Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Praise God in the Rain--A Message from our International Director

Birmingham Alabama is wet.. we have endured almost continual rain for some 36 hours. I guess I am like most folks.. after a few hours of needed rain I am ready to see and feel some sunshine. But I can tell you that because of a couple of unusual days ten years ago, I sure do appreciate the rain more than I used to. I was a Youth Pastor and had a group to teens and parents on a mission trip down in balmy Honduras. We were conducting 8-10 youth rally/school assembly programs a day. All of these events were held outside in the school courtyards. Sunny weather was essential but on this particular morning it was raining.. strike that.. it was storming!

The Pastor from El Progresso, Honduras.. a true man of God who fasted every other day and rose early each morning to pray for hours.. was informing our team leaders that the particular school we were preparing to set up at was a strategic school that had strong demonic influence. As he gave his spiritual pep-talk the pragmatic side of me couldn’t help noticing that it was raining buckets and there was no let up in sight. I thought it was a bit strange that he was talking as if this event was going to happen when the surroundings were screaming, “No it won’t!” Just then the school’s principal approached and informed us that the event would have to be canceled due to the rain and we would need to leave the grounds because our presence was distracting to his students. I hated to hear this news but also felt somewhat reassured that I was not thinking crazy thoughts.

Our Honduran pastor friend calmly asked the principal for five minutes. He quickly gathered our entire team together and challenged us to pray passionately for a miracle. He said we need it to stop raining in 60 seconds! As we began to pray, I remember the incredibly loud sound of the rain beating down hard on the tin roof that covered the classroom we were gathered in. 30 of us were praying loudly.. and amazingly, it seemed to quickly chase the rain off. I was experiencing a miracle.. our entire team was experiencing a miracle.. in just a minute the rain, the clouds, the thunder.. all of it was gone. To this day I have never experienced such an immediate miracle. We were able to complete the event and there was much eternal fruit on the campus that day!

The significance of this day, would be magnified the very next day, as the same set of circumstances were setting up.. a brilliant and powerful storm that had no intentions of going anywhere. One of our students, who was functioning as our daily student leader, suggested that we fervently pray as we had done the day before. I thought this was a magnificent idea so we prayed and it continued to rain. We prayed louder and it began to rain louder. I could hear the students were getting discouraged that the miracle wasn’t coming. After a few minutes I shouted, “STOP!” God isn’t deaf.. He hears us.. but He wants it to rain today.. so lets celebrate it! He loves these students more than we do but He wants it to rain. So we played in the puddles and we sang praise and worship songs.. and it was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. Finally, the principal came over and said, “It doesn’t look like you are leaving and neither is the rain so your schedule is a wash out. We can clear out our largest classroom and you can do six small assemblies instead of one large one." And that’s exactly what we did. I remember being grateful that we could at least minister to the kids at this large school. Halfway through the last assembly a gentleman approached me who had come to pick his child up from school. He asked me several questions and was also very complimentary of our program.. then he dropped a bombshell. He was co-owner and station manager of a national television channel in Honduras and he asked me if our group could fill a 90 minute slot on the popular TV program, “Good Morning Honduras!” with a potential viewing audience in the millions.

The next morning we were live and on air for 90 minutes sharing our faith with the entire country of Honduras. As I watched our students minister on television I couldn't help but reflect on the past couple of days.. the first day was practically an instant miracle.. boom, no rain! The second day we had asked for the same miracle but it came in a completely unexpected way. If the rain had fled when we first began to pray, we would have been long gone from that school when the station manager came to pick up his child at the end of the school day. Praise God in the rain!

Friends, God is in control. His character is unchanging.. He is, and always will be, a God of miracles! He loves children and orphans abundantly more than you and I combined, and He is speeding up and sometimes slowing down your process to fulfill a miracle.. to connect you with the perfect child for your family. If your heart is pure and your prayers are passionate.. you can know that God is listening and a miracle is on the way.. it may come quickly or it may surprise you with a slower, unique path.. but when you have your beautiful child you will know God’s timing is always perfect!

Blessings to all!

Dave Wood
International Director

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