This past summer of 2008, Kellie and I took all 4 kids with us to a church mission trip to Orting, WA, right below Seattle. The week was great but it was a challenge to manage (and corral) all of the kids on a regular basis.
On the day we left we took our rented van to the rental place along with our good friends Mark and Alicia Senter, who had also brought their 3 year old daughter along. Needless to say, we have a mountain of luggage and as the rental company bus dropped us off at the airport, I was wondering how in the world we were going to get all of our stuff inside the terminal.
My questions were answered as soon as the bus doors opened. There stood steward with an empty cart. He had just helped someone load up on another bus and was about to walk away, but he saw us and immediately asked if we needed help. After we piled his cart to a height taller than me, he led us through a short maze right up to our check-in counter. There is no way that we could have made it without him.
When we got to our ticket counter there were several other of our church members waiting there. What I didn't know is that one of the men in our church, Kevin Davis, struck up a conversation with this man that had helped us move all of our luggage.
It turns out that this man's name was George and he and Kevin spoke about spiritual issues. George had been "burned" by church before but was impressed by what he had seen in Kevin and others in our group. We didn't "look" like the typical church going Christians he had seen before. Not only did I not know that George and Kevin had met and had this conversation but they had also exchanged contact information.
Why is all this important? Let me lay it out for you. The other night Kevin found a message on his answering machine. It was from George and he really needed to talk to Kevin. George has just been diagnosed with cancer and was looking for someone to talk to and pray with. His mind immediately went to Kevin, a man he had met for no more than half an hour but who had made a significant spiritual impact on him.
You see, if George hadn't been right there for those few seconds as our bus pulled up he would have never helped us. And had he never helped us he never would have met Kevin. And had he never met Kevin he would have never seen a different side of the Christian faith. And this is why he felt compelled to call Kevin from 3000 miles away to seek prayer and comfort.
All this because he waited a few extra seconds on a bus that was pulling up. This is how God works in the lives of people.
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