I already believed that God’s timing is always perfect. I experienced that again last week while visiting El Salvador with Compassion International. Compassion values that their ministry be Christ-centered, church-based, and child-focused. I witnessed the success of their keeping these values during my stay in El Salvador last week.
Here’s my story about the perfection of God’s timing. Several years ago a church relations representative with Compassion reached out to me. I ignored his request to meet. Our church was mission-minded and mission-involved in a dozen of ways already. Even entertaining the idea of another mission endeavor just did not seem possible to me at the time. John, the Compassion representative, continued to call and email requesting 30 minutes of my time. Each time I refused. After years of this kind of interaction, John emailed me one day to say he was passing through Lafayette on his way back to his home in Houston. I thought, “You know, if I give this guy 30 minutes, perhaps he will leave me alone.”
I said, “Yes.”
John and I hit it off. We had a lot of mutual friends, and I just enjoyed our time. Still for a couple of years, I said, “John, I just can’t.”
Because of John’s persistence and God’s timing, I finally agreed to John’s challenge for our church to host for our community a Compassion Experience—a virtual reality poverty experience. Thousands came, and nearly 200 signed on to be sponsors. Because of this church-wide response, along with the generosity of one of our members, we were able to launch a new project with Compassion in May 2018. Though I resigned from First Baptist Church, Lafayette, this May to become the Executive Director for Louisiana Baptists, my trip was to check on our church partnership project in El Salvador.
God’s Timing! Among the pastor’s first words to me upon our arrival was, “Your partnership with us was the answer to four years of praying.”
Four years, huh? That sounds a lot like the amount of time I had been putting John off!
I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus, the Nazarene! To be told that I was part of a four-year answer to prayer is one of the most humbling things I have heard in a long time.
Pray for this church in Western El Salvador. If you are one of the sponsors from Lafayette, please know your gift is making a difference. In fact, you are an answer to prayer.