“What does this say?” Sari asked in the Khmer language, looking very puzzled.
“I don’t know!” Panic etched lines in Sombath’s face. “Maybe this is where we are supposed to write our phone number?” Sombath pointed to the area of the document that asked for a passport number.
We had just entered China for a long layover as we headed to the U.S. for furlough. China requires entrance cards to be filled out, even if you are only staying in the airport.
“This is where you need to put your passport number,” Greg said in Khmer. Sari was surprised.
“You speak Khmer?” She looked relieved. Soon Greg and I were helping them fill out the documents. An official came over to try to assist using his broken English. We were able to translate for our new friends as they asked questions.
“Where are we supposed to go now?” Sombath looked confused as he squinted at the signs written in Chinese and English.
“Follow us and we will show you where you need to collect your baggage.” During our time with Sombath and Sari, we shared that we are missionaries who follow Jesus. Before we parted, they invited us to come and stay with them in Cambodia when we get back.
Sombath and Sari had never flown before. Their daughter who now lives in the U.S. had bought them tickets so they could visit. Greg and I later marveled at how brave they were to fly internationally. We really take for granted the ability to speak and read English!
Fast forward three weeks. It was rush hour on a busy freeway in Chicago as we headed north towards a weekend speaking appointment. Suddenly steam started pouring out from under the hood, blocking my view.
“Pull off the road, quick!” Greg urged me.
We knew we needed a mechanic, so we got our insurance papers out to call roadside assistance, only to find that our cell phones had no service! But before we even had time to panic, a tow truck was pulling up behind us. The man said he had just happened to see us on his way to his shop. We all squeezed into the tow truck’s front cab and, since we were stuck in traffic for a while, we had opportunity to get to know this angel with the big smile. He had become discouraged with mainstream Christianity. When he learned that Greg is a pastor, he began asking many questions.
Seeds. We can’t see the results of sowing them now, but God sees the big picture. We are pieces in the puzzles of many lives, no matter how brief the time we spend with them. God orchestrates divine appointments that we understand nothing about. I can’t wait to get to heaven so I can see the big picture, too!