Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”.
I did it again! As much as I try to get my thoughts in order, sometimes I revert to my human side and don’t see what God has planned. Sad thing is, I’ll probably have this train of thought again.
Okay, so what am I talking about? August 13 was the date I planned to celebrate the first anniversary for the “Church on the Hill” in Hato Chami. We have had monthly church services there and now we had reason to celebrate. Announcements were in place, the large cakes were purchased, some door prizes were bought and Reverend Ann Winters, from the states, was here to help. I prepared a full service and slide show to cap off the night.
We arrived at about noon and began to set up for the service and the children started coming already (the service wasn’t set to start till 6). So as we set up, the kids sang songs and watched 1 3/4 movies. It began to rain early in the afternoon and it continued to rain incredibly hard all afternoon. Lightning and thunder caused the children to cover their ears. Then the electric went off! Thus, the 3/4 movie. You need to know that when the electric goes off in the Comarca, it doesn’t come back on for a long while. Now my hope for a big celebration was dwindling. I remember talking to a student in the dorms saying ” so much for a good celebration tonight. Nobody will come out in this terrible rain! What am I going to do with the cakes? I bought enough for over 100 people. Do I celebrate next month?
I hooked up the generator and went through the motions to go on with the service with the 30 or 40 people that came early. Two girls came soaking wet, so I gave them a blanket to take the chill off. The only light was the projector light on the screen. Soon after we started, the surge suppressor power strip burned up. I did NOT have a spare! What now? God provided one person in the congregation to send someone to his house to get another one. He saved the day.
We got re-started and the people kept coming in , in spite of the rains and the lack of electricity. And we sang, prayed, and shared the Word of the Lord. They continued to come! By the time the service and festivities were done, over 110 people were sent by our incredible God to share in the nights service. I later heard from one man that came to the service, but the church was so full he couldn’t get in. He stayed for bit, in the rain, but ended up leaving early.
It was a very difficult night and amazing at the same time; but it also was yet another situation where I left God out of the picture when I was bumming before the service. I believe that God sent all those people because there was something said that night that God wanted them to hear. It was also a reminder that , against all odds, God will prove that he can do anything at any time. All we need to do is be faithful and watch Him work.
At the end of the night, I shook my head in amazement at what had transpired. I remember when the service started, I said ” I had big plans for the anniversary celebration that didn’t include all this rain, but God knows what He is doing”. And, sure enough He does.
God knows best. I need to trust His plans will always play themselves out if we are faithful. My prayer for all of you is that you seek His face, seek His will and watch His grand design come together…in spite of all the obstacles. Amen.