From May 9-16, I was in Kenya for the Sports Friends Training of Trainers with sports ministry leaders from all over Kenya and Malawi. It was an incredible time of fellowship, fun, learning, and growing in Christ. The Lord met us and encouraged each person at the training to love Jesus more, serve His Church passionately, and preach His good Gospel more boldly than ever.
On the first day of the training, Coach Clement from Malawi was leading devotions and quoted 2 Cor. 5:17-18, “We have this ministry of reconciliation…” then came Romans 12 and how “we are living sacrifices…” These words swirled around in my head for the remainder of the training. A follower of Christ abides in Him and then has a ministry of sacrificial living and opening our mouths about the greatness of God. High thoughts, about to be brought into my reality. I soaked this wonderful time in, completely oblivious to what was coming my way.
From Kenya, I traveled to Malawi with my Malawian brothers who also serve in Sports Friends’ ministry. We had nine days scheduled to do trainings, plan for the year, visit and encourage coaches, and accomplish many other things. To make a long story short, I got very sick with some mysterious virus that gave me chest pains, sores in my mouth, sharp pains, and extreme body fatigue. All of my plans went out the window and I went solely into survival mode. During this time I was completely overwhelmed with the goodness of God through His people. The Body of Christ was so generous and served me in such sacrificial ways. God provided for me in my time of greatest need.
After a wild week of sickness and the Lord sustaining me, I wearily dragged my bags through the airport thinking that my journey back to the USA would go according to plan. But, I quickly found that things wouldn’t be so easy as my first flight was delayed 5 hours. Because of this, I missed all of my connecting flights. At this point, I was still very sick and in a great deal of pain. I made it to the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, but was stranded there for 29 hours with no guarantee that I’d have a seat on the next flight. I sat in that airport completely deflated and in agony. With no money, I just wanted to get home to my family.
As I sat there with mosquitoes swarming my ankles, I fumed in frustration. “Come on Lord! I know you see me, but what is going on here?” In the middle of my muttering rant, the Lord whispered in my ear, “Be still, my son.” As my stomach growled and my body ached, the Lord showed up. In the midst of that airport, He provided. This time, God provided through complete strangers leading to a divine appointment.
Despite my bad attitude and sick body, He gave me a wonderful opportunity to share His greatness with the lost. After being questioned at the airport security about why I did not have a ticket, I made my way to the airport shower & barber shop. Immediately after I stepped foot in this little oasis, the four workers in the shop saw me and asked, “What happened to you?” They heard my story and bought me a meal, let me use their shower, and took care of me. Then they asked, “Why are you in Africa?”
At that moment, God’s words came to mind. “We have this ministry of reconciliation….” Simultaneously, a wave of enthusiasm, love and energy filled me and I opened my mouth to share Christ with boldness out of an energy and love that was not my own. We talked for over an hour about how there is no one like Jesus and how they will each have to answer to Him. Wonderful Gospel opportunity that ended with them asking me to pray for them. Jehovah Jireh. After three hours, I left that shop with a full belly and clean body, but most importantly, my heart was so full and my joy was so complete that I forgot about my pain and difficulties. God always provides. We just need to be ready, “in season and out” (2 Tim. 4:2). So often I fail to see His provision, but when I was weakest, He opened my eyes to His ways.
He provided food, comfort, company, a shower, and an opportunity.
To Christ be the glory for He is worthy! He has broken the curse of sin and death and we can live in freedom and preach His healing to the nations with confidence.