A few months ago I was felling extremely discouraged. I had gotten a gut-wrenching rejection for a job I was passionate about at my own alma mater. I was hosting a pity party.
In the midst of my tears, God whispered, "Remember, Brazil."
Last fall, I applied for a mission trip to Brazil. I researched the city, borrowed a Portuguese Bible, began fund raising, and prayed for our trip.
All of the sudden, our team's planning came to a screeching hault.
Airline tickets and a Brazilian Visa put a stop to our trip. It might be an understatement to say our team was extremely discouraged. Truth be told, I cried at the team meeting when we decided Brazil would not come to fruition.
Several team members jumped ship and pursued other mission opportunities. No one blamed them. Those of us who remained spent some time not knowing if we were going to even have a trip. Never did the thought of changing trips cross my mind. Never did the thought of not having a trip sink in.
God opened up another opportunity, and on short notice we began to prepare for different destination: Nicaragua.
One student who had not expressed interest in Brazil, applied to go to Nicaragua. She wanted to practice her Spanish. I have no doubt she was supposed to be on our trip.
Of all of us, she came home the most changed. Even others noticed something different about her. If we had gone to Brazil, this change would not have happened. Today, her re-birth through baptism, would not have happened. We went to Nicaragua for her.
We went to Nicaragua for Stephanie, our Nicaraguan interpreter. After only a few days of traveling with us, Stephanie noticed something was different. She recognized the Holy Spirit in us and wanted to be filled in the same way. Right then and there she began a relationship with our Lord and Savior. If we had been in Brazil, God would not have used us to reach Stephanie.
God rearranged our entire trip for those two daughters. He changed the plans of thirty plus people in order to change the lives of two.
It's not every day that God rearranges plans for His glory.
Or is it?
A spilled cup of coffee gets you out of the house late to avoid a major traffic jam.
A rejection letter keeps you from a company going bankrupt.
A malfunctioning alarm clock kept you from being in the Twin Towers when they were hit.
God changes our plans for His glory.
Anytime I start to forget: I remember Brazil.
PS: Everyone has a 9-11-01 story. Mine is of a selfish seventh grader who just didn't want to be in class. For a heart-piercing story, check out the blog of Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries. My heart and prayers are with those affected by the tragedy. We will never forget.