Update for February, ’24

February 13th, 2024
Amazing! The first month of 2024 is already history. For you who get this monthly email Update, you know that I have been doing a monthly Vesper service here at Countryside Village. The service in January went well. The next one will be on February 18. Please pray for God’s blessing. On February 20 I will be going to Nashville for the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. Please pray for God’s guidance.
On January 31 I flew to Cleveland for a planned meeting. As I was embarking from the first leg of the flight in Newark, NJ, I got a call to let me know that the meeting was not going to be able to take place. That’s not the way I wanted the trip to start, but I reminded myself that “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:9). Fortunately, I was not stranded with nothing to do. I continued to Cleveland and looked forward to making contact with many I have missed seeing face to face over the past year. What a blessing it was to hear how God is working in so many of my brother’s and sister’s lives. And I was able to do some important work on my radio ministry as well.
On my way home a week later I had some time to kill in Newark airport. So, I started to take a walk. Almost immediately I noticed a young man sitting at a table reading his Bible. Rather than killing time I went over to him and tried starting a conversation. It was kind of like, when Jesus saw a man on the side of the road one day who was blind since birth (John 9). Jesus noticed him. So did his disciples. They saw a problem. Jesus saw an opportunity. Jesus didn’t miss this opportunity, because He knew, “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” Rather than kill time, He made the most of the moment. That’s the secret of Serendipitous Encounters: train yourself to look for and make the most of opportunities (Ephesians 5:15-20).
Back to this guy who was reading his Bible. I approached him as though he was probably a brother, not a stranger. The problem, however, was, he couldn’t speak or understand English. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit reminded me that on my website my program archives are in English and Spanish. I quickly got my phone out and went to my website and found the program for Tuesday and clicked on the Spanish version. He immediately recognized it was in his mother tongue and listened to the whole program – in Spanish it is 3 minutes long. I sat by him and showed him how he could find the program and listen to it daily. If you are curious you can look up and listen to that program: gettinggodsmessage.org, and find it in the archives for Tuesday, February 6, 2024. If you can’t find it, email me and I’ll send you a copy.
I also found out he was far more proficient in using the phone, eg. He soon typed out a Spanish statement, and had it translated into English. Slowly we got a little conversation going via the phone. He was married and has an 11 year old daughter. They were left behind. He was being deported back to his country in South America. I gave him a tract and paged through it to where there is a prayer of commitment. He took a photo of it and got it translated into Spanish so he could understand it. I felt led to just say a short prayer in English asking God to be with him. When I finished, I asked him if he would like a donut from Dunkin Donuts? He nodded Yes. So, we went over and got two bottles of water and a donut for him. He wanted to take a selfie before we parted, and I tried to take one of us on my phone. It didn’t turn out, so he took my phone and took a selfie of us for me.
I don’t know how this Serendipitous Encounter plays out from here. But some day in glory we’ll find out!