Following His Leading

Tags: Canada, Story

We've been on mission trips before, so when our missionary friends invited us to visit again, we thought we had a pretty good idea of what to expect.  As a bridge to reach students, they had been offering free English classes to a nearby school, and had arranged for us to tutor and to share the gospel. We were also planning to participate in workshops and in worship services at our host’s church. We had some fairly solid evangelistic and disciples-training opportunities lined up. Or so we thought!

Plans Fell Through…

Upon our arrival, our friend told us that the principal of the school changed his mind and cancelled our tutoring appointments. In addition, our host church suffered a flood two months prior to our trip - renovations to the ceiling and floor were barely completed by the time we arrived. None of the audio-visual equipment had been reconnected! In this situation, what would you do?

Prov 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

When God allowed the roadblocks, He was redirecting our paths to accomplish something more important at that time.

A Setback is a Setup for a Comeback

The #1 rule in missions is flexibility. So when we were prevented from reaching the youth, we planned to visit the church families, and even mapped out our route.

One sister we visited has a husband who is a pathological gambler who had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars at the casino. He tried to pressure his wife to sell their business – he wanted to take the money and run off with his mistress. We tried to persuade him not to wreck the family, but he refused to listen and ran away. All we could do is to pray with the sister to strengthen her faith to persevere for the sake of her children.

She did find strength in the Lord! And after this she asked us to go and pray for an unbelieving friend whose husband had been kidnapped. When God led the way, we dropped our plans and followed. It turned out that the friend's husband had been abducted two months ago, possibly by loan sharks. She began inquiring mediums in the hope of securing his release, but to no avail. She was left with their small children running their store by herself and worrying for her husband's life. We felt the best we could do for her was to lead her to Christ so that she could lean on Jesus. We thank God she received the Lord, and her friend is now following up with her.

The same first sister also led us to another friend of hers, who was abused by her non-Christian husband. He mistreated her both physically and mentally. She did not want to inform the police, but instead contemplated suicide to end the pain and humiliation. We decided to get to the root of the problem by witnessing to her husband. He understood the gospel, but was not yet ready to repent and confess Jesus as Lord. We learned from subsequent communication that her situation improved somewhat, and will continue to pray to uphold these sisters.

What happened to all the office and AV equipment that our missionary friend couldn't connect by himself at the beginning of our trip? It "happened" that two of our team members were AV specialists. God knew the needs of the church, and assembled the team with the right mix of skills to get the job done.

The Conclusion

When you step out of your comfort zone on a short-term mission, you will often experience God's leading in a way you would not had you stayed behind your wall of defense. Remember, turtles advance only by sticking their necks out. Follow His lead. You'll be glad you did.

*This is a true story but the writer's name has been changed for security reasons. Troy is not his real name.

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