Our God Can Do Anything!

Karen’s team preached with Jon in our January effort in Kurnool where over 4700 were baptized. Her story is below.

Robert L. Robinson
Southern Asia Division
Asst. to the President

Written by Karen:

The sad eyes of hungry children begging for food, sick babies pitifully crying, the wafting of open sewers, smoke flavored food cooked over an open fire, sleeping in a hammock, seeing snakes hang from the rafters of thatch roofed homes contrasted with the mansions of the elite, noisy streets where the lanes are a mere suggestion as to where you might want to drive, I had experienced it all as a missionary's kid. So what could be all that different with this mission experience in India? The excitement welled up inside of me to be sure but I didn't expect this mission experience to be all that unique. Being a 3rd generation missionary I feel at home in any mission field and India was no exception, but what I wasn't prepared to see were miracles before my very eyes. Miracles which left me overwhelmed in gratitude to a God who could do anything.

To run an evangelistic campaign was a privilege I always felt called to do. However, I also love children and I wanted to work with the children's program. So God provided the perfect solution. Jon, who had gone to Andrews University with my husband, was now a pastor and was also going on this trip. He loves kids and evangelism, so we took turns preaching and doing the children's program every other night. We also had a nurse named Evelyn, who taught the people practical ways to treat common illnesses and how to avoid getting many of the rampant diseases. Some of them had come to accept illnesses as a part of their lives, never realizing that much of it could be cured or avoided.

The precious village people who came each night loved the felts, the power point presentations, and the video about the life of Jesus. To know that there was a God who loved them unconditionally, that there was a heaven prepared for them where the troubles of this world would melt away, to know that their life had a purpose filled them with such hope and joy. Each night the crowds swelled till we had between six and seven hundred people attending. Some people came by foot, others rode packed together on flat bed trailers pulled by tractors from four other villages.

On one of the first nights when it was my turn to preach, I was listening to the special music when someone pulled on the scarf of my Punjab outfit. A woman with her two-year-old baby girl looked desperate. The baby was clawing at the air for breath and was living to scream. I got up, put my hand on the baby and was horrified to not only feel a very high fever of probably at least 104 degrees but her little chest rattled and shook like a bucket of bolts in a paint shaker. The baby girl's face was turning blue and the mother begged me frantically to "madam please, blessings my baby".

I put my hand on her heaving little back and began to pray "dear Lord, please help this baby girl get better," and she calmed down a little, so I prayed again "oh God, this poor baby is suffering so badly, please make her better," again she calmed down a little more but she was still fighting for breath. Then I thought "You know, this baby has no chance at any medical care. There is no medical care in her village and even if there was a doctor, her mother couldn't afford to get her the attention she needed."

"Lord, she is a little Hindu baby. I'll admit I don't have the faith I need, but I really want to have the kind of faith that moves mountains. For the sake of this little girl and her family, for the sake of her village, please heal this little girl right now so they might know there is a God in heaven who is all powerful and who cares about them and their needs."

Instantly, like a breaker switch had been thrown, the baby quit crying and fell into a peaceful sleep, her little body cooled down, the rattle in her chest stopped and air flowed freely through her lungs. Feeling overwhelmed at what I had just witness I turned around with tears springing up at such a rate they were going to spill over. Unbeknownst to me, Jon had stepped out of the meeting and was standing behind me. As our eyes met we said "Wow! God is good! Too often we limit God don't we?"

One of the village elders from Bapanatapurum was known to be a fighter. He was a short man but built like a bulldozer. It was rumored that he could and had taken down three men at a time. The deep lines in his face told of a hard life, filled in part by prejudice to other casts. We were told that neither he nor the local Hindu priest wanted us to come to their village. They decided to give us two nights, and if they didn't like what they heard, they would put a stop to it immediately. Two nights went by, three nights, four nights and each night they both sat a bit closer to the front, drinking in the words of salvation they were hearing. Their faces softened, and smiles broke out much more frequently from the storm clouds on their faces. This village elder was soon acting as if we were his long lost friends, taking us to homes in his village so we could pray for his friends. Towards the end of the meetings, he was baptized and demonstrated that he was a changed man. He threw a meal of rice and dahl for everyone, which no doubt was a huge expense to him. He cooked over seventy kilos of rice, only to
discover it wouldn't stretch far enough to feed everyone, so he asked that all the "enemy villages" be fed first before his own village. He served the food personally to his previous rivals with joy on his face. The next night he cooked more food so he could feed his villagers. Everyone was now his brothers and sisters in Jesus and he was thrilled to have new friends. He had discovered that when Jesus comes into a person's life, there is no room for hate or prejudice and that true joy comes from giving, especially giving to people who used to be your enemy. And what happened to the Hindu priest?

The local Bible worker told us "give him some time, but I have no doubt he will soon give all of his heart to Jesus, the one God above all gods."

