Jet leg hit hard coming back to Africa. For two nights I had a lot of time to think, pray, and contemplate our quick trip to the States as sleep was scarce. We had so many divine appointments and overwhelming gifts from God’s children-which left us humbled and overflowing with tears of praise and great joy.
One of the encounters I was giving praise to the Father for in the early hours of the morning was for a couple named Happy and Josie, pictured above. Mike Verkaik wanted to show me the room Oceans rented for ministry at the Wooden Shoe located in Holland, Michigan. Together we spent some time praying in the “former motel room” praising God for how the Holy Spirit has been using this space to touch children with the Gospel as well as be a light and a safe place for the residences.
As we left the room it felt like a river of shalom had flooded our souls and it was hard to leave. Mike noticed the door was opened next to it and said, “Tim you’ve got to meet this couple who are getting ready to move out into an apartment.” As we walked the shalom continued to flow as we were greeted with loving smiles and Josie exclaimed, “I know you, you are the guy who wrote the book I read!” She went on to ask about the work in Africa and what was God up to.
As we were talking she got an angelic look on her face and started to chuckle. Mike responded, “Josie, what is God telling you?” I thought I might have missed something, but Mike had seen this before and knew God was speaking to her. She reached into a bag and pulled something out and said “God is telling me to give you this for your ministry in Africa.” She handed me $10 and a new Jim Beam skillet. Josie saw the expression on my face, which must have looked confused, and said, “don’t rob me of the joy of giving.”
Yes, humbled again and doing all I could to hold back the tears as this amazing couple were powerful tools of Abba’s love. I can’t explain all the thoughts and emotions that were bouncing about in my brain as we ended our time holding hands in prayer. Only God can do crazy stuff in the most unusual ways and places to show His absolute goodness.
Remembering this amazing encounter with Josie and Happy, along with so many other touches from God during our time in the states, helped pass the sleepless hours, later in the morning I turned to my daily Psalm reading and this was a portion of what I read:
“I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise Your name forever and ever. I will praise You every day; yes, I will praise You forever. Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!…I will meditate on Your majestic, glorious splendor and Your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue…Everyone will share the story of Your wonderful goodness…” Psalm 145
As I finished praising God with this Psalm for His “wonderful goodness” we experienced in the US God said “I’m not done showing my goodness even right here in Africa.” There was a lady outside the retreat center wanting to speak with me. I opened the door to a familiar face I knew from Zimbabwe, “Pastor Tim, the LORD has blessed us and we felt Him telling us we need to bless Oceans Retreat Center with a gift.” She handed me an envelope with hard earned money from two refuges trying to survive in a foreign land.
Yes again humbled, and tears, at the “wonderful goodness of our Father God!”
I pray Abba Father will give you a story to tell today of His Wonderful Goodness! How our world desperately needs to hear about our Good Father!