Friday, June 20, 2014

Surprise! Surprise!

The summer after the Bartletts (see my previous two blog posts) moved away from Gloversville, the General Council of the Assemblies of God was to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, in August. This meeting of all the ministers of the Fellowship is held biennially. We had been able to attend the previous one in Baltimore, because my cousin had invited us to stay in their home. It had been such a blessing and encouragement to us that we really wanted to go to the upcoming one, but we would have to drive much farther and stay in a motel for the nearly week-long conference. Our meager salary as a church planting pastor barely covered our expenses, let alone such an expensive trip, so we dismissed the thought of going.

Then a letter came from the Bartletts. They wrote thanking us for all we had done to help them reestablish their marriage and enclosed a sum of money to be used for something special for us. It was exactly the amount we needed to attend the General Council.

In August, we left Bobby with his grandparents in Newburgh and drove to St. Louis. We checked into our motel near the airport and headed to the convention center. Ten to fifteen thousand people attended General Councils. We arrived early for the first service so we could find seats on the main floor of the arena and settled in to wait for the service to begin.

After a while, I stood up to stretch and looked around to see if I recognized anyone. Two people were coming down the aisle toward us.

I said to Bob, "Look! Don't those two people look like my parents?" But I was sure it couldn't be because I knew they weren't coming.

As the couple drew closer, they smiled and waved.

Suddenly, I recognized them. "It is my parents!" I squealed and ran to meet them.

They pastored a small church in Washington State. I had not seen them in several years. At the last minute, someone had paid their way to come.

When we asked them where they were staying, we discovered that they were in the same motel we were in and in the room right across the hall from us. They had flown to St. Louis and had no car. Since we had driven, we were able to take them with us to and from the convention center. Not only did we enjoy the services but we had a wonderful reunion too.

Some might call it all coincidence, but I know God prearranged it. Our Heavenly Father likes to plan wonderful surprises for His children.

No comments:

Post a Comment