Have you ever considered the possibility that you are right in the center of a window of opportunity? There are times when we know we are in the center of God’s will and times when we wonder what God is thinking. But then there are other times, that when looked at from the perspective of before and after an event, the awe and wonder of the window of opportunity becomes ever clearer. Our team that went to the Philippines on a recent Work & Witness trip has had just such a life experience.
This was the trip that almost wasn’t. The weeks leading up to our trip were filled with volcanoes erupting, earthquakes trembling, and we were beginning to hear about something called “coronavirus” that at the time was just beginning to spread around the world, causing rumors of quarantines. All of these reasons along with various health obstacles had us seriously considering canceling or postponing our trip. However, as the team began to really pray, one at a time, we were able to share with one another how God gave us each a peace that surpassed our understanding and we knew He was saying, “Go!”, even when the world around us was saying “no”. And so, “Go”, we did.
Our days at the GMA Church of the Nazarene/Lingap Bata Child Development Center were filled with painting, electric work, eating, cleaning, brickwork, eating, building a bookcase, connecting with the people, teaching drama for an outreach presentation to the community, and did we mention eating? However, as our group looks back and reminisces, not one comment was about what we did, but about how we fell in love with the people there and how they loved us with the love of Jesus. Stan James said, “The church showed us such a beautiful Christ Spirit in all they did, for us and the community. Would that every church was as they are.” Bonnie Boyd summed up this same thought, “The church in GMA are our brothers and sisters in Christ. They cared for us in every way, always giving, so respectful, and fun.” We miss them all dearly, and they hold a special place in our hearts.
Since returning home, we look back at how much has changed in the few short weeks since we have returned. The airports where we traveled are no longer accessible. The ability to travel outside of our homes is very limited, let alone halfway across the world, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is now affecting our entire globe. And once again, we realize that there was a window of time, that presented us with an opportunity that was meant for exactly that moment in history. When God calls, we can trust His leading.
We aren’t sure of the kingdom or long-range impact our visit there made. But we do know that there is a group of people who made a lasting impact on us. There are now people we are lifting up in prayer during this global crisis, by name and face, because they are held in our hearts. It was for such a time as this that God called us to “Go”, and we are so glad that we did. Never forget: you have an opportunity where you are, right now. To what is God calling you at this time?
Submitted by Pastor Lynette Cherry, Pueblo First Church of the Nazarene