Winter has arrived. We are waking up to cold fresh mornings. Dana and I love this time of year because we love our bedroom to be cold. We enjoy the comfort of many heavy quilts piled on top of us as we lay at rest. This is one of the “joys” we will not have when we move to Africa. The temperature range in Ghana is between 68-100 degrees Fahrenheit. We are not currently accustomed to sleeping when the temperature in our bedroom is much over 68 degrees.
Friends of ours have been faithfully serving the Lord in South Africa for many years. They recently returned to the US for a new home assignment. The climate in South Africa is different than West Africa. In South Africa it gets cold! Average cold temperatures are around 39 degrees but it can dip down to the freezing mark also. And many of their homes and apartments are not equipped with heat. Our friends had a couple of electric blankets that they wanted to gift to us as we prepare to depart for Ghana (the typical Africa electrical standard is 220 Volts vs. the US standard of 110 Volts). I didn’t think we needed to take them but Dana wanted them. I recall thinking that this was totally unnecessary but we took them.
This past October and November we attended training in Colorado at Mission Training International (MTI). One benefit of this training is that we made some great new life long friendships. We met people from various parts of the US and Canada with various life backgrounds but all of us had one thing in common. God is sending us out from our comfort zones into the uncomfortable. He is sending all of us into cross-cultural missionary service. One of the families we became friends with is moving to South Africa. They are departing this month for their new area of ministry. They were informing us about how cold it gets there and we thought, hey, do you guys need a couple of electric blankets? And they did! So when we returned home I packed up and shipped the two blankets to them.
I’m just amazed at how God at anytime uses each one of us for his purposes and as a blessing to others. Do you see his hand in this story? Friends we know are returning from South Africa. They wanted to bless us with some of the 220V items they used in that country. We accepted all the items even though it didn’t make complete sense (we didn’t need electric blankets). We attend training in Colorado where we met new friends who are being sent to South Africa. And they needed electric blankets. God knew it all along and was at work!
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Matthew 6:25-34 ESV