In the Bible we are told that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God that works in and through us, is pretty stinking cool. What I mean by that (“stinking”) is that it does a whole bunch of things at once that we are unable to do. It’s teaching us, guiding us, making us more like Jesus, proving we are God’s sons, and some other pretty neat things I don’t have room to write about. One interesting thing Jesus also said about the Spirit is that is works like the wind. That is, it blows. We don’t quite see it or where it comes from, but we see what it does. I’ve gotten to see this side of the Spirit in some cool ways since moving here, here are just a few examples:
Here Comes Al
During my first couple of weeks I met a cool refugee who knew a little English and was eager to hang out and help me around town. One day, I’m not sure why but I can make a guess (the wind!), I felt like I really needed to go into town. I didn’t really know Al at this point, I had only met him once before, but I found myself praying and hoping I would run into him. Lo and behold within 20 minutes guess who I ran into in the middle of the crowded bus square? Al. From that meeting on a friendship formed, and we even got to spend some time reading the Book together before he left for America. Even now we’re still in contact and he’s very interested in our Shepherd!
Searching in the Phone Shop
This next one is similar! I had met another young refugee my age on the bus and slaughtered my way through a conversation in broken Arabic. We swapped contact info but I was never able to get ahold of him. I kept praying for us to reconnect but didn’t know where to start. Then, one night after a service I had an unshakable feeling that I needed to go look for him at this phone café I left him at when we first met. I went and peaked into the café, swing and a miss, he wasn’t there. I walked next door to check the other café, nope, nothing. As I gave up and resigned to go home guess who approaches me from a ways down the dusty sidewalk? Yep, it was him. Our friendship is still forming, but it’s hard to think that was just by chance.
Mohamed and Mopeds
Like I said, it’s wind! It just kind of blows and does things and we’re not sure why. Such was the case as I went into town last week praying that if there was anyone I needed to see or talk to our paths would cross. On my way to the ATM I decided to take a scenic route, for some reason it just felt right…like a way scenic route. I made a big circle that would’ve added a quarter mile to my otherwise straight shot for the bank. I shot a quick glance down one street as I passed it and saw that a small crowd had gathered. I reasonably ignored it for a few more paces, but then decided it might be something worth seeing. Sure enough I pop onto the scene of a recent fender bender involving a van and a moped. Behind the wheel of the van was none other than a fellow team member who had just finished lamenting her need for someone who speaks Arabic to help her negotiate with the Arab on the moped she backed into. What followed next was a particularly quirky chain of events that involved me riding on a strangers moped, negotiating a settling price to fix his broken fruit basket, and making a new friend.
The wind blows, and yep, I still can’t explain it.