Thursday, July 19, 2007

You've Got Mail

Our daughter Joy was recently on a mission’s trip to Italy along with several students from Lititz Christian School. Their trip home was scheduled on July 3 to go from Rome to Heathrow Airport in London and then on to Philadelphia. As you know, the days leading up to July 3 included several terrorist attacks in the U.K. The day that they were arriving for their layover in England, Heathrow Airport had a bomb scare due to a suspicious package that was found in the airport. As a result, they evacuated the terminal that Joy’s team was to fly out of and cancelled all their international flights. The team found themselves in a 2.5 mile long line waiting to get to a counter to get booked on another flight. The verdict was that they would have to spend the next 2 nights in the airport before they could get on a flight home.

As a result of this news I sent out an e-mail update to the between 600-700 addresses that are on my Pastor’s E-mail Update list explaining the situation and asking for their prayers for our team. That e-mail was sent at about 3:30 in the afternoon. Later that evening at a little after 9 pm I received a call from one of our church members. He told me a very remarkable story. He said that he and his wife had another couple over and they were sharing and talking about some spiritual things. Neither he nor his wife had been on their computer for several hours and the computer, though on, had gone into sleep mode. As the couples shared they suddenly heard the computer printer kick on. They thought that strange since they had not been near the computer. They went into the other room where the computer was and saw that it had printed out not one, but two copies of my e-mail about our team stranded in England. They took that as the need to stop right then and pray for the team.

After they finished praying he called me to share this story with me. 9pm our time on July 3 would have been 2am London time on July 4. We both marveled as to why God would literally print off this e-mail at just that time so that these two couples would pray. Not many minutes after I got off of the phone with this gentleman from our church, I received a call from the dad of one of the other team members stranded in Italy. He asked if our phones were working. He said that all of the team members had been able to call home expect for Joy. She had tried our house phone and both of our cell phones multiple times but could not get through. A few minutes later this father called me back. He had Joy on their phone and was able to call us on another phone and put Joy on speaker phone so that we could talk to her for a few minutes. She sounded very tired but in good spirits and, most importantly, she was safe. We were all very relieved.

So what is my conclusion to all this? I believe that God knew that Joy needed to talk to us…or maybe that we needed to talk to her. I’m sure that in her frustration and also in her disappointment for not being able to get through to us, she prayed. It is just like God to respond to people’s prayers by getting others to pray. He cared that she could not get through to us and so He printed out my e-mail so that these two couples would pray. Within minutes He had worked and we were able to talk with our daughter in England. Cindy Wilson, the team leader, wrote this after the trip about this occurence,

"We expected to be home for July 4, we certainly did not expect to be stranded in London. It really didn't sink in at first that it may be difficult for us to find a way home. The lines were long, it was crowded and cold, we were down to our last pennies with no food and water, after 12 hours we still didn't have any idea how we were getting home! I felt the burden of caring for my 6 young teens. As I wandered the airport at 2 in the morning, crying out to God, I couldn't see how He was going to provide! I felt so helpless! Do you know that it was 9 pm in the evening your time? Just when God sent an e-mail to a couple who were led to pray!!!"

If you are participating in the “Grace Church Bible Reading Challenge,” today’s reading is Judges 13-16. Be sure to go to our special website ( and share how God uses this passage in your life, read what others have written, or ask a question about the passage!

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