Well, what a week! For those of you who don’t know I am about to embark on a trip to the Republic of Angola. Angola is a country that is rebuilding after a troubled recent history, wars, land mines, scramble for power, all of that kind of stuff. You can read more here.
After the summer I thought I would try and take it a little slower before the trip. Time to focus my mind and Spirit on what was to be ahead. Hah! what a laugh! This week has been manic, but in it I have discovered and been reminded of a few lessons.
Several times this week, our trip has been made impossible. Several times this week, the Lord has intervened to make it possible again. To put it quite simply, my team should not have Angolan visas. But they do! At every stage of proceedings there has been problems and opposition, but none of them have prevailed. At each turn, God has literally sent someone to help us. Two occasions last week simply blow my mind.
It was Wednesday morning, 8:50 am. The previous day we had been learnt that all of our visa applications were not at the embassy as expected, but rather sat in a sorting office in Holborn, London. All day we had been told they could not do anything and well the only solution was to get someone to pick up the package.
I got a call. It was Carolina, a friend of mine who has been simply fantastic in helping with the organisation of this trip. She told me the manager would not release the package to the person who had so kindly offered to pick it up. This was big trouble. The package was 2 days over the deadline already. For it not be be delivered before 9.30 would spell complete disaster for the trip. I got that sinking feeling. I finished speaking to Carolina, hung up and prayed and said, “Lord, there is nothing I can do”.
Imagine my surprise 20 minutes later when the manager of the depot called me. He said he would pull a postman off his normal duties to take the package down to the embassy and in his words, “bang on the door until they answer”. This was especially pertinent due to the fact that the embassy was supposed to be closed that day. Yes! We were back in the game.
Then we learnt that an important fax from Angola to the embassy had gone AWOL. Again 3 days after we thought it had been delivered. We were dead again. Half an hour later, it had been sent again. Phew!
I imagined that the person who had gone to the post office was maybe harsh with the manager. She emailed me later to say, all I could do was pray. God sent someone there to pray that it would happen. I mean Wow!
Fast forward to Thursday. Carolina’s mother, goes to the embassy to pick them up. She is informed they are not ready yet. She is waiting 3 hours. However, rather than get annoyed she feels in her Spirit she is again there to simply pray that this trip happens. Two occasions, two different people interceding for a situation that can stop us going.
God wants this trip to happen. He arranges his people so that it can happen. What a powerful thought! I am not entirely sure what is ahead of us, but I do know that the Lord is in it. I’m going to confess, on Wednesday lunchtime, I felt in my heart it would be OK, but oh how that resolve was tested!
This trip needs to be done in God’s resources, not our own. Finally after 17 years of being a Christian, I feel I am beginning to get a handle on something that is so very important.
Stick close to God and the rest will work out.