In April I signed up to go on a mission trip overseas. When the time came for our info meeting, I learned only 6 people were definitely going—not enough to care for 30 children and meet other needs. I began to pray that the Lord would provide His choice of those to bless the families we were going to serve and began to ask others to pray about going. As the deadline for sign up drew near, the Lord assured me that He wanted these families encouraged and their children loved on. By the deadline, God had provided leaders for the children, worship leaders, a medical person, pastors and a well-qualified leader for the VBS team.
Being the “senior member” on the team, I wanted to be sure that I could carry my load—this was a real cry to the Lord. As He always does, He provided in amazing ways. I never put my suitcase in the overhead bin because younger members were there to hoist it up or carry it into the airplane when we were loading on the tarmac.
On this trip, the team was praying for the families, children, lessons, supplies, and for one another. There were also those here at home who had agreed to “hold the ropes” while we were overseas. I felt the reality of this as I never worried or fretted about any of my family at home.
When we arrived in a large city in the country of our destination, we were required to go through passport control with all other foreigners arriving in that country. A very long line snaked back and forth probably 8 or 10 times before getting to the Passport counter. I noticed that there were men and women from every place (even heavily covered Muslims) and I was passing right beside them. The Lord brought to mind that around His throne would be people from every tribe, language and tongue (Revelation 7:9) and that I needed to pray. I could hardly keep my emotions in check as I looked into their faces. In my heart I cried out for their salvation. This was one of the most moving prayer times I have ever experienced.
The night before we left our retreat city for another city, we had a torrential storm with lots of lightning, hail, and wind. It was such a comfort to be able to pray and know that He kept our hearts in perfect peace despite the storm raging outside. The next night, in another city, as we were going to bed, there was a 4.5 earthquake—again, as I went off to sleep, I just praised the Lord for keeping us safe and our hearts at peace.
A trip halfway around the world taught me brand new applications and truths of a familiar Scripture from Philippians 4:6-7. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”