I love it when you see God at work. You know those stories you hear or those times when you actually experience it?
When your life and someone else’s life intersects and you feel that sense of affirmation from the Lord that He was in the middle of this experience?
Yes, it is a small example and some may call it a “coincidence,” but I believe that our God showed up Sunday. I was preaching at Barrington Ridge Baptist Church in Hobart, IN to help them celebrate their 50th anniversary as a church. What was affirming? At the end of the service, Brian Belt, a church member got up to go over some announcements. He then shared how excited he was as I began my message that it fit perfectly with what he just taught in his Sunday School class. We had not talked or communicated about the theme of the sermon or the Bible study text. It was a moment of affirmation from the Lord. He is at work all around us.
Another Coincidence? He is also working to connect Indiana Baptists with the Ecuadorian Baptist Convention. Rick Hillard, Roger Kinion, David Shultz, Tom Keb and I went to Ecuador in September to talk with the President of the convention, Milton Bustos, about how we might work together with their convention. Yes, this is the country where our own Dave and Deb Wilson are serving as missionaries. God is at work. We have teams going regularly to Ecuador to train pastors and leaders, to do evangelism and other ministry opportunities.
God is also working with the church planting efforts in Indiana. In a year when we watched your CPC team led by John Horn plant without new money. They still worked with your SCBI churches to plant 15 new churches.
Are you aware that God continues to use your Church/Leader Development Team and your Highland Lakes Baptist Camp team to provide great camp experiences? Young people are trusting Jesus as their Savior, new leaders are being developed and encouraged, young people are coming back to camp as summer missionaries who a few years ago were campers themselves.
Sarah Bohrer shared a touching and impactful story during her report at this year’s annual convention. It is a story about an older gentleman who decided to come to camp and serve as an adult sponsor. His life was touched by the students and God “coincidentally” used him to touch the lives of students. I am so appreciative of Steve Blanchard, Allison Kinion and Sarah Bohrer for the work they do to provide quality, spiritual experiences for our young people.
These “coincidences” happen all of the time if we will watch for them and see that God is at work around us. I pray that this Christmas season you will see the hand of God working around you and I pray that you will allow God to use you to be a divine “coincidence” in someone’s life.