Obey Partial Instructions

I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand. Isaiah 51:16 (NIV)

There we were at our weekly Saturday night prayer. A dozen members met to pray for the needs of our church. Our pastor shared that he needed guidance on who to take with him on his upcoming trip to India.

"Me!" I blurted out, "I want to go!"

His jaw dropped open in surprise. He was thinking about inviting another pastor to help share his teaching load at the Bible colleges. He was not thinking about taking another layperson, much less a woman. I was surprised at my boldness too, but I knew immediately that the Lord wanted me on that India-bound plane.

Next Sunday an invitation came in the bulletin for people to join our pastor on his journey to India. I prayed that another woman would step forward. One did, plus another layman. Another pastor outside our city also joined us. We were a small group but appointed to go.

In northern India we were at a Bible college for men. Our pastor gave a lengthy overview of the Bible. The other pastor then shared from Ephesians. We ladies sat with our heads bowed and covered, trying to look like part of the landscape.

After both our pastors taught, the school's headmaster came up to us women and asked, "Would you ladies like to share?" My friend declined but the teacher in me stirred.

"I'd love to share!" I answered.

We agreed to meet the next day since it was close to lunch and the students had other duties to complete. I decided to speak on what I knew best: children's ministry and the Bible club I worked in back home. The Lord enabled me to present a clear, ordered and vital lesson. I have never stood before such a keenly listening audience. Their hearts burned with the same desire to minister to children. We were one in spirit and in purpose.

As we prepared to leave the next day the principal tapped me on the shoulder. "Besides heading up this school I also help pastor twenty-eight other churches and we want to have these clubs!"

My heart flooded with celebration. This was why God had sent me to India! The mission organization we worked with focused on adult ministry. God used me to gently tell them that they had overlooked the children.

This trip took place in l997. Since then this mission organization has developed a mighty ministry to children. God has shown their leaders that the way to bring salvation to families is through the children.

Is God prompting you to go somewhere that does not make sense? I had a part in the start of a giant outreach to children. It is one of my sweetest memories, yet I had no idea before I went why the Lord was sending me.

Lord, is someone reading this who needs to go for you? Give them the faith to not shrink back and the strength to move forward. You will cover them with the shadow of your hand. Amen.