Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's the Little Things

I believe in signs and miracles. As it becomes more and more clear to us, that we are about to move our family of seven across the world to another continent, I wanted to share just a few of the little things that keep us going. In the winter of 2009, we shared our plan to take a short term mission trip, with our pastor. I laughingly said, "Maybe we will be Terra Nova's first missionaries." I wasn't really joking. He laughed and agreed. He wasn't joking either.

After a fitful night of flying the red-eye to London, Kevin and I found ourselves in Heathrow with a 12-hour layover. Being an Anglophile, the obvious choice was to forget sleep and see London, baby.
South African High Commission

We took a train into central London, not having a clue where we were going. Beware: the bathrooms inside the train station cost money to use. That's another story. We were told by a helpful Londoner to take the Tube to Piccadilly Circus. From there we planned to walk to several iconic sights. 

South African Embassy in London

Here's something interesting: one of the first sights we see is not Big Ben or Trafalgar Square, it's the South African embassy. I made Kevin stand beside the plaque that says "South African High Commission." Let's face it, after almost 16+ hours of traveling, I'm NOT getting my picture taken.

When we arrived at The Team House, near Cape Town, where we we would be staying for two weeks, we spotted this llama farm down the road. We passed it everyday. Hello...We are from OHIO!

Mike Talley, one of the volunteer coordinators with Living Hope, gave us some advice on how we might know that God is calling us. One of those was Scripture. He said God would lead each of us to a passage in the Bible that would confirm our calling. Earlier that day, unknown to each of us, both Kevin and I had read the same passage in Isaiah 43.

18"Do not call to mind the former things,
         Or ponder things of the past.
    19" Behold, I will do something new,
         Now it will spring forth;
         Will you not be aware of it?
         I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.
    20" The beasts of the field will glorify Me,
         The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert,
         To give drink to My chosen people.
    21" The people whom I formed for Myself
         Will declare My praise.

That same day we were scheduled to go see the Cape of Good Hope at Cape Point. In the park, we were shocked to see an animal we didn't expect to see in Africa: Ostriches.

To top it off, the following Sunday, Pastor John Thomas preached from, you guessed it, Isiah 43.
Some will say these are a series of coincidences, nothing more. But for us, these are tangible signs from a Creator who is orchestrating our path.

Before we left for South Africa, we had an inkling that we might be back. But to everyone else, this was just a mission trip. It really was not a shock to us to learn that Living Hope is interested in starting a sports ministry; that basketball, volleyball and soccer are popular sports. It really was not a shock to learn that Living Hope could use a PR type person to help bear the load of the full time staff. In fact, there are so many beautiful stories to tell, they need someone to simply display the work of God in written form.  I should point out that these are the exact jobs that Kevin and I do on a daily basis, here in O-H-I-O.

When we met Living Hope's volunteer coordinator's, Tim and Natasha Hoffman, what a blessing to discover that Tim is an engineer who briefly considered attending the same engineering school that Kevin attended. It was pretty funny to be driving down a road in Cape Town, South Africa, to hear two men compare their thoughts about Flint, Michigan.

Last week, I got a text message from a number I didn't recognize. It said, "Many O Lord my God are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us; None can compare to you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Psalm 40:5. The verse was from my college assistant volleyball coach, whom I haven't seen in 15 years. Why he decided to text me that particular verse on February 10th, 2011, I'll never know.

But indeed, many are the wonders You have done O Lord. The things You have planned for US..

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