Ps. 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Jim and I were on a one of our drives home from visiting our daughter Amy, a college student, in Greeley, CO. On each visit, we explored a different national park. There is some amazing natural beauty between here and Denver! This time, our destination was Arches National Monument. At the last rest stop before the park, there was an old van with a family begging for money. I wanted to help them; Jim didn’t. Years of news reporting made him suspicious of the real desires of beggars. I prayed that, if God wanted us to help somebody, He would make it clear to both of us.
Our big hike, in Arches, was to the Delicate Arch, where we met a young couple from Germany. During a chat and an exchange of picture taking, we learned that Christina had been an exchange student in the Chicago area. Christoph was traveling with her in an old car that her “exchange father” had helped them buy. They were visiting national parks in the west. They were planning to visit L.A., but only long enough to see Disneyland, because they feared the “criminality” in this area.
Jim and I reached our car before this couple and decided that, if they returned before we left, we’d give them our phone number, in case they ran into any trouble in our area. Meanwhile, I was praying for their quick return. They returned almost immediately!
About a week later, on a Thursday afternoon, we had a call. Christoph and Christina were on the way to our area from Pomona, where they had visited a friend on a campus there. They wanted to stop and say hello. We had important plans, that night, and couldn’t ask them for dinner, but figured we could have a short visit. Jim directed them to a Ralph’s parking lot at the bottom of our hill, where Jim would meet them and lead them to our house.
On this lot, their car decided to call it quits. A nearby service station towed it over and said that they would work on it the next day. Meanwhile, we had no choice but to invite them to stay at our house, even though we were going out. (Thank you, Lord!) We joked, on the way home, that we might find our other car and a few valuables missing, but all was well.
They ended up being with us until the following Tuesday! Jim arranged for us to visit a “Cheers” set and meet Ted Danson, they spent a day in Disneyland, went to Hollywood Presbyterian Church with us and were amazed at Lloyd Ogilvie’s sermon and Fred Bock’s music, and met Clint Eastwood, on an interview with Jim! Christoph loved his directing, which pleased Clint immensely.
During this time, we learned that Christina’s father had almost become a priest and was editor of a Catholic journal in southern Germany, and her brother was an organist, who played in cathedrals all over Europe. She and Christoph had met when they were playing in a youth orchestra in their hometown., Freiburg. Coincidence? Or God’s hand? This whole adventure, which was amazingly more extensive than I’m writing here, gave us a wonderful example of what the Lord can do, when we rely on Him and “wait on him”.
There was a follow-up to this story. Christina’s mother worked in a college admissions office. When the wall, dividing Germany, came down, the following year, a student arrived at that office, in tears, because she had come over from the other side, had been accepted by the college, but had no place to live. Christina’s mother said that, remembering what we had done for her daughter, she offered to give her son’s room to this girl, since her son was on the road most of the time; and Christina said she got the sister she’d always wanted. I told Christina, “Someone was praying for you!”
WE HAVE A MIGHTY GOD!
“The Lord is my light and my salvation---whom shall I fear?” (Ps. 27:1)