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Roadside Diversions

Posted by Owen Fuller on January 13, 2012 in reflections |
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Mocha image

photo credit: mary.rotman

I was having coffee the other day with a pastor in Holstein, a small community in rural northwest Iowa.  Stephanie and I had plans to take the family to visit churches in Sioux City that day, and since it is a considerable distance from home we had stayed overnight with some cousins of mine.  They had contacted their pastor, told him we would be in town, and asked if he would be willing to meet with us.  He agreed, so we met at the local coffee shop/pharmacy.

An hour and 16 ounces of mocha into our conversation we were still finding things to discuss.  Maybe it was the fact that he was younger than most pastors I generally meet with.  He was probably in his early thirties at most, and identified well with my own stories of starting a family and ministry young.  Maybe it was that his ministry was new.  He’d taken the position of pastor for a church plant after being in youth ministry just six months ago.  Maybe it was his own heart for missions from his work with orphans in India.  I can’t tell you what it was exactly, but it was probably the best appointment I’ve had with a pastor all deputation.

What I can tell you is that this meeting was completely unexpected, unplanned, and had nothing to do with my efforts.  It has been a continuing theme during this deputation process; things we plan, don’t go according to plan.  We know our destination, plan our route, and hit the metaphorical road.  Then God throws in some unplanned stops along the way.  It’s like when you’re driving somewhere and, because your GPS obviously knows the way better than you, it starts announcing, “Recalculating.”  Except I imagine God’s voice probably sounds less like that of a computer synthesized soft-spoken lady, and more like that of James Earl Jones.  Anyway, I digress…

The point I’m making is that as we search for the ministry partners God has chosen for our team we have to continue to make plans and do work, but He is ultimately in control and has His own ways of doing things.  In other words, we have to start down the road, but be willing to let God show us the roadside diversions where he wants us to stop.  Isaiah 55:8-9

Desert road picture

photo credit: NeilMcCrae

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3 Comments

  • Randy Hentzel says:

    Well said and I hope you continue to find it true. Since we have been on the field I have a list of “Potential” supporters that I pray for and continue to hope that they will join our support. All the support added over the last six months have been “surprise” people that connected with us but were not on our radar.

    I think God does these things to encourage us and let us know that He is still the source of our needs.

  • Patti says:

    Hello! Love your blog and I’m going to start following your story. I work at a church in Florida and we have an active Mission program. It’s so amazing to see how missions not only change the lives of the people being helped…but also the lives of the missionaries reaching out! A friend of mine just went to the Dominican Republic to live and work in missions. Her story is pretty amazing. Here is her blog if you’d like to read it: http://footprintsinthesand320.blogspot.com
    I’m trying to help her get connected with other missionaries so that she can grow a ‘blog’ family of sorts to share with! I will pass on your blog to her…but please feel free to visit hers and give her some support…this is new stuff for her.
    And lastly…God bless you for giving your life to others.
    God Bless,
    Patti

    • Owen Fuller says:

      Thanks, Patti, and welcome aboard! Ahh…Florida. I was just in the Ft. Myers area in November. Much warmer there than here in Iowa at the moment! I was going to suggest the Faithful Bloggers community, but I see from your blog that you are familiar with that already. I’ll be sure to check out your and Lauren’s blogs!

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