BIMI

To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

Yes, We’re Going to St. Lucia...But on the Way... by Wes Bartley Oh, the strange things that happen on the deputation trail (or “trial”—depending on how you look at it)! One morning I was once again phoning pastors to try to book meetings. This task is always a delight for any missionary! (Please note my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek as I say that!) Things were going okay; however, I was having trouble getting a couple of Sundays booked back-to-back, leaving a two-week gap in our schedule. Oh no! The dreaded “nothing booked” was staring me in the face! But we are missionaries! So on- ward we go into the unknown! Well...really not that bravely but trusting in the Lord (and praying that some pastor somewhere was eagerly punching in our number, calling for a meeting), my wife, teenage kids, and I gathered our belongings, stuffed them into our van and headed out to a church that I had been able to book in Ohio. The Ohio meeting went well; however, all the time in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Lord, after this what am I supposed to do for two weeks? You know that I can’t afford to spend two weeks in a hotel, and our next meeting is in Tennessee—in two weeks!” Of course, my wife and I started praying, “Lord, You know we’re thankful for our van, but we’re really not crazy about the idea of sleeping in it for two weeks.” That Sunday night we received our answer. A phone call came from a pastor in Kentucky telling us that his church had a house that we could use for as long we needed it! We were ecstatic! The next morning we joyously took off for Kentucky, praising the Lord for this huge answer to prayer. When we got into the area, I called the benevolent pastor (as he had suggested that I do). Hmmm…no answer. Strange. I kept calling. Still no answer. What do we do? I decided that we would just drive to the church and go from there. After all, he HAD invited us! As we pulled into the parking lot we saw a sign saying “Missions Quarters.” We had made it! Whew! I jumped out to see if there was anyone around, and I eventually found a sweet lady and told her who we were and that I had talked with her pastor about staying in the Mis- sions Quarters. Her response was not what I was expecting: “Who are you? I haven’t heard anything about your staying here!” The first thing that went through my head was, What Lord? Then that sweet lady spoke up and said, “Well, I’ll phone my pastor and see what he says.” I thought, What do you mean “what he says”? He already said YES! I was soon to find out that we were not the only ones that were confused. The pastor came to the church to talk with us. No, he hadn’t called us. No, he didn’t know who we were. No, he hadn’t offered us a place to stay. WHAT? But, he decided, the Lord hadn’t led us there for nothing, so we were welcome to stay there for as long as we needed! Yes! Yea! Hurray! Jehovah Jirah! But what had happened? Where and who was this other pastor that DID call us? After many phone calls, I figured out that just about thirty minutes away from this church was the pastor that did call us. The reason for confusion? The two pastors had the exact same name! Who knew? What an amazing coincidence? What a lucky break? Hardly. God in His wisdom not only gave us TWO places we could stay but also guided us to two new pastor friends. And the biggest blessing of all? Two new churches have taken us on for sup- port! Oh yes, God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform! Wonder if I have any more two-week gaps in the future? 1 Corinthians 1:25