Tuesday, October 11, 2011
TIMES SQUARE CHURCH
I so often say, looking at the past, "who'd a thunk it?"
In January, '91, Dave and I were going to Uganda for the first time to check it out, meet people, and see when, and if, the Lord was going to put us there as short- or long-term missionaries in the future. And, when we left home, one time after another, we were slammed.
You see, we left Omaha on Saturday, January 19th. A couple days earlier the storming Gulf War had begun. Most airline planes were off schedule, cancelled, and/or rerouted. If I passed along all the details, I'd take hours and drive you nuts and most of you wouldn't finish reading any of it... you'd just roll your eyes and hit "delete".
However, one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had occurred on Sunday afternoon, January 20th, in NYC. We were actually supposed to be in Uganda about that time... and it wasn't happening. Our flights had been cancelled and even our airline company was refusing to move on; it took a bit of time for another one to step in.
While we were waiting, I wanted Dave to go to Manhattan so he'd see some of what I had enjoyed the previous summer, my first time in NYC.
When we were walking by the Rockefeller Center, a number of Christians were moving around, handing out tracts. When one was passed to me, I gave it back and said that, since I was a Christian, I didn't need it. The gal who took it asked me why we were there. I told her we were leaving for Uganda as short-term missionaries, and we were already late because of the travel "challenges" connected to the war.
She blessed me beyond anything I could have expected. She called the whole group over, they circled us, laid hands on us, and prayed very intensely for us.
I had been a David Wilkerson "fan" since shortly after my salvation. In early '67, a few months after I had come to the Lord, one of the first Christian books I read was The Cross and the Switchblade. To have members of his Times Square Church be the ones who had prayed for us was a true gift of God to me.
When we had left our church in Omaha -- not the one we're in now -- we hadn't been prayed for. In fact, one member had called us on Friday night and told us this was the worst thing we could do in relation to a family situation. It didn't bother Dave to hear that; he understood the person's emotional reaction. However, I was very upset. SO when we reached New York, and many plane issues were slamming us, I was beginning to wonder if "our friend" had been right. Consequently, this prayer time with Times Square Church members was a spiritually emotional miracle for me.
Our five weeks away was not easy in hardly any manner, but this one joyous episode was a bit of proof. And after meeting some caring and dedicated people, seeing a land we loved, we wanted nothing but to return. Which happened again ... and again... and again.