It is Friday, two days before my Compassion Sunday Event at church, and my body is hit with a terrible sinus infection where I can barely speak. My entire throat and neck are swollen and hurting, and I am coughing up something unspeakable. I know that this is not looking good for Sunday, seeing as I’m supposed to speak at church and sing during the morning worship. I continue praying as I have been for weeks for the event and for God to move, but this time I add in a selfish healing prayer as well.
Twenty-four hours before the service Sunday, I find out that a terrible cyclone has hit India, six hours southwest from where my dear friend, Sandeep Maity, lives. Sandeep was a Compassion child in a packet, and through the impact that the Lord has made in his life through Compassion is now a graduate of the university level program in India. I had the wonderful opportunity of working with him this summer and hearing every week how God used Compassion to change his life. He is supposed to tell his story during the event Sunday via Skype, and I haven’t been able to even reach him over Facebook since we had last spoken Friday morning. I have no clue if he and his family are safe or even where they are located. Even if they are okay, I am afraid that the storm has disturbed the wifi connection, and all hope of him sharing his story was lost. I am constantly begging Jesus for His intercession. For His miraculous power to take over and His will to be done. I keep reminding Him (as if He needs to be reminded) of His love for the children of the nations and how we need Him to intervene. We need Him to cast out any work of the devil keeping His word from being preached and His heart from being shown. No response. Nothing.
My throat is getting worse and there is still no response from Sandeep. Doubt. Fear. Anger. I arrive at church early to finish setting up my table in the lobby and practice the song I’m supposed to sing. My throat is still throbbing and scratchy, but I decide to praise the Lord through it. He tells us in Psalms to make a joyful noise to the Lord, right? It doesn’t have to be a pretty one, I hope.
So practice goes well and people have been asking questions at the table, but I still haven’t heard from Sandeep. Ten minutes before I go on…nothing. I had lost hope. I tell Brian, our music minister who helped me organize the entire Skype connection (THANK YOU!), that I would just go up and explain about Compassion and try to tell Sandeep’s story as best as I could. We would just plan on him not speaking. In other words, I was saying God wasn’t going to come through.
Five minutes before…still nothing. I drop to my knees in the back begging and crying to the Father, “please, God, please come through.” Three minutes til…nothing.
And then the miracle happens.
Literally, in less than a minute before I am introduced and making my way to the stage, Sandeep shows up online, calls in, and begins trying to speak to us as I am walking up the stairs. I introduce him through tears and he blesses our church with his miraculous story of the Gospel. The connection worked perfectly except for one time when we had to reconnect, but nevertheless, his entire story was told.
Before church was dismissed, we showed the video of Sandeep meeting his sponsor, which is one that will always bring joy to my heart and tears to my eyes, and one I will never tire of seeing. TWELVE children were sponsored today. TWELVE lives were released from poverty in Jesus’ name. TWELVE families were saved from the cycle of poverty in Africa, Asia, Central America, and South America.
Oh how good is our God.
If you’d like to learn more about Compassion International, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.compassion.com.
34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’