A few months ago I spent several days in Uganda working with a wonderful ministry there called Four Corners (www.fourcorners.org). Myself and two other men from Park Place went to train Pastors and church leaders in discipleship.
While we were there there was a Father/Daughter team waiting to serve alongside us. We did not know them before we got there but we quickly found a common bond in our love for the Lord and for the nations.
Shane (the Dad) shared a story with us the very first night that we all found quite interesting. He and his daughter (Hannah) had to travel a different route to get to Uganda than originally planned and were even delayed a day because of it. They shared that they left one African country on an airplane and met a young man on the plane that they interacted with briefly. Uniquely, they had the same connecting flight with him from the second country to Uganda. This was very unusual but they smiled and laughed about this unique situation.
They left the airport that next day and drove 8 hours north to the town we would all be serving in. To their surprise, this same young man was in that same rural town at the restaurant that Shane and Hannah went to eat lunch.
(I don’t know if you are picking up on this but this is now the 3rd country and 4th city that these two parties have “coincidentally” run into each other.)
While at lunch Shane found out that this young man’s name was Flip and he was from South Africa visiting his friend Francois. The two young men were polite and certainly thought it was interesting to see these two in so many different places. Only a few minutes after Flip and Francois left the restaurant, Shane and Hannah were disappointed in themselves for not taking the time to share the gospel with them. So, Shane asked God to put them in their path one more time.
That is exactly what God did. 20 minutes later, at a small grocery store the two parties met again. This time, Shane was not letting the opportunity pass him by. Shane shared the gospel with these two young men. They were both very kind but neither chose to follow Jesus at that time.
Fast forward a week later and our team was supposed to travel 2 hours in a different direction to go on a safari. We had actually tried to cancel the safari but were unable to for unique reasons so we decided to move ahead with the plan. You guessed it, as we arrived at the Safari entrance the only other car in line was the car of Flip and Francois. We thanked God for such an unbelievable opportunity and hoped to see them at the hotel. God providentially brought that about once again.
As we sat down at the hotel table, Flip and Francois laughingly greeted us and commented about how crazy this was to have met them again. A few minutes later Flip approached our table. He asked Shane if he could meet to talk with him about some things. Shane agreed and ended up skipping the Safari trip and seeing all the wonderful animals to stay back and visit with Flip.
Flip had just a few questions about discipleship and following Christ, in which it was made clear that Flip was already a believer. However, Francois was an entirely different story. He had never made that decision to follow Christ. He simply couldn’t ignore it anymore. Shane was able to point Francois to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit and by the powerful Word of Christ.
Moments later Shane and Francois were in the baptismal waters of the hotel pool. Praise the Lord for his grace. Praise the Lord that He pursues us in every country and every setting. Praise the Lord for the faithfulness of one man to see the salvation of a soul to be more important the sight of an animal.