It has been evident over and over this trip that he has prepared the way for us. He has mended some relationships we didn’t think would be mended, he has set up some meetings that we did not expect, he has prepared children to meet us, he has caused us to meet people that are going to help dynamically change the impact we are having on the people, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the next couple of days.
In saying that I wanted to share something else that came to fruition this trip. One of our team members named Karen who runs an organization called Just Hope International that does works of sustainability like wells, farms, solar power, microbusinesses in Malawi and South Africa shared something incredible last night. She has gotten to know Erica and through that relationship decided to start doing work in Sierra Leone which is why she is on this trip. Most of you probably read my post about Olive who approached us because she wanted to better her life and go to the university. If you knew Olive’s story you would be amazed that she is trying to pull herself up out of the pit; she has gone through unspeakable hardships and has every excuse to do nothing with her life. Karen shared with us last night at our devo that a year ago she decided that she wanted to get involved with a young woman and directly help her improve her life. She started praying for this young woman and asking God to show her who it was at the right time. Ever since Olive came to our room the other night Karen has been pushing and pushing Tina for another meeting with Olive. No one really understood why she was being so pushy until last night. Olive showed up at the place we were eating as we all were leaving and Karen stayed back and talked with her for a while. She shared that she would like to pay for her college education, talked with her about the importance of it, had Olive share her goals, and told her about God preparing the way for this.
I share this not to brag on Karen, although she is an amazing woman, but to share how God prepares things ahead of us. He is active in the world if we just open our eyes to his works and not write them off as coincidences or accidents. I thought it was really powerful how God orchestrated this from Karen deciding to give back what God has blessed her with through a young woman, from getting to know Erica, to deciding to go on this trip, to meeting Olive at Matilda’s hospital as we were walking out, to getting to know her story through Tina, to having her show up at our hotel with her school papers to see if anyone would help, to showing up at the restaurant as we were leaving, to seeing the tears in her eyes when Karen told her, to seeing the hope that she now has, to seeing the drive she has to better herself. I can only hope you can meet Olive some day. She has a very gentle spirit, but has an internal strength that is evident as soon as you are around her. Her story is going to end up being a movie. Like I said in a previous post; everything is God’s, he just moves it around for his glory. I can’t tell you how many people are going to be impacted by Olive’s life, but it will echo through this community and God has been teaching us on this trip that if you win the people you win the government; if you win the children you win the nation.
Praise God for his ways are perfect. Trust God with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. I want to encourage everyone to read Psalms 27. Spend some time reading this and praying through the verses. God put that chapter on my heart this morning and I am going to share it with our team later.