We have been back in Nigeria now for three weeks. I find myself reflecting on our three months in the United States and I am amazed at how God works!
In 120 days we had 80 meetings, dentist visits, doctor visits, Dan had surgery on both legs, upper and lower veins, took care of a bunch of logistics for Dan’s mom, Elsie, visited with family and friends, gathered tools to bring back to Nigeria with us from assorted donors and thrift stores. I am constantly amazed at the hospitality, food, and generosity of our church families!
We got to talk to thousands of people about what God is doing here in our area of Nigeria. We talked to businesses, churches, small groups, organizations, even people at the airports. It is pretty awesome how God opens up so many opportunities and in God’s economy it works.
I want to tell you about one of my strategies this year during our home assignment time. I decided that I was going to pray, and pray fervently for any obstructions or potential road blocks. We, of course had some challenges during the 12,000 miles that we drove around the US, but we were kept safe and that if there was a challenge, God had a reason for it. I truly believed that God would answer my prayers, and I always pray for God’s will to be done and He always shows up!
I have to share with you one of the things God did this year that proves it to me. Dan TOTALLY hates going to the airport. We always have a lot of luggage, and we pack very carefully. This year we had 15 – 50 pound bags to check. At the airport, the service we have received up until this visit has been horrible! It takes us bunches of time, energy, and money and then we get treated like we are ruining someone’s day so they must treat us like dirt (a small amount of exaggeration there, but not much).
This year, with as busy as things were, I started praying a month before we left that God would grant us favor with the person who checks us into the airport and just a pleasant attitude, that was all I asked for. After we check in our bags we have at least 24 hours in planes and airports and then two days of driving to get to Gembu after spending a day of shopping to get all the supplies we need for at least 3-4 months. We show up back in Gembu, tired, drained, with a lot to do.
Well, God showed up big time. Each time Dan mentioned his dread of the upcoming airport visit, I would say, “I have been praying about that, so we don’t need to worry”. Dan looked at me skeptically each time and would shake his head.
We showed up at the airport with plenty of time to spare, as usual, and I was looking at the Clerks checking people in and wondered who we would get. Well, we got the most lovely woman. She asked what was in the bags, and we told her mostly baby items, teaching supplies, and leadership books, and a bit of medical equipment. She was cheerful, happy, and the most helpful person EVER! She gave us some items we could bring back for kids, she helped us put our airplane points on our account as we were going with Turkish Air and hadn’t used that airline except for our trip home last spring. In between all of this she was helping other customers who came to check in. She also spent over an hour on the phone to make sure what the cost of the baggage should be. She was able to give us all of our bags at under half of what we had been told before. She was cheerful, helpful, interested in what God was doing in Nigeria, AND right before we boarded she surprised us with two first-class tickets instead of our general boarding tickets for the first leg of the journey to Toronto. Did God show up? He sure did and I still consider her our “Airport Angel” that God used to bless us mightily.
Friends, this Nigerian Journey God has us on is teaching me that I truly do not and probably cannot understand the power of communing with God, praying, and the faith that I have. During our time in the States we heard a message about prayer and we pray and then are surprised when what we prayed for happens. Just a little observation from this year’s Home Assignment.
My point for today is this, are you praying with faith, out of desperation, or for His Will? I challenge you to really study prayer, dig in, and really see what the Bible tells us about it in our lives.