"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Friday, August 11, 2017

Take a Seat, Please!

Hello, Dear Readers –

LA Mission Team
Mary Jane, Cathy, Karen, Sam and Hannah
The team of five arrived home from the Los Angeles mission trip and we’ve recovered from jet lag, which, as it turns out, is a very real thing. I couldn’t physically or mentally function for several days after we returned. We are all back to normal now (I smile as I type that – us, normal!) and as He promised us, God showed up and heaped blessings all over and around us. I’ll have to unfold the story in several smaller portions to get it all told. Here’s the beginning:

On the flight from Charlotte to Denver, Sam (our team leader) sat on a row alone, with two of us seated behind him and two seated across the aisle. The seat beside him stayed vacant for quite
An Empty Seat
some time as the plane filled up. A young man finally came searching for that seat. As we were traveling to the airport, Sam told us that he planned to get some rest on this first flight. The young man sat down and he and Sam exchanged pleasantries, and Sam prepared to lean back and get comfortable. Once the young man found out Sam was involved in Missions, the floodgate of questions opened and Sam politely answered them, still set on resting during this flight. But the young man was so hungry and thirsty for the truth of Jesus and the knowledge of Him that he kept Sam busy and then prayed to accept Christ as His Savior somewhere between Charlotte and Denver.

Brand-new Bible in a Suitcase
Sam let the rest of us know what had happened and we prayed for this young man with our arms through the seats, over the seats and across the aisle. His entire countenance had changed since he sat down in that seat next to Sam. God had prompted one of the ladies to pack a Bible she had at home, brand-new, still in the wrapper. She got her suitcase out of the overhead bin and fished out the Bible and gave it to the young man, who we now knew as Wycliffe. He hugged it to his chest and rubbed it and smiled as he said, “I WILL read this.”

We all met in the airport waiting room when we debarked so all we Mommas could hug him and properly welcome him to the family.

Now here’s the rest of the story:

Wycliffe lives in Atlanta now but is originally from a village in Africa. Sam was in Wycliffe’s home village three weeks earlier as he partnered with a minister there to spread the news of Jesus.

Wycliffe wasn’t supposed to sit in that sit next to Sam. His seating assignment had been changed at the last minute “to accommodate another passenger with a special need.”

I had just finished reading the autobiography of William Cameron Townsend, the founder of the
Wycliffe Bible Translators Logo
Wycliffe Bible Translators, the week before the trip. One portion talked about how some of the natives had shown their gratitude to Townsend and his wife for all the many kindnesses they performed in the villages by naming their children after them and their work. I asked Wycliffe where he got his name and he replied, “From my grandfather.” As soon as I heard Wycliffe’s name, I was struck that Wycliffe’s grandfather may have been one of those babies. The time periods line up for it to be so.

Was all of this coincidental? I don’t think so. I believe God let us see how He works. I believe God had been making a way for Wyclliffe to come to know Him for over three generations.

What lengths has God gone to so you would know and love Him? I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

Going out with joy today because God is at work all around us –