It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. Jeremiah 10:23b
A sequence of events: Have you ever had one of those days in which everything culminated in one of those God appointments? We shared one with you in January and now we have another one for you.
I (Lance) hadn’t seen a chiropractor in more than two years, so I finally decided to make a long-overdo appointment for Friday afternoon. Because I got back to the house at the end of the workday, we decided to go walk in the park. We hadn’t been there in quite a while and normally wouldn’t have gone at that hour.
Off we went! It was a beautiful evening! The park (see above photo) has a lake with a 1.25-mile paved pathway. We normally walk counter-clockwise, but this time we decided to go clockwise. We soon came upon a young couple and their dog. The dog was very excited to see people, so we stopped and made a fuss over her. Then we began to talk with the couple. They had been married a year and a half and are interested in adopting. (We had our adoption t-shirts on).
We asked them, “Are you from Madill?”
“No, we’re from Houston.”
“So do you have family here?” Of course they must! No one just comes to Madill.
“No, we’ve never been here before and didn’t even know this place existed.”
We didn’t know Madill had become a tourist destination! So they had our attention, or rather God did. God orchestrated events in their lives to get them to the park, and orchestrated events in our lives to get us to take a walk. We thought about the ifs: if I hadn’t gone to the chiropractor, if I hadn’t gotten home at that hour, if that couple hadn’t had their dog with them, if we had gone the counter-clockwise…
After more conversation we asked, “What’s your relationship with God?” We learned that they attend a church that teaches works righteousness; they didn’t know if they would go to heaven if they died. So for the next 30 minutes, we shared from Numbers 21 and John 3 and other passages. They seemed to hang on to our every word!
“Does that make sense?”
Though it was all new to them, they said it made perfect sense. They saw how God had orchestrated events to bring us together.
To simply believe – to “look and live,” as the Israelite community was told to do – seems too easy! And yet if it weren’t, we’d all be doomed to an eternity separated from God!
As I prayed for them one sleepless night, the old hymn “Look and Live” started going through my mind, prompting this update. I hope this encourages you to look for those God appointments in your life. When we parted ways, they promised that they would remember our conversation. Please pray for them!
In the meantime: We shared in our last update that we probably won’t be able to return to the Philippines this year. As disappointing as that is, we know God is in control. I continue working on translation while also preparing for an online SYIS course “Serving Others Through Listening Well.” If you’re interested in sharpening your interpersonal skills, you can read more at the International Training Partners’ website.
Thank you: We are grateful for each of you who partners with us as we minister to the Higaunon through scripture translation. This month we introduce you to Langan and Iyi. Back in the mid-1980s, Langan visited our village. He had come to hear the message of life so he could share it with the people of his village. As a result, his village has a church that has planted other churches in that area. Please pray for their safety and for those churches to continue to thrive.
If you have any questions please write to us. We’d love to hear from you!
Secure in Christ,
Lance & Laura