a blessing. At the end of the day when Wes and I brought her back to our home briefly, she looked at all the photographs in our living room and her eyes landed lovingly on the photos of Kathryn and the Ugandan children and Timothy in Ghana… she turned and saw another photo of Kathryn kissing a Ugandan baby — her eyes welled with tears, she smiled and hugged our younger children… they hugged her with smiles and told her they’d see her again. We drove her home — talking the whole way about her life here and her desire to find work. I don’t know what the Lord has in store — but I do know He did bless that meeting — some might have called haphazard or coincidence.
The students saw the hand of the Lord – we all saw His hand. They saw the intentional work of the Lord when believers simply walk in His ways and follow Him. I don’t know when or if we’ll see her again — she lives such a far distance from here… but God knows — and now, more than ever, I’m sure He’ll make it very clear. Intentionally.
Our lives may be or seem pretty haphazard sometimes. Praise God He loves us so. So intentionally.