I’ve been waiting eighteen years, or roughly 6,570 days, for God to answer this one desire of my heart. You know, that one about serving Him in Europe. Meanwhile He sees fit to keep me in other places, so I am content and even happy.
But thank goodness He doesn’t always take that long to answer a prayer or fulfill a desire.
In December nearly two years ago, I spent a few weeks in New Zealand on ministry. I got to meet a young Kiwi woman who had, through the most random of events, had stumbled onto One Mission Society. When the OMS New Zealand director met with her she expressed interest in HOPE61 and so our paths were bound to cross.
While the Kiwi directors had planned for us to meet during my first trip in April 2013, she came down with the flu and was unable to meet before I left the country. It wasn’t until December that we did meet; perhaps a miracle in it of itself, given that our communication was not consistent. Owen (One of the directors.), Kiana C. (HOPE61 volunteer and my travel buddy for New Zealand trips.), and I met with this woman at a café in south Auckland.
She radiated the calm confidence that fills someone certain of who and what they follow. For her, it is the Living God and His leading. She shared her journey with us, recounted the cultural and personal barriers that could have stopped her from saying “Yes, I will go into ministry.” or “Yes, I will follow Your voice toward justice in the face of injustice – like human trafficking.” It was evident to me that she was a sincere and humble disciple.
We chatted about possibilities to work with HOPE61 in Colombia or Mexico. At the time, this young woman was not ready to say “Yes” or “No” about serving with OMS and HOPE61. We decided to talk more in the future. Then I went back to Australia, then back-back to America, then, as you know, it took much longer than I’d thought to return to ministry here.
To sum things up, I did not talk with this young woman while I was in the US. When I thought of her, though, I prayed for her continued strength to follow God anywhere He calls. When it was nearly time for my return I searched everywhere for her contact details – I couldn’t remember her last name to look her up on Facebook – the OMS office no longer had the info, either — and it seemed like there was no way to get back in touch.
I thought about it and I worried about it and berated myself for not keeping in regular contact with her. I sent up quick prayers borne of this concern but it wasn’t until June that my prayers got specific. “God,” I prayed. “Please bring her to me or HOPE61 because I have zero way of contacting her.”
The next evening I was sitting on my bed with my laptop, lazily browsing Facebook before I went to a friend’s house. A notification popped up. It was her! She sent a message to HOPE61 expressing her desire and readiness to know more about how she could serve with us in New Zealand.
Is there even an exclamation mark good enough for that?!
Since then she and I have been emailing and making plans for HOPE61 training and more in-depth conversations. Now isn’t the right time to share it all, but I can assure you that God is working mightily in her life. Please pray for her safety (She is overseas at the moment.), health, that her faith would continue to be strengthened, and that we would be able to Skype soon to talk more details.
Thank you, God, for waiting just one day to answer this prayer with a “yes!”