Show-Casing the Sovereignty of Our God
Examples from Our Recent Trip to Ethiopia
There are few situations in life that showcase the sovereignty of our God as much as mission work. Living on the edge, either here or abroad, brings His sovereignty into clear focus. And if we have eyes to see, His glory is magnified and our trust in His care is deepened.
On our recent trip to Ethiopia, this was impressed sharply upon me. Let me give you some examples.
· Just prior to our departure, we got an urgent request from the clinic. "Please, bring us post-treatment for rabies!" In my research, I discovered a price tag of about $3,000 per 150-pound patient! In the sovereignty of God, however, we were able to link up with a Catholic clinic about 5 hours' drive from our clinic. And they led us to the only source of the vaccine in Ethiopia! So now we are able to collect this vaccine in-country, at a reasonable cost, and it has proven successful in curing all patients who receive the treatment within 2 weeks of the bite. Praise God with us for this answer to prayer!
· Also, our clinic nurses had asked for snake antivenin. The only source of antivenin for Africa's poisonous snakes that I could find comes from South Africa. But through this Catholic clinic, I was introduced to a special stone that seems to have some sort of magnetic properties that pull out the toxins, if it is placed on the fang bites soon after the bite. The cure rate is reportedly very high. I'm still doing more research. But in God's sovereignty, I was introduced to this stone and to those who have been using it effectively in the Ethiopian setting.
· Lufthansa misplaced one of Dave's suitcases. It contained very important things. We had no choice but to delay our trip down to Burji. Little did we know that the additional day spent in the capital would allow us much-needed rest, and also supply the oxygen meter that we had been searching for! We had located the oxygen tank; we could fill it with oxygen, but there were absolutely no meters in any of the supply stores. Why? No one knew why. The only possible source of a meter was on the street. In the providence of God, He brought someone off the street to us, asking us "Do you need some oxygen equipment?" Wow! The man had exactly what we needed!
· I had heard that Bogalech's daughter was not growing well. But her home was high in the mountains. Travel to her home was impossible. Because of the rains, the road was impassable. But in the sovereignty of God, she was brought to me and we "happened" to meet in the clinic. We had just brought a dying woman to the clinic, and as I turned around from praying with her, there was Bogalech with her little infant daughter! This was God's sovereignty in arranging our lives and ministries!
· Two years ago, He arranged for me to meet an Ethiopian doctor in North Carolina so that I could have just the right person to help me with a sick evangelist named Melesse! He arranges His work from place to place, from person to person, and from year to year. There are no restraints or limitations with Him!
· And there are no government rules limiting His hand. With the upcoming elections in Ethiopia, new rules have been placed that prohibit meetings without prior government approval. That rule saved the life of an evangelist in Alaba who was being interrogated by an angry group of Muslims. As he phoned to a church elder, alerting him of the situation, the church elders rushed in the vehicle (that God provided through us several years ago), in time to defuse the tension with a warning about the illegal gathering. God uses government rules for His purposes.
God's sovereign reign over the affairs of man is unquestionable. He has the power to do whatever is in His heart to do.
And it is in His heart to save mankind....one person at a time, one situation at a time, on all continents, in all time zones, among all tribes and peoples and nationalities.
Praise God with me for His sovereignty....and for the love with which He exercises His sovereignty!
Read Isaiah 43:1 to Isaiah 44:6 to catch a glimpse of His sovereignty exercised in love for our salvation!
April 15, 2010
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.