I’ve had a front row seat to Heather’s life for many years. So I’ve been privileged to watch God prepare her in the past for this particular trip.
Before she ever knew Ethiopia existed, God awoke a passion in her heart for soccer. Turns out this is a common language across the world, and it gave her an “in” with the children she ministered to this week.
Before she ever knew the meaning of the word evangelism, God awoke in Heather a passion for Jesus. He grew her love for Jesus and placed a burden within her for those who don’t know Him. And it was this love that drove her to Ethiopia this week.
Before she ever knew anything about the worldwide orphan crisis (to the tune of 147 million), God prompted her to take a class in college about African Politics (who does that?! Who is looking through the course catalog, has an elective to fill, and chooses African Politics?! Someone who is in tune with the Holy Spirit, that’s who). Through this class God awoke in Heather an intense interest in the people of Africa. That interest helped her discern which trip of the many she could have chosen was the right trip for her.
And in the last 6 months, God has amped Heather up even more for this specific trip. Via books that have broken Heather’s heart over the poverty and orphan crises in Africa, via friends who have a ministry to street children in Ethiopia, via friends who are looking to adopt children from that country, God touched Heather’s heart.
And He let her know that He had been preparing her ALL HER LIFE for THIS trip. I am not someone who believes in coincidence. And the longer I live, the more I can see how God has a detailed, over-arching plan for our lives. The “little” decisions we make today, like what sport to enroll our 5 year old in or what throw-away elective class to take in college, are worth considering prayerfully. Those details might just be God’s way of preparing us for something HUGE in the future.
Although Heather returns to the states in a couple of days, I have a sneaking suspicion that God is not done using her passion for Africa or orphans. I am excited to hear in more detail all that she has experienced and all that she senses God doing in her.
On a related note, Heather’s husband, a man she picked by chance, coincidentally loves soccer, and coincidentally went on this trip with her. And God awoke a similar passion for the children in his heart this week that now rivals Heather’s passion. Coincidentally.
I can’t wait to see what accidentally happens next in their lives.