I remember hearing about a “divine appointment” at an OMS missions conference once. I must have been fourteen years old at the time. In the story, two strangers met on a train. One of the men was a believer in Jesus, and saw God’s hand in their meeting. As they talked, the Christian watched as God revealed the hunger in the other man’s heart. God had arranged everything- bringing the two men together for that moment. The Christian simply obeyed by speaking the words he felt God was saying, and he joyfully witnessed his new friend trust in Jesus! As a fourteen year-old, I told God that I longed for stories like that one. I wanted God to use me like that.
This morning, Michele and I made a trip out to a village called Minyori. We were going to visit a dear blind friend of ours, who trusted in Jesus in June, but as we neared Minyori, I felt God impressing upon my spirit that we were there for another purpose- I had a strong sense that someone had died. I didn’t understand what God was trying to tell me, but I clearly knew He was leading us somewhere. So, I began to pray in the Spirit.
As soon as we arrived at our friend’s house, the family told us that Lucy, one of the elderly women in the village, was deathly ill – in fact, she had already died earlier in the day – but then spontaneously resurrected!
“But, she is still very sick,” they told us. “Many people have gathered at her house to see what will happen.”
Michele and I looked at one another. “So that’s why we are here!”
We took time to minister to our sweet friend- but we felt an urgency to get to Lucy’s home. Reaching the home of the woman, we found many neighbors gathered. They all were sitting in her lawn, having already seen the spectacle of the woman back-from-the-dead. But, she was still very sick, so, they were waiting to join the death wail for a second time when the right moment came.
We entered into the hut where Lucy lay, eyes closed and body propped up on rolls of cloth to ease her labored breathing. Immediately, we were struck with the realization, “God didn’t bring her back for no reason. She needs to trust in Jesus NOW!”
It was beautiful as Pastor John Taban, one of our Sudanese staff, knelt down beside her bed and began to preach the Gospel into her ear. His voice was strong and clear, and he kept preaching, even when Lucy was absolutely unresponsive and those around him said, “She can’t hear you!” However, the words he spoke were entering her spirit. When John asked her, “Are you ready to trust in Jesus?” for the first time she showed recognition as her eyes flickered and her head bobbed. John prayed with her and turned to us, face beaming, and said, “She has accepted Him!”
We moved into an intense time of prayer for Lucy to be raised up off of her sick bed to proclaim the goodness of the Lord! When our burden lifted quite some time later, everything looked the same to our physical eyes, but the eyes of faith said we had accomplished what we were meant to do for Lucy. Now, God had a message for the many family members and neighbors gathered around.
John, Michele, and I all preached the Gospel message. We told it straight, as the Lord was leading. I wish I could tell you that they all trusted in Jesus, but when Michele called on anyone who wanted to respond to Christ, absolutely no one expressed the slightest interest. My heart was and is very grieved for them, but full of joy for Lucy, who chose the best thing! If she lives or dies, her life cannot ever be taken away from her, for she is now hidden with Christ in God.
Please pray that the people of Minyori will trust in Jesus, the ONLY WAY to the Father, before their day comes. And, praise Jesus with us for His abundant love that gave life back into a dead body so that woman could have the chance to believe in Him and be with Him forever!
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for setting up today’s miraculous divine appointment!