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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Divine Opportunities

How many "divine opportunities" come your way each day and so often we either miss them, or let them go. Sometimes it might only be a friendly hello or an act of kindness, maybe praying with somebody in need or going an extra mile out of your way.
As Nathanael and Sharon go on their routine trip to the trash dumpster we are met with many divine opportunities. Such a simple task can bring many opportunities. As we leave the gangway we pass the motor mechanic workshop. There, a few local men are working alongside mercy ships crew to fix our vehicles. We employ many locals whilst in Liberia, giving secure income for a 10 months and in that time there is no way they can avoid seeing and hearing Jesus. Next we pass the patient waiting area. Nathanael likes to stop and wave at everybody. He has no problem in seeing past the disfigurements that affect those waiting. Out of innocence he grasps the divine opportunity to say, you're ok and I'm happy to associate with you. In their own town they might be outcasts, but here, a little boy is eager to say hello. They all respond with joy. Then we meet UN troops or policemen. They all want to stop and tickle Nathanael. Their background we don't know, yet we stop to talk a little, which brightens their day. Further along an old man is led by his son. His dark glasses glisten in the sun and the tap of his white stick can be heard along the dock. He stops to ask the way to the medical room. He is grasping a medical appointment card and wondering how life is going to change for him. I shake their hand and point them in the right direction. After a short conversation I find out he has been blind for many years and is hoping that he will soon see. Although eager to see, he still comes with fear, it's the unknown's of the ship and trusting the doctors. I tell him I will pray that his surgery will go well. That seemed to make a big difference to him and they went off smiling.
This is just one little routine we have and it's amazing the divine opportunities that come through just that.
Although we find our main focus is the poor and needy, other opportunities come through Tim's job, who are in as just as much need, spiritually. When other ships come in for a few days, you often find the ship officers make contact. Last Thursday night, Tim, along with the Captain and Chief Engineer were invited to a French navy ship that had docked for the week. So Tim practised his "Je m'appelle Tim" and got dressed up in his smart uniform for a visit. Fortunately they were very good with their English and they had a tour of the ship. They were able to talk of many subjects (you know Tim!) and also share of the work we do in Mercy Ships & why we do it. As the ship left on the Friday, Tim hoisted some signal flags to spell out "have a good voyage ". Another divine opportunity. Keep looking for those opportunities, you just never know when God is going to bring them along.

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