By Gary Knox, Men With Vision
A few years ago, I had an experience that totally convinced me that the blessings received as a result of a work trip come in many ways, at unexpected times, and never end.
In 1992, I led a work team to Paraguay. Much was accomplished on the trip, but the true highlight for me occurred at a Sunday evening church service. As we were waiting for the service to begin, I scanned the sanctuary and soon caught the eye of a little girl sitting across the aisle. I smiled, she smiled, and soon she was sitting next to me. Her name is Fabiola. She was 5 years old and as cute as cute can be.
Following the service, I met her parents and found out they were very active in the ministry of the church. I also found out that she and I have something important in common: we share June 29 as our birthday. Since then, we have stayed in contact through birthday cards, letters, and small gifts.
In 2004, I returned to Paraguay and was delighted when Fabiola joined our team and we were able once again to spend time together. Our communication abilities had improved and we were blessed with a joint birthday party her parents had for us. She was celebrating her 18th birthday, and I was celebrating, well, another year.
Fast forward to 2007. No, not another trip to Paraguay (regrettably), but a blessing some 15 years in the making. It happened this way:
While searching for a suitable container in which to ship an odd-shaped item I had sold on eBay, I came across an old suitcase that I had used during my trip to Paraguay in 2004. It was the perfect size. I worked on packing the item, and, in the process, a piece of paper fell out of a small pocket along the inner edge of the suitcase. It was a note from Fabiola. The note said, “1 Corinthians 15:58, Love, Fabiola.” I stuck the paper in my pocket, finished packing the item, and began to get ready for a meeting at the church.
The meeting was one that I really didn’t want to go to because I “knew” (truly led by the Spirit) I would have to take a stand on a subject that the rest of those at the meeting would not agree with. I was tempted to stay home, but I simply could not.
As I had anticipated, my point of view was not popular, but circumstances since have assured me beyond a doubt that it was the right thing to do. A few days later, I came across the note from Fabiola and looked up the verse. It says, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (NIV). Wow! That was exactly what I needed!
God blessed me when I met Fabiola. God has blessed me through our communications since.
ACT: Do you want a blessing? Then go on a work trip. To schedule your work team, contact Noritta Carter at 765.671.7204 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Teams travel year round.