Finding God on the Amazon River


By Lane P. Jordan:


Amazon River photo by José Luiz Filho

Probably the last place on earth one would think to find God would be on the long, murky and ancient Amazon River.

But that’s where I found Him.  I was on a mission trip, living on a boat with twenty others and just trying to help those along the river banks:  People who needed medical help, supplies, and hope.

As the days progressed I saw people with great needs but also with huge spirits.  They smiled.  They laughed.  They were content with whatever we could give them or do for them.  And they rejoiced in their love for God.

I started to understand that God brings people together, in His name, to share who He is as we minister to each other.  Yes, we were bringing material goods to them but they were giving us, and especially me, a new hope in just living life.  I came to see that God is along every river bank, in every city, every town and every village around this world.  All we have to do is call on His name and be ready to walk with Him daily.  He wants everyone to find Him and live our life for Him and others.

@Lane P. Jordan.  Lane is a bestselling author, national speaker, singer, certified life coach and contributor to the Finding God Daily blog.  Visit Lane at www.LaneJordanMinistries.com.

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Finding God in a Stew Pot in Africa

By Karen O’Connor:

Sometimes our plans are not God’s. Janie unexpectedly found the will of God in a stew pot.

 


Image by ‘africa’: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My young church friend Janey could hardly wait to board the plane with her college friends for a short-term summer mission in the Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in Central Africa.

The group’s purpose was to meet native Africans, and to move from village to village supporting Christian leaders in showing a film about the life of Christ. The furthest thing from her mind was finding God in a stew pot.

But then one evening at dusk, an African man on the crew called her aside and asked her to prepare stew for dinner. “That was the last thing I felt like doing,” said Janey. “I was annoyed that he chose a woman to do the cooking. Why not a guy? Besides, that’s not what I came for. I wanted to share Jesus with the people, not be stuck in front of a stove.”

But Janey didn’t have a choice. She was told to get on it.

“Then the most amazing thing occurred,” she said smiling. “As I peeled carrots and potatoes, and cut up pieces of stew meat, I looked up for a moment, and there in the midst of this beautiful tropical setting, I noticed mothers walking back and forth, busy with their duties, as children played and ran down the dirt paths.”

Janey lingered over the scene when suddenly the sky turned an intense bright orange––almost red.

“It was the most stunning sunset I had ever seen. I couldn’t stop looking at it. Moments before I had been so focused on what would gratify me, I almost missed this exquisite gift, and the entire point of the trip, which was to serve where I was needed. I turned back to my task. There I was finding God in a stew pot—a most unexpected place,” she said. “And I was filled with unspeakable joy.”

I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food.  (Psalm 132:15, NIV Bible)

Then Janey added, “It was the best stew I ever ate!”

For delicious beef stew, check out the instructions on this YouTube video:

How To Make Great Beef Stew, Fast & Easy

You can also print this beef stew recipe.

Have you ever had an intended mission interrupted by an unexpected moment from God?  Sometimes our plans are not His! Share your own story with us in a Comment (link is by the article title).

 ©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com

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Finding God in the Free Wheelchair Mission

By Laurie Winslow Sargent:

www.freewheelchairmission.org

As a former COTA (Occupational Therapy Assistant) and champion for the disabled, I’m finding God in the Free Wheelchair Mission. What an amazing ministry this is, giving people with disabilities new mobility and dignity!

At print time for this organization’s Winter 2011-2012 newsletter, they had distributed 622,715 wheelchairs in 84 Countries.  What is most remarkable is the cost: only $63.94 to manufacture, ship and distribute each wheelchair. Chairs are always given free to recipients,  so the number of chairs distributed reflects incredible generosity from thousands of donors.

My own mother is in a wheelchair. It’s difficult to imagine what life would be like for her without it. With that chair she is able to go to interesting places, be as independent as possible, and connect with others. Her wheels are her feet. What would it be like to only able to move by crawling on the ground or being carried by others?

Here’s the story behind the Free Wheelchair Mission chair:

“Years ago, Don and Laurie Schoendorfer were vacationing in Morocco when they witnessed the plight of a disabled woman struggling to drag herself across a dirt road. Ignored by the crowds and barely evading traffic, the woman’s hardship was a scene the couple would be unable to forget upon their return to life in southern California.

A mechanical engineer and inventor by trade, Don was a Columbia University graduate with a Ph.D. from MIT, working in the biomedical field and responsible for a string of over 50 U.S. patents. After his experience in Morocco, Don began researching the global dilemma of disability in developing countries; soon thereafter, he started tinkering in the basement, developed a durable, safe, inexpensive wheelchair, and eventually walked away from a successful career to found the nonprofit organization Free Wheelchair Mission.”

If you’d like to know about how Christ motivates those who support this ministry, see: What We Believe at www.freewheelchairmission.org. As they show the love of Jesus to others in this tangible way, I’m finding God in the Free Wheelchair Mission.

This video shows in a nutshell what this ministry is about:

Below is a longer–and very moving video–showing assembly and distribution of the chairs in China.

See more videos about this ministry at their website. You can also donate a wheelchair in honor of a friend or loved one. Also, if you have a severely ill or disabled child, read my review of a great new resource: Different Dream Parenting.

Laurie Winslow Sargent (lauriewinslowsargent.com) is a contributor to and editor for Finding God Daily, a multi-book author, and writer for national magazines.  She’d love to hear from you on Twitter via @LaurieSargent.

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