Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Just had to Share this Story

Something I've found, even in our short time here, is that even though a given group of people might have the Bible in their language, but they still cannot read it. It could be that they cannot read at all, it could be that their language is difficult to read and write, it could even be that they just aren't wired (like many Americans) to read a page of text and understand or remember the information. Over the past few weeks I (Scott) have been talking with our team leader, Billy, about the possibility of using solar-powered media players as a tool in this ministry. The thinking behind it is that they would be loaded with stories from the Bible in the heart language of a people and would be able to be used by a storyteller or pastor to 1) learn new stories, but also 2) maintain the integrity of Scripture. 

Anyway, we were looking for opportunities for me to be trained in the process of translating Bible stories orally (in a language you don't speak) and recording and formatting them for use on these devices. The Simply the Story (the storytelling method we use) coordinator for Africa lives in Nairobi and Billy had been talking this over with him and they thought it would be a good idea for us to send someone there to check things out. Well I had a gap in our schedule when we would be in Kampala in between meetings and I thought there might be some dead time. So I suggested trying to make it work. It sounded like a great plan, until I didn't hear anything back. This week I resigned myself to the fact that it probably wasn't going to happen since that gap in our schedule begins 10 days from today.

Then last night I get an email from Billy saying that he had spoken with STS coordinator and things might still work out. I called him this morning, he said, "Come on," and I bought plane tickets this afternoon to spend 4 days in Nairobi being trained in this method.

All this might sound amazing enough in and of itself, but it gets better.

A couple weeks ago I got an email from a contact back in NJ asking if we had any immediate financial needs, then we had some internet issues and some illness going around the house and I hadn't ever emailed him back. So this morning I remembered that and so I sent him an email telling him about the trip and the training and that I was estimating it would cost between $400-500 for plane tickets and to cover expenses while I'm there. Here is the email I received back, after the tickets were already purchased:

"A year ago a young person's auto ran into my car. The driver lied and told the state trooper that I had hit her. He wrote up the report that it had totally been my fault, when it wasn't. It was an uphill battle getting my $500 deductible back because of the police report.
I prayed that if I got back my deductible (under these seemingly impossible circumstances) the money would be given back to God.
Six months ago my insurance co. said they weren't able to get back the deductible but would still try.
A couple weeks ago as I walked through my living room I remembered that it had been almost a year since the accident. I then prayed, "God, it's been a year but nothing is impossible through you, and the money is yours " The next night I received an email from [the insurance agency], 'We have gotten 100% of your deductible back and will send a check for $500.'
Scott, I was hoping you needed $500! God is amazing!"

I was floored as I read that email. I remembered him telling us, over a year ago, about that accident just after it happened. I had prayed that God would bring justice for our friend. But honestly, I hadn't given it another thought since then. I don't think either of us ever expected things to work out this way, but isn't that how God so often works? There is no other option but to point to God and say, "He did this." I think part of an email back from him later in the day sums things up:

"God laid on my heart that your ministry should be the one to benefit, and you confirmed that when you said you could use $400 to $500. That blows my mind!"

Blows the mind, indeed.

"God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply." Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission