Last week a long string of ‘coincidences’ culminated with God answering prayer, leaving me stunned at how He brought it all together, and feeling His love, especially since what I had talked to God about didn’t seem very important.
It all began a year ago. Frik (the CEF regional director for southern Africa and the Indian Ocean) came to visit Madagascar. One Sunday he invited me to go to an English speaking church with him. I hadn’t (and haven’t since) attended an English speaking church, preferring to attend a Malagasy church, but of course I said yes. The couple sitting in front of us that day were only here for a few weeks. The lady told me she was with Bible Study Fellowship and came to visit the Bible Study Fellowship that had been started here every now and then. I asked her where the Bible Study was, but she didn’t know the name of the location seeing that she is only here for a few weeks at a time.
I go to a Malagasy church and Bible Study with Pastor D (which is AMAZING by the way) with the teens on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, but a few months ago I felt that I would love a women’s Bible Study or a small group also, more with people that are around my age. So I began talking to God about this and even looked for info on the Bible Study Fellowship here in Madagascar online, but found nothing. Last weekend I decided to go to an English speaking church thinking maybe there would be Bible Studies or small groups there. As it turns out, I was nice and sick last Sunday and didn’t go to the church I had planned (Saturday I was fine and Monday I was fine).
Then I went to the CMI graduation on Friday. A lady came into the graduation late and sat down on the other side of the room. Since the ceremony was in French and I couldn’t understand any of it, I had plenty of time to people watch. I noticed this lady and came to the conclusion she and I would get along great. So after the graduation it was late, but I was still busy when Pastor Guston, who lives near me, has a car, and usually gives me a ride home from late night function, left so I passed up the ride. Then another group was leaving in a taxi and there was a seat left. The teens wanted me to go with them at least down to the bus stop, but I still needed to get my computer and what not and didn’t want to ask them to wait. So it is starting to get dark by the time I was ready to leave and as I was coming down the steps, the lady who came in late was sitting on the bottom stair. She asked if I was alone and then suggested we leave together since we were both going in the same direction. I agreed to wait for her. The teens where scared I wasn’t going to be able to get a bus since it was late and were trying to get me to leave, and I almost ended up on the back of Pastor Rufin’s motor cycle. But I waited for the lady to get done talking to one of the students and we headed out together.
She spoke great English and didn’t switch to Malagasy when I answered her in Malagasy which was strange, so I asked her where she had learned English (and if she did in fact speak Malagasy ;)). She said she had lived overseas and was most comfortable with French and English though she is Malagasy. Then she told me she spoke English well because she went to Bible Study Fellowship on Thursdays and they usually spoke English even though they are all Malagasy. I then excitedly proceeded to invite myself to go with her. We figured out the time and place to meet and then she told me how she had just happened to get that afternoon off to come to the graduation and almost didn’t make it because her boss kept having one more thing for her to do. One of the CMI students had just happened to go to her church one week and had met her and for some reason chose this lady for the one person she could invite to come to her graduation. My new friend figured it was God who got her there and we were meant to meet, as she laughed about how she couldn’t believe she had asked a stranger to walk to the bus stop with her. After she got off the bus at her stop, I couldn’t help but wonder at how God had arranged the evening and how we had both ‘just happened’ to do things out of the ordinary. That I turned down three rides. That the CMI student had met her and invited her to the graduation. That she was able to come. That she asked me to walk with her. And to top it all off, there were still buses for me to get home. In fact, they didn’t stop at the usual stop down the hill from my house, but the guy working the back of the bus suggested he have the driver stop at the top of the hill by the road I turn off on to get to my house. And so, on Thursday, Hari and I are going to Bible Study.