Tomorrow I am leading devotions on James 5:13-20, which encourages the faithful in prayer. As I was preparing, I reflected on my time in Malawi and how God so faithful answered my prayer for his protection and provision. Our Answering God answered in big and small ways.
The provision began in Kigali. I arrived at the airport at 7 a.m., two hours before my flight. As I approached the check-in counter, I was alone, except for the two ticket clerks. They jumped to action, one taking my check-in bag and the other my ticket. After a bit of conversation, the one handling the ticket decided that my seat assignment was wrong for my needs and reassigned me to an aisle seat at the front of the section, with extra leg room. He switched the assignment for both my flights. That certainly made for more comfortable traveling. When I arrived at Lilongwe airport, I discovered that, due to the ebola scare, the officials were carefully checking health cards. I fumbled for mine. I always carry it, but I was a bit flustered and couldn’t locate. The health officer looked closely at my passport and waved me through. (I later found it just where I had put it, safely in a small notebook to keep it from wrinkling.) When I got to the baggage claim, my bag was already off the conveyor belt and waiting for me. At the security check, I was waved through, without having to put my bag on the x-ray belt. Only when I got to my friends Sam and Lonnie’s did I see that the luggage had been tagged “priority” by the second helpful young man in Kigali.
Two days later, Sam and Lonnie and their son and I were traveling down to Zomba in Sam’s minibus. Our plans changed and we did not leave as early as we intended and then made a stop along the way. Before reaching Ntcheu, we saw an accident where a trailer truck had rolled over on a minibus. People were standing around and offering assistance, so we continued on our way. About ten minutes later we got a call from Sam and Lonnie’s daughter, who was meeting us in Zomba, wanting to be certain that we were alright. It seems the radio had reported the accident, with the information that the minibus was operated by a family traveling from Lilongwe to Zomba. It happened at the time we should have been passing through there, if we had not delayed in leaving and made a stop. (The family had a few injuries, but everyone walked away from the accident.)
|My driver Maxwell and the minibus|
My flight back was delayed by four hours getting out of Lilongwe. That meant that I missed my connecting flight in Nairobi. Before boarding the plane, my name and two others were called to the check-in gate. The airline had arranged for me to take a later flight out of Nairobi and I was given my boarding pass there in Lilongwe. When I got to Nairobi, I realized that the same had not been done for many delayed passengers and there was a scramble to rebook flights. I was provided for.
Each of these may seem like small things, but I believe that God was answering my prayer and was protecting me and providing for me. I believe he is the Answering God.