Often, when things do not go as planned, I have a tendency to freak out. You know me… we have talked about this type A personality and love of lists and order. Lately, we have had some detours as to how we expected events to happen and it has been amazing to see how God has used these times.
Story time….gather ’round…because God is so good…
Story 1: In February, we went to Bucharest to visit friends and we had a great weekend. Before it was time to go to the train station, we wanted to take a moment and pray together. We are so glad that we took that time, but then we could not find a taxi, and the tram was not coming in time to take us to the train station. We called a friend of theirs with a car, but we still missed our train. That evening we went to a gathering of missionaries with them and planned to catch the night train instead. At the gathering, we met several people working in Bucharest, and Jeff was able to connect with someone who teaches at the Bible Institute. A week later, Jeff was asked to sub for him in 2 classes. We recently got back from Jeff teaching and he taught both classes in Romanian. It was so exciting to see the next generation of church leaders thinking about what it means to serve the city.
Story 2: We were traveling back and we were hoping to sit by a friend who would be on the train with us, but going to a different city. However, the train was packed, people were in our seats, and it never worked out to sit by each other. However, God sat a young man about to graduate high school beside us, who started talking with us in English about how his mother was a christian but he was an atheist. We were able to talk with him about his future as he is searching for a purpose for his life.
Story 3: We went to Craiova for a day trip with a friend and we got lost … a lot. We ended up looking for a shop that no longer exists, went to the wrong shopping center to see a movie, and ended up needing to take a taxi to the other end of the city. While getting lost was a great adventure, we also go into a taxi with a driver who talked with us about his disappointment in the Orthodox church. He was telling us about how priests require payment for everything (blessings, services, visits, etc.) and how he believes that is not what religion is about. It was interesting to hear his point of view and frustrations. We got his number and we are hoping to connect him with a new church plant happening in Craiova soon.
Story 4: When Jeff lived here in 2010, he went on a mission trip to the Severin area and helped build a church. Well, 5 years later, we went with our friend to her church in that city. As we drove up to the church, Jeff remembered the building. Come to find out, the church plant that was there, recently sold the property to our friend’s church, and Jeff had been there 5 years before to lay concrete for the flooring. It was amazing to see the location now filled with believers worshiping and praising God.
Story 5: A few weeks ago, we saw an apartment online that looked too good to be true. We decided to call and see if we could go and look at it. Amazingly, there was an open house the next day with several people coming to look at it. We really liked it but there were more people coming by, and they said they would call at 2. At 2:30 we got the call that they wanted us to rent it and we met the landlords that evening to discuss everything. It seems God is provided a bigger place in a part of town we love. We are excited to see how God will use this new place. We are still a little nervous of moving to a new block but, we know however this works out, God is perfect in the unexpected.
None of these events were our doing but just us trying to remember to be open, listen, and aware of opportunities presented to us. So we continue to trust and keep our minds open and flexible, because who knows what’s next…
Is God doing something unexpected in your life right now?
Are you embracing it or fighting it?
How will he use your obedience and flexibility for his glory?