To Go or Stay

We were having an argument in the airport or should I say a disagreement? I would guess that other married folks traveling in airports have experienced this same phenomenon. We were at the end of a three week mission trip (tired) and had a 5 hour layover in Istanbul, Turkey before boarding the next long flight home. Michele wanted to go outside the airport and explore (involving several unknowns), and I wanted to stay inside and watch airplanes. In the end I caved and we went and had a good time. Michele even purchased a pair of shoes. I was a little stressed on the way back, however, as the time for the next flight was getting to close for me. Upon arrival and looking at the departure board, I saw that our flight had been delayed for 3 and 1/2 hours which I instantly knew would cause us to miss our connecting flight in Chicago. We went from desk to desk finally reaching the right person, but by that time no seats on other connecting flights were available. We were forced to spend another night when we were ready to be home. The thought crossed my mind that if we had not gone out of the airport we would have had a better chance of finding a connecting flight!

BUT (a little word used often in the Bible to reveal God’s amazing activity on our behalf in our world – Ephesians 2:4; Romans 3:21; 5:8), something very cool happened on our little excursion outside the airport that made one extra night in a foreign land not even the slightest inconvenience.

As we were trying to figure out how to purchase a subway ticket on a machine in a foreign language a young lady asked if we could help her purchase her ticket (the blind leading the blind) and a few minutes later if she could go with us where we were going. She was a 20 year old Iranian studying in a nearby country who also had a layover and wanted to see some portion of this city of 20 million people— but was afraid to go alone. We readily agreed and after figuring out the ticket machine, were off with this very friendly and talkative young woman.

Since most people from Iran are Muslim we assumed she was also, but about 45 minutes into our little trip together when I asked about her beliefs she told me she was Muslim on her ID but in her heart was a believer in Jesus. Then quietly she told us her story. About a year ago her mother was diagnosed with a deadly disease and was told she would not live. Our new friend then prayed to Jesus that if He would heal her mom she would believe in and follow Him. When the disease (she did not want to even mention the name of it) disappeared from the scan a few weeks later she kept her promise and said that in her heart she now belongs to Jesus. Though she told this incredible story in a subdued way because of where we were she told it full of excitement and with great joy.

She stayed with us as we went back to the airport even as we were dealing with our ticket mess. We also found out that as a new believer she knew very little about her new faith and nothing about baptism. We encouraged her and gave her a small pocket Bible that I have taken on many trips overseas but can think of no better use for it. She was so happy to receive it. We parted with joy on our faces, her on to her flight and us to deal with our flight problems. Later that evening after our ticket problems were behind us, Michele and I talked in amazement at what had happened. What started as an argument about whether to Go or Stay at the end of our mission trip, ended up being a divine appointment and possibly the highlight of a trip that was already full of amazing experiences. We marveled at the providence and wisdom of God. Indeed, we serve an awesome God!

Other Posts You Might Like:

Vision - Ross Thomson

Body of Christ - Laurie Templeton

Bicycle Ministry - Don Compton

S-L-O-W - Casey McCollum

Risk - Bob Bentley



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