6-Week Series: Against All Odds

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I think of the privilege I had of having God hear me. It was when I was living in South Africa and I was seeking God’s will as to my future. At the time I was a research forester. I was coming to the end of my government contract and I had been asked to become a permanent employee but I was unsure if that was God’s will.

My wife Mandy and I prayed that whatever God wanted we would do. I enjoyed my work tremendously. I found it very fulfilling and I had no desire to leave but at the same time I wanted to be obedient to whatever God may have for us.

By the way, sometimes we don’t hear God’s answer because we don’t want to do whatever He wants us to do. We already have our minds made up and so we pray over things instead of praying through them.

Now unknown to me God had already begun to answer our prayers two years prior (isn’t that amazing!), because while attending a missions conference, somewhat like MissionsFest, God has shown Mandy through the Peace Child film by Don Richardson that He wanted us to go to Prairie Bible Institute. She didn’t tell me, she was waiting for God to confirm that to me.

When I prayed two years later now at the end of my contract, God (and you’ll be surprised about this) told me to leave the room I was in and go to the washroom! And there I had a clear conviction that God wanted me to do 3 things: 1. Finish my forestry contract. 2. Move to Canada. And 3. Go to Prairie Bible Institute.

So the next morning I told Mandy about it before going to work. And that very same morning the director of the South African Forestry Research Institute came over 2000 kilometers from the capital city of Pretoria to visit me. And one of his items of business was to ask me to consider moving there to do the work I had always wanted to do and loved doing.

I was both elated and deflated all at the same time. Here was the opportunity of a lifetime! On the one hand I had the opportunity to be trained and to serve the Lord in full time Christian service. On the other hand I had the opportunity to serve myself in the work I really loved. Yet I know without doubt what God wanted and He was making His will perfectly clear.

It reminds me of the verse in Joshua 24:15, “choose today whom you will serve.” I thank God that He heard and answered me and that He gave me the grace to be obedient to Him for I do not regret my decision, even to this day.

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