So many of us languish in the land of the “Impossible”. We may have a desire to serve God in a specific way but we are halted by fear of the unknown or we are halted by lack of finances. I want to take just a moment and share with you how God worked out all of the details for our family of six to take a mission trip together. I am going to start at the beginning–
Since my children were small, it has been one of my greatest longings that they do not leave our home without experiencing a trip outside of the culture of the United States. I believe without it, we American Christians are in grave danger of holding a worldview that is not only very small, but also often inaccurate. And, so, one of my personal goals for my children has always been for each one of them to go on a mission trip. MY plan was to take them one at a time. I would take the girls and my husband and son would go on one and we would do this as we could afford it. But God had a different idea! One I like better!
Last fall, while looking for a trip for my husband and son to go on, we came across a trip offered by GAiN (Global Aid Network) to Haiti. As we studied the details of that trip, we realized that we could all possibly take this trip together. And then came a few obstacles–
The first obstacle was our 11 year old. To go on this trip you need to be 13. When I talked with the leader she said they never make exceptions. I was disappointed and we made the decision to go ahead and just have the guys go without the rest of the family. But, as one last-ditch effort, I decided to contact a dear friend that my oldest daughter and I had made on a former mission trip with GAiN. She knew our family and she works in the office there, so I thought it couldn’t hurt.
A few days later, I received an e-mail. “Contact me about your whole family going on the trip.” When I had contacted the leader, she explained that an exception had been made. Eventually, I figured out that the man in charge of the “exceptions” was none other than my friend’s husband! God had been orchestrating back in 2007 for me to meet and connect with just the right person that could enable this trip to be a reality.
Next came the obstacles of finances. We figured we could afford it by sacrificing but lots of little things started adding up. For example, did you realize that to take 6 people to a third world country, you will spend almost a thousand dollars in vaccinations? And then we found out that the trip to Haiti only started in Miami and we would need to pay to get our family to Miami. This was going to cost at least $350 per person, plus the baggage fees, as it was a domestic flight. These were expenses we had not planned on. But again God stepped in and took such good care of us!
While trying to find a flight to Miami, I was discouraged because prices were going up and the team was having a hard time nailing down the flight out of Miami to Port au Prince due to some difficulties with other groups who were going. I was getting very nervous and shared this with our team leader. She suggested that I try to find a direct flight out of JFK airport and they would credit our trip $350. So, I started to do some checking on flights.
Would you believe that a direct flight from JFK to Port au Prince cost us almost exactly $350? So not only would we not have to deal with changing planes and layovers, but we would be saving at least $2100 by not having to fly to Miami! But God wasn’t finished yet!
In January, our 15 year old had taken a trip to Brazil with her school. The trip back was delayed and she ended up getting an $800 credit from American Airlines. We didn’t know when we’d use it, but it was certainly a nice gesture on their part.
But would you believe that American Airlines is the ONLY airline that I found that even provided a direct connection from Haiti to Port au Prince for the dates and times that we needed? So, now we had $800 to put towards our flights that was a true gift. This covered the unexpected costs of our vaccinations.
I am not sure if I have communicated my excitement in seeing God working out these details! And, due to length, I haven’t even shared a couple of other really special ways God chose to work. Do you realize that God cares about the details of our lives? He is alive and He is working! Sure, it is now always how we want. And sure, it doesn’t always look like it to our human finite eyes. But God IS working and occasionally He shows us in ways that no one would dare call a coincidence. What a blessing!
If you are living for Him and you want to please Him with your life and actions, He will come alongside you and work out the details in amazing ways. Don’t you dare forget it.