“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

His Story to Tell

The Ethiopia/Uganda Chronicles
Chapter Eleven - A Story To Tell

February 17th, 2014
Christopher in Uganda 

When we tell our stories it enables the listener to spend time with Jesus.

Written Sunday, February 16th, 2014
Mbale, Uganda

I stumbled upon it.  A private moment in a public place.  A man praying for another man.  I stood quietly in the stairwell with my head bowed.  Unbeknownst to me, I was being watched, too.

The man praying was my son.  My boy, 14 years old at the time.  Praying for a man who was at least four times older than himself.  The man had just lost his 5 month old granddaughter in a car accident.  His daughter was in critical condition.

Christopher had just happened upon this man in this hotel stairwell.  And the man had opened up to Christopher and the man asked for prayer.  Christopher determined to pray for the man, Stewart, right there and right then in the very public stairwell.

The hotel was quiet really.  We were in Uganda.  On a missions trip in early 2014.  A trip that Christopher had at one time wondered why he had to come with his parents.  Whether God had a plan for him on a missions trip to Africa.

Later as I shared what I had observed to my husband, we were overwhelmed with Christopher's compassion and obedience to pray for the man.  And we would find out later that one of our pastors, Linda, had observed the whole thing.  All of this.  Including me with head bowed.

The next morning as we met for our morning devotional with the mission team, Christopher recounted the story about praying for Stewart.  And as he did someone gasped.  A deep gasp.  Pastor Kirk from the Denver Vineyard Church pulled in his breath so sharply that we all took note.  And with shock he shared that he was late to our morning devotional because he had just checked his e-mail and received a message from a former college roommate.  The former roommate had asked Pastor Kirk if he could find his friend who was in Mbale.  There had just been a car accident.  Could Pastor Kirk please see if he could connect with this friend who had just lost his granddaughter and offer solace?  And we all gasped under our breath.  Could it really be the same man? 

Christopher looked up from where he was sitting.  He could see Stewart across the lobby.   Christopher took Pastor Kirk and introduced them to each other. 

I had went up to the room.  When Christopher returned he was beaming.  It was the same - THE VERY SAME - man and situation.  And Christopher informed me that he was invited with Pastor Kirk to go to the hospital and visit the daughter to pray for her.  For her recovery physically, emotionally, spiritually.

And the rest of us "adults" were full of wonder.  Just thinking of the events that would bring us to this particular hotel.  And a child's obedience to the prompting of God's Spirit to pray.  We are each precious in His sight.  Perhaps all of this was orchestrated for Stewart.  Or was it for his daughter?  Or to build my faith?  Or for Christopher to see God's promise fulilled that he had a calling to go on this missions trip? And I cannot put words to my feelings of watching my son become a man using his unique gifts to be used by God to bring comfort to a family.  To touch others for God.

Earlier in the week Kari had led our morning devotion.  She shared with the group different occasions when she was obedient to the Lord even when it was hard.  She said she wasn't sharing the incidents because she wanted our praise.  She shared them to remind us that we are here for God's glory and we are to be obedient to the Lord and that when we tell our stories it enables the listener to spend time with Jesus.  As if we are unlocking the kingdom for people.  She challenged us to believe that we are here for the moment.  For this moment.  And for this person.

When we tell our stories it enables the listener to spend time with Jesus.

And to realize that I almost tried to SAVE Christopher from coming on this trip.  Remembering these thoughts that I had written before we left for Africa...

For more of my thoughts on my trip to Ethiopia and Uganda visit here.