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Setback or set-up?

Oftentimes we have good ideas of how to further the Kingdom, but God has a better idea. Recently in the Dominican Republic, the plan to bring a mobile medical clinic to some of the communities did not pan out as originally planned, so our staff set up the clinic on campus and bussed the community to the campus for the clinic instead. Despite the change in location, the opportunity for impact was even better than expected as our team was able to serve 220 people in four days, and a woman accepted Christ! 

Not only that, but we were able to supply one woman with a very specific splint for a fractured elbow that one of our teammates had bypassed a couple of weeks earlier in a storage room without knowing its purpose or seeing an immediate need. When the medical staff was searching for some sort of support for the woman’s elbow, the exact splint was presented and met with many happy tears. If the medical clinic had not taken place on campus, the splint might not have made it onto the arm of this woman in need.

It is no secret that things will not always go according to our plan. This is true even in the context of ministry and with the best intentions and planning meetings. Take David in 2 Samuel 7 for example. One day David looked around and realized that he lived extremely extravagantly while the Ark of the Covenant was simply covered by a tent. He sought out to build a temple for the Lord, but he was cut off quickly by the Lord’s voice saying: 

“Will you build a house for me to live in? From the time I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until now I have not lived in a house. I have been moving around all this time with a tent as my home. As I have moved with the Israelites, I have never said to the tribes, whom I commanded to take care of my people Israel, “Why haven’t you built me a house of cedar?”