These past couple months have been filled with high expectations, an abundance of trials, and unexpected blessings. By the end of June, our family was excited to finally have a home base for the next couple of months. I planned a schedule to spend many hours making phone calls and expecting that our schedule would start filling up for next year. Since God has blessed us with an abundance of love offerings, I planned to send some of that money to be exchanged into the country where God has called us for future use since the exchange rate is still high. While at our home base, I planned to spend more time knocking doors to hopefully see many receive Christ. However, in my efforts to accomplish my expectations, the hours of phone calls produced very few meetings, I was unable to transfer the love offerings due to unforeseen dental appointments and vehicle expenses, and the extra time spent knocking doors seemed to produce less than average results. God had different expectations. What I thought to be an opportunity to be more productive ended up becoming a season of much prayer.
Although meetings have not produced support, many have come to me expressing that God has met with them personally through my preaching. One man told me he was praying that God would bring the church a message on unity the very morning I was to preach. He was shocked when he found out the title of my message was on the very subject he had prayed for, and many responded to the invitation.
Although I have not been able to use our love offerings to save for future needs overseas, God is taking care of us, knowing that we would face these unforeseen costs. My conviction is not to use our support money while on deputation and God always provides!
Although I personally have not been able to see as many souls saved with all the extra effort, God used a man named Steve to encourage me. I knocked an entire block of houses with hardly any response. Then I came to Steve’s door. His response to my questions didn’t seem clear, so I went through the Gospel with him. I could tell God was moving in his heart, and at times he was brought to tears. I thought he was ready to receive Christ, but he assured me that he had already received Christ as his personal Saviour and said that God had brought me to his home for a much different reason. In recent days, his wife had left him and some very close loved ones had passed away, all within a short time. He told me that the night before, he had cried out to God to help him. While sharing the Gospel with him and telling him how much God loved him, Steve said that he felt God relieving him of his burdens and then told me that I had saved a life that day. Then he encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing because God had used me to help him through his trials.
Although God has been putting me to the test, I am learning not to get ahead of God and wait for His leading. My daily schedule is planned like how I would seek God for a sermon text and outline. As I could not preach without the fullness of God’s Spirit in public, I must have His fullness in the private sermon of my daily schedule!
Praise the Lord! Last week was especially encouraging. I had a good time visiting, praying, and sharing the Gospel with many in a poor neighborhood. One lady in particular who received Christ was so thankful for hearing the Gospel that I was humbled by her joy. Please pray for wisdom and that more people would be moved by God to faithfully and fervently pray for those in the Middle East.