Divine Appointments While on Mission with God

I recently embarked on a journey from the SMI Center in Butuan City, Philippines, to Costa Rica, with brief layovers in Australia, Mexico, and the USA. The backstory to this journey was that in 2018, I was asked to consider taking on the role of International Regions Coordinator. After agreeing, Lecille (General Manager) and I formulated a job description that we believed would be ideal for this role – a role that would be itinerant. However, by the time I officially took on my new role in June 2020, international borders were closed and my official job description was no longer relevant. I thought that I might resume being itinerant in 2024, after our international conference, and so the opportunity to make this trip was unexpected. Yet in so many ways, God provided confirmation after confirmation that He was opening the door for me to resume my itinerant work.

During the journey, I encountered several remarkable divine appointments that affirmed I was in the right place at the right time. One such encounter was with Mariana, a passenger seated next to me on a flight. Originally, she was not sitting beside me, but the wife of the passenger beside me asked to swap seats so that she could sit with her husband. Despite my initial desire to keep my window seat, I chose to accommodate her request to swap seats. Little did I know that this small sacrifice would lead to a deep and meaningful conversation. Mariana had many questions, and I had the opportunity to share how God has made me, shaped me, and is using me for His glory. At moments of brief pauses, I changed the subject matter to her, yet even so I found God giving me story after story which naturally and inoffensively acknowledged God’s part in each story. I’m sure that this flight was about 4 hours’ duration, but it passed so quickly as Mariana and I engaged in almost uninterrupted, stimulating conversation. Upon arrival at our destination, we parted ways, never expecting to see each other again. However, God soon orchestrated a ‘coincidental’ meeting before our connecting flights. The next few hours passed too quickly as we reengaged in conversation, joined by two other passengers who decided to join us. The last passenger to join us was another Australian, and before leaving he commented that as a lone traveler, he really appreciated the opportunity of engaging with us. Neither the Australian nor Mariana once used the words ‘God’ or ‘church’ but myself and the other passenger frequently and naturally shared stories of God at work in our lives, in the lives of our family and in others. That day’s trip was one of the highlights of my journey, and it all started with a small sacrifice – allowing someone else to have my preferred seat.


I also think of another divine appointment in which being in the ‘right place’ meant being in the ‘wrong place’. On this occasion I was waiting for a flight to Dallas. I went to a departure gate and began talking with Timothy, one of the few passengers there. Into our conversation he shared how he had just become a Christian 3 days earlier. I had the opportunity to encourage him as he shared his fears of returning home to Chicago. Around the time that our flights should have been boarding he suddenly realized that he was at the wrong departure gate, so our conversation ended abruptly as he raced off. Moments later I realized that I too was waiting at the wrong gate – so I made my way to my correct gate just in time to hear my boarding call. I boarded with an amazing sense that God had appointed that time to connect Timothy and I by having us both in the ‘wrong’ place at the right time!

A third divine appointment was planned and orchestrated by me. In March I had tried unsuccessfully to purchase a round-trip ticket to Venezuela. I tried buying it online. I tried buying it through an international travel agent who handles many challenging travel scenarios. Throughout April I tried buying it through a Venezuelan travel agent and I retried buying it online. My last attempt was to buy it at the airport on the morning of my flight. For very different reasons, none of these options resulted in me getting to Venezuela. With a couple of ‘unplanned days’ I utilized one to meet online with the Venezuelan team, and the second day I took a round trip to visit Elias, one of my Mexican friends. Elias was so thrilled to see me again, and we had such a wonderful day together. Elias had been extremely involved as National Coordinator for Simply Mobilizing Mexico and also overseeing our training for the whole Latin American region. However, for various reasons, he had to step down from both roles. Being together gave him the opportunity to share why he reluctantly had stepped down from both roles, and I had the opportunity to affirm his decision. He is now in full-time employment so does not have the same availability as before, and he is planting three (3) missional churches – and these demand so much of his ‘free’ time. He also shared that his involvement with Simply Mobilizing was essential in his journey with the three church plants and has very much shaped how those churches function. For me it was great to hear a testimony of how what we teach in Simply Mobilizing is more than great ideas – when the principles are applied, they work! Though I made my own arrangements for getting together with Elias, I am firmly convinced that our time together was another divine appointment, of being in the right place at the right time.

These divine appointments serve as powerful reminders of God’s sovereignty and His ability to orchestrate meaningful connections through small sacrifices, unplanned circumstances, and intentional actions. As we remain sensitive to God’s leading, we can anticipate and embrace the divine appointments He brings into our lives. This is what being on mission with God entails – being open to His guidance 24 hours daily, 7 days a week.

May each one of us recognize and seize the divine appointments orchestrated by God.

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