Divine Appointments: Experiencing the Presence of God
Jesus came into a locked room two thousand years ago with one purpose, to make his presence known to Thomas who did not believe he was alive. When Teach To Transform travels to train in the darkest spiritual places in the world Jesus makes His presence known, as he did for Thomas. Thanks to your support, we were able to recently train in Nigeria, where we felt the miracle of the presence of Christ.
Our Muslim brothers who come to know Christ often relate stories that they actually see and feel the presence of the “Man in the White Robe.” Many of us wonder what it would be like to experience the powerful presence of Christ and have him speak to us.
Francis Chan reflects on the words of the Apostle Paul and teaches us that he doesn’t want our faith to rest on human wisdom but on a demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit. He describes the example in 1 Kings 18 when Elijah calls to God to “Show them who you are.” And fire comes from heaven.
Why is it that some experience the presence of God so powerfully?
A different question may be, “Are we courageous enough in our witness to feel his presence?” It seems that many times those who are fearless in their witness are blessed to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit.
On our trip to Nigeria we were warned by many that the journey was too dangerous, and we should not go; however, the team surrendered our fear and believed by faith that Jesus is worth facing any danger. We were blessed to feel the presence of God, unlike any other trip.
Most of the powerful stories shared with us are told after we discuss the bible story of the “fiery furnace” in Daniel chapter 3, then we ask the question to our evangelists, “Have you ever felt like you were in the fiery furnace and felt the presence of God?”
We all felt the presence of God through a divine appointment that could only have been God. A car broke down in front of our training, and a groundskeeper walked over to the car to see if he could help. Upon approaching the car, he noticed one of the passengers had an old traumatic injury caused by a grenade. He had lost both hands and most of his forearms and was totally dependent on his family to take care of him. The groundskeeper suggested he walk up to our training to see if we could help.
Interestingly, we have partnered with an organization called The Ellen Meadows Prosthetic Hand Foundation (EMPHF) that provides upper extremity prosthetics. This area has many people who have been victims of severe brutality from militants who cut off the arms of Christians. Because of this partnership and knowledge, we had brought with us prosthetics.
By the time the injured man arrived, all of our prosthetics had been already given to the student evangelists. I borrowed one back for the injured man, and it fit perfectly on his right arm. He quickly began using it with a smile on his face.
I promised that we would send two prosthetics to him as soon as possible. No sooner had I explained the situation; our host pastor said, “Dr. Tom, I have two prosthetics left from your last trip.” He got the prosthetics and they fit both arms perfectly.
We began praising God, and with tears, the injured man hugged us with his new prosthetic arms. There was no sweeter hug that I have felt then those prosthetic arms reaching around my back.
God’s Amazing Timing
What are the chances that his car would break down in front of our training site at that exact time, our team was training? What moved the groundskeeper to stop to help and refer him to our training? How come two prosthetics were still available from a previous training? These are not just coincidences.
As we hugged, we both agreed that this was a divine appointment where we felt the presence of Christ. This was a powerful, convincing moment that we had been chosen through the mission of TTT, and as the body of Christ to use compassionate health care to share the love of Christ.
Our Teach To Transform mission extends far beyond the compassion and training courageous national evangelists. These miracles of God’s timing are not rare events that happened to a handful of suffering people two thousand years ago. These miracles reveal ways by which God seeks to transform the world with love even at this moment.
For His Glory,
Dr. Tom is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician in the USA with over 25 years of experience and an ordained minister by Southeast Christian Church in Louisville Kentucky. His true passion is world missions and he and his wife Karen are the founders of Teach To Transform, an organization that exists to equip partners around the world with medical and vocational skills they can use to share the gospel of Christ. You can subscribe to Dr. Tom’s weekly blog, Divine Appointments, to read more stories and learn more about the mission of Teach To Transform.