Michigan was our last victim for our home assignment visits. Thanks to Beth’s cousin Matt & his wife Shari and their “big kids” (teens) for sharing their home with us for a few nights while we visited with them, a few other Hanna cousins, and uncles and aunts, and Beth’s grandmother too. We met some other friends and visited two of our supporting churches, one of them rather unexpectedly.
How does a missionary “unexpectedly visit” a supporting church? It’s a long story…I’ll try to explain via the very short version.
Due to some logistic changes after we arrived, the only way to meet with one of Beth’s uncles and aunts was to meet them for lunch on Sunday around noon. That meant we’d have to leave the supporting church we were visiting after the Sunday school hour in which we were presenting. They were graciously understanding of our situation and so we stayed as long as we could in between Sunday school and the service and we awkwardly left as the service was getting underway.
As we drove away from Rollins Christian Fellowship, it occurred to me that our other supporting church in Michigan was only about 10 minutes away and was on our way back for our lunch appointment. I also realized that since it is a very small church and that it was just after 11 a.m., perhaps they would not mind if we just walked in, gave a short 10 minute update and then went back out on our way for our lunch appointment. I don’t know what possessed me to think such thoughts on a Sunday morning but I do hope it was the Holy Spirit!
So, we did just that and when we arrived and peered in the glass door, I could see a man at the pulpit praying. Ahh…this might be a good transition time. Then, I noticed on second look that another man was about to lead in a song. So, we walked into the foyer, I spied the pastor on the front row, and I purposefully walked up to the front row and shook his hand and whispered the “plan” in his ear. He nodded and smiled. Whew! So, after the song and a brief song from a few little children, I was up on the platform and giving a brief (I know that seems unlikely to those who know me) update. It was brief though and I was relieved that this seemed to fit seamlessly into their service.
I figured they would continue with the rest of the service and the preaching would ensue after I asked the pastor to pray for us and figured we’d make our “getaway” when he said, “Amen.” What I didn’t expect was that when he ended his prayer, everyone left their seats and headed for the parking lot! Well, in God’s providence, the service was actually coming to a close there at 11:25 a.m. I discovered later that the service at Colfax Community Church normally ends at 11 a.m. (before we even arrived) but that since they’d had an earlier presentation from a missionary with C.E.F. they had run over by about 15 minutes. That gave us just enough time to get in and to share our update of what God is doing in the ministry in Mexico.
Who could have planned such a thing?
(we even made it to our lunch appointment a few minutes early!)