Monday, 7 April 2008

"Still, We Almost Missed It"

Tall for a Cambodian, handsome and neat, surprisingly trendy, polite. A young man approached us in the church courtyard in Phnom Pehn. His English formal, his manner cool and professional. He was inquiring about our visit. We were there at New Life Church/Missions with hopes of meeting the pastor, a Khmer Rouge survivor and powerful force for the cause of Christ throughout the country since the ousting of Pol Pot in the 70's. It was campus ministries we hoped to discuss and it was an appointment we were after. But on this day, it was I who was this young man's divine appointment.

He said he was 25 and when I repeated his beautiful Khmer name the best I could, he smiled and asked me to call him by his "nickname" which was Peter. He had been saved in 2005 and had been following the LORD since. Faithfully serving wherever the need, watching Godly elders live and serve, studying when he could-he was now the pastor's assistant (administrative) being mentored for ministry. He had been praying and seeking the LORD for His plan for his life-- His divine calling. Last week, while "in the way" God had given him a vision (calling) for his life. It was to continue to do missions, but most likely to Koreans. With a beautiful humility of spirit he praised the LORD for His goodness and leading—as if it was a great undeserved honour to receive personal guidance from Almighty God. Suddenly, the cool demeanour literally evaporated as he looked up wide-eyed and said, "I must tell you what the great God did while I was out on my mission this week!"

Muddy, pitted dirt roads led to the remote village they had targeted for outreach. The people would be waiting, they knew they were coming. The seven hour drive was spent praying, singing, and preparing—all focus was on the LORD and the task ahead. Just a bit more than halfway there, they met with a flat tire--not uncommon, always inconvenient! And of course, literally in the "middle of nowhere" –just a few rustic homes dotted the rice paddies. Only rich people have spare tires in this world. Frustrated and late, a couple of team members hoisted the tire and went in search of repair while the rest prayed they would not miss their outreach opportunity. Patched and repositioned-on the move again-they reached the village in time.

Thirty-nine persons heard the Gospel. Twenty-one responded by putting their trust in Jesus Christ alone to save them from sin, death, and hell! A successful mission. Let's go home.


Still rejoicing, they heard the second tire blow just about halfway into the trip back to the city. They all piled out once again. Getting their bearings, a couple hoisted the tire and set off. They had been gone a while when the remaining team members realized that they were directly in front of the same few stilted long houses from earlier in the day! A coincidence? Hardly. They were shaken with the reality of God's providential hand!

House to house they took the Gospel and offered the truth to all within. Finally, they came to the home of a very, very old woman. It was she… she was the one, she had been waiting for them. It was glorious—a sweet surrender and salvation--a great rejoicing! Now they have a new mission next week—taking the Gospel to her whole family!

He said, "She was almost gone, but God kept her and loved her so much that He gave us 2 flat tires." "Still, we almost missed it." How glorious is our LORD!

I was pierced. "Still, we almost missed it." I was missing it! You see, I confess I am one of those "busy" women--I wondered how many times I actually "have missed it" --being busy, being on "a mission." I knew that even right then I was hoping to settle this appointment thing and rush back to finish a task that has been hanging over my head for such a long time. I had almost missed the blessing of meeting this young man-of allowing God to refine me through him. I asked the LORD for forgive me for my callousness. I thanked the LORD for the privilege of being led and guided daily by the hand of the Almighty God. I asked the LORD right then to drive my "missions" with His providential hand and to open my eyes to see as He see's ---and to enable me to always say, "Thanks LORD, for the 2 flat tires."