“Hello?” I said hesitantly into my cell phone.
“Brother!” came the anxious voice from miles away. “My wife is about to give birth, and she needs to get to the hospital right away.”
I groaned inwardly, wishing for a moment that the cell signal had not reached my phone.
It had been a very busy week. Last week a man in our village committed an atrocious crime. The victim’s family was shocked and confused. They asked for my help to report the crime. For the past week I had been accompanying them as they were shuttled from meeting to meeting, and from one mound of paperwork to another. It was all as foreign to them as living on Mars would be to us. Many nights we didn’t get home until 1 a.m.
Then this morning Aida, our missionary to Pusog, met me on the trail. “Brother,” she said gravely, “the church in Pusog is ready to apostatize. They feel that we are not forgiving the man who committed the crime. They think that we should get him released and bring him back to the village.”
Now it was 11 at night. The Pusog group was determined to leave the church and would listen to neither the Bible nor reason. Then, just as we were about to close the doors of the brand new church, the Holy Spirit moved. I can’t explain it any other way. Without any further persuasion from us, the group’s leader suddenly admitted that he had been wrong and asked forgiveness. God moves in mysterious ways!
I was just walking out of the church when my phone rang with the request to take the patient from Balangabong to the district hospital. “It’s going to be another all-nighter,” I muttered, starting back down the mountain.
Emergency followed emergency, and it ended up being three more days before I got a full night’s sleep. But by God’s sustaining grace I held together. By His intervening power the church remains united. And now every night I fall blissfully asleep to the gurgles of the brand-new baby boy next door, reminding me that it was all worth it.