Update 7 - Understanding God's Missions 2018: EchoMission 3.0
I must share this 100% miracle that took place. What makes this so unbelievable is that I saw it for myself and understand how impossible it is. Kelvin had taken the old van to the new location the previous night. He wanted to drop some food off to the night watchman, Daniel. The new mission house is about a 15 minute drive from the old one. On his way back, he heard a clunk. The van became impossible to drive. He prayed that God would bring him home on “wings of Eagles.” Several turns and stop signs later, he arrived back at the house. I was going to use the van the following morning. Tony informed me that something was wrong with the van. Due to the fact I was a mechanic years ago, and worked on things my entire life, I thought I would look at it. I was shocked when I looked under the front end, and saw that one wheel was totally disconnected from the steering mechanism.
Imagine having one of the wheels that steer your vehicle no longer turning. This makes the vehicle impossible to drive. I asked Kelvin about him getting a tow truck the night before to get the vehicle home. He said, no I just prayed to God and He brought me home on wings of Eagles. This, my friends, is an absolute undisputed miracle. There is no way he could have maneuvered turns, potholes and obstructions with only one wheel turning. I climbed underneath this vehicle and saw it with my own eyes, then I started the vehicle up and turned the wheel from side to side. One wheel moved, and the other one did not even twitch. Praise God for His mighty works.
Now back to the return trip to the attorney. The night before, he clearly had evil intentions on his mind concerning my well-being. The Holy Spirit confirmed in my heart that the tone I used with him was not conducive to demonstrating love. The very first thing I said to him is, “I do not want to make any justifications- you are right... my tone was inappropriate. Will you forgive me for that?” I then told him I wanted him to have the opportunity to be in heaven. I said my desire would be that we could be friends and I could be used by God to help lead him to heaven. Then I asked him this question, “Tell me about your relationship with Jesus.” For the next 20 minutes or so he told us his life story. The transparency was astounding. His mother had gotten pregnant at 13 years old. He never knew his father and never received acceptance from his stepfather. He had been bullied and mistreated for many years. The main motivational drive was to become successful and have control over his life. He had forced people to respect him and was willing to take whatever steps necessary to do so.
By his own admission, he told us of many bad things that he had done. He also was part of a larger church and worked on the administrative side. The reality that some of the pastors were thieves and took advantage of others was very troubling for him. He gave all kinds of justifications and examples of his charitable deeds, but the driven nature of his personality was easy to see. I shared with him some similarities that I had and how Jesus wants us fully surrendered. There were moments that I could sense his heart was being spoken to by the Holy Spirit. A few years back, if I would have had such an encounter, a next day follow-up, let alone apology like this would have been impossible. That is why Jesus gets all the credit for making this happen. His ways are so far beyond our ways. When we surrender our will to His, we can sit back and watch miraculous things happen.
I am still pondering the situation, and trying to understand how much of it was done in obedience, or the flesh. The innocent kindhearted existence that Tony lives makes me very protective of him. That is where the flesh comes in. The responsibility is not mine, but God’s. This is where the discernment becomes difficult. I do not believe the attorney would have shared his life story in such dramatic fashion if it had not been for such dramatic events taking place. Please do not view this as justification for my behavior. I was short and stern with my initial communication with him. In this case, that persistent feeling of correcting a mistake was different. You know the feeling you get from the Holy Spirit when you have slipped up, so maybe everything happened the way that it was supposed to.
A few days later, we asked the attorney to a dinner outing with the Echo Africa staff. He had a wedding that he was attending, but was quite thankful that we thought of him. In fact, he said he would love to in the future some time. I was talking with Tony and I said “It would be great to invite the four thugs over sometime as well.” Knowing that Jesus is capable of anything and everything, I would not be surprised if He made it happen sometime.
This Sunday, we went to a small little church that was a school classroom during the week. There was a little three-year-old girl named Esther that came and sat on Heidi’s lap for the entire service. She kept talking to Heidi, but of course, we could not understand what she was saying. Tony was next to us and translated. He said that she wanted us to come over to her house and spend the night. So precious, so loving from people that have so little. The connection we have with the children all across Africa seems to be supernatural. God is allowing the love in our hearts to be felt by these young ones even though we do not speak the same language. I am not sure how far God will have us go, but I know the little girl Esther felt the love of God through us today, and we felt her love too.