Coolest thing happened yesterday...I seriously believe in divine appointments on a daily basis and am always preaching about it. Many might think I exaggerate these experiences with ministering to people I don't even know in airports or on planes or in stores, but truly I don't. It's always nice to have a witness with me to see how this really does always happen to me!
We got on our first flight to Philly and it was totally full and not much room for stowing carryons. Sue and I had to rearrange our overhead compartment to fit our stuff and a lady got all in a tizzy that we touched her bag. She was a little overwrought about nothing. Well then comes the last person on the plane, a man who had the seat next to us. His carryon never did get in the overhead and they had to check his bag. He was so angry, cussing under his breath, and just really mad for quite a while.
About 20 minutes before the flight ended, he started asking us some questions and we told him we were headed to Africa for missions. He said, "you mean, like...Christianity and that kind of stuff?" We said yes. Then he says, "this is very interesting...my wife has just become a Christian and is taking our 4 kids to church. I don't go at all. But some people have been talking to me about it in her church and as a matter of fact right before I got on this plane, they gave me a Bible. Then he pulls out this beautiful NIV Message, leather bound with his name engraved on it. I said, "oh my, that's a very nice Bible, they must care about you very much to bless you with that Bible..." and he said, "yeah, I don't know what I'm doing with it..I read a few pages, started at the beginning but don't understand a lot of it." I suggested he start in John instead. Then he started telling me he wasn't quite sure about all this but was seeking. I said, "Keep seeking...because the Bible says if you seek Him, you will find Him..." and then I shared with him about even those who don't believe in Him at all who seek with their whole hearts (famous ex-atheists like Josh McDowell or Lee Strobel) find the more they study, the more real they discover He is! I went into talking with him a little bit of what I'm teaching in my SS class right now in apologetics. He was extremely receptive to it. He's a hispanic man named Henry...his wife and kids are in Tampa full time but he commutes 3 times a week to his job in Pennsylvania. He said he had tried a church but not felt comfortable with it, and said to me, "can you give me information about your church?" (This entire conversation was him asking us -- we didn't have to bring up anything about God or church to start with...he just poured it out...) So I said, "as a matter of fact I have a card right here..." and gave it to him and he said, "where in Tampa are you?" and I said, "do you know where Bearss Ave is?" He said, "Sure, right off of 275...." and he said, "well, I'll be seeing you there..."
I said, "Henry, I'll be praying for you. Keep seeking. God is going to make Himself real to you..." He smiled a big smile and thanked me and said what a pleasure it was to meet Sue and I.
As we get off the plane and go to the next gate Sue exclaims, "Pastor Deanna, that was amazing how that happened!" I said, "Sue, I've told people a million times you just wake up in the mornings and pray God will open up opportunities, and HE WILL if He knows we will be faithful to walk through the doors."
God is amazing! I told her just this morning before we even boarded that I believed God would give us divine opportunities...and He did. He's going to keep doing it so just get ready to hear more, because we have a bunch more flights before this whole thing is over!
Just had to share that testimony. It's almost time to board our gate...we will arrive in Africa at 1:30 PM EST, God willing. As you can see I have updated the Twitter all along since we began our trip. Just keep checking.
Much love to all from London!