Visiting in the villages one day we came to the nicest house in the village. It had a corrugated tin roof, and plaster on the walls, instead of the thatch roofed woven mat wall houses. I thought it must be a grandmother's house and she was taking care of the 3 little grand kids but then I found out it was the mother, aged by grief way beyond her years. Some 8 months previous, her robust husband who was light of her life dropped dead as he came into the house. High blood pressure combined with back breaking work in the field was too much for his heart and he died instantly of a heart attack. The woman's hair was graying quickly and her face was sad and drawn. When we offered to pray for her she began to cry. She was so touched that Americans would come to her home from across the ocean to pray for her.

"What am I going to do?" she cried, "I have a nice house but no way to really support ourselves. My oldest son is in the 7th grade and I have sent him to live with relatives in a village where there is a school, but it will be so long before he is old enough to help provide for the family. My other children are little. Oh what am I going to do?," she sobbed as she switched the baby to her other hip. Her thin wrinkled hands clasped ours as she said "Thank you so much for praying for me!"

As we went on through the village, we found a 10-day old baby in a very destitute hut. He had nothing but rags
around him. There were no extra clothes hanging around, and apparently no food in the house. His mother had a dead look in her eyes as if she didn't know how to smile. Our hearts were breaking as we left that village. We felt that at least 10 families were in a desperate situation.

Our translator, Pastor Rao, publishing director for the Union shook his head in deep sadness. "In all the years I worked for ADRA I have never seen a village in such poor shape. If those families don't get some help, they won't be here a year from now. I am going to see what I can do to get ADRA to help this village." Jon, Evelyn, and I talked it over with Bob Robinson, the local missionary coordinator for all these evangelism meetings. We concluded that though it might be hard to get food to just those 10 families, without causing jealousy from other families who were also needy, it was worth that risk. We went out and purchased a couple of hundred pounds of rice, and sacks of dahl. We divided it up into 12 portions, enough to feed 12 families for 1 month till further help could arrive. The smiles of deep gratitude, the tears of joy, the excited little children dancing on their skinny little legs as they realized that the food was for them, was more payment than all the money in the world.

The God of the universe, who keeps the galaxies in place, cares about the little things that irritate one of his children on a far off planet called "earth". For two days I had experienced allergies or a cold which gave me a very runny nose which would not stop. That day, we had been busy all day with baptisms, village visitation, and finally the evening meeting. I had gone through three packs of tissue paper, plus everything that Jon and Evelyn had with them and my nose still wouldn't stop running. I was also sneezing every few minutes. "How in the world am I going to preach tonight, Jon." I asked in misery. "I can't quit sneezing and now I have run out of any tissue for my nose." Let's pray about it and you will see that when you get up to preach, the faucet will turn off. Trust me, I have had it happen before," Jon grinned. So we prayed about it and I got up to preach. Much to my amazement, my nose not only quit dripping, but it dried out so instantly that it felt like it would on a bitter cold dry winter day. I didn't sneeze one time during the one-hour sermon. At the end of the sermon, I prayed.
Immediately afterwards I had to turn my head from the microphone as I sneezed and my drippy nose came back to life.

"Please madam, blessings my son." the father pleaded.

"What is the matter with your son?" I asked.

Speaking English better than most villagers this man said "hand and arm not work, long time," so saying he showed me the boy's stiff arm with curled up skinny fingers which refused to move.

"Can you squeeze my hand?" I asked the little boy as I used gestures so he would understand. His sad brown eyes looked into mine as I wiggled my fingers into his awkward fist, but he couldn't move his fingers at all. But showing he understood my request, he grabbed my hand with his good hand and
squeezed hard.

"Oh Lord, I think this boy and his father must only be visiting tonight as I don't remember seeing them before. Lord, I do not know what they know about You, but they have come asking for your healing for this poor boy's arm and hand. With his current condition it will be difficult for him to ever earn a living and he can't play like other little boys. Please Lord, if it be your will, heal this little boy. Fill him with your love....."

Opening my eyes as I was finishing praying I looked down at the little chap and saw something I will never forget. He had a look of amazement and wonder on his face. Holding his hand in front of his face he was slowing wiggling those previously atrophied stiff fingers in front of his face. Then he tried to move his wrist and it moved as well! I don't believe I ever finished that prayer, except to squeak out an emotional "amen". The God of the universe had stepped into that field in the little village of Bapanatapurum and had taken note of a little boy's hand . Friends, God is the same God today as he was walking the dusty roads of ancient Israel! He loves to bring surprises, health, and healing into lives and he especially loves little children.

Each night we asked for decisions for Jesus at our meetings. Joy lit up their faces as they held their hands high in commitment. As they prepared for baptism there were decisions to be made, idols had to be disposed of, shrines in their homes had to be torn down, rituals to their god's stopped. The fear or retaliation from the devils or their gods was very real. They knew their gods had to be appeased and now they would be very angry since they were trading them all in for one true God. As they went into the waters of baptism the struggle was very evident on their faces. They took off their devil charms, looked at them for a few seconds. Some were tempted to put them in their pockets, just in case they might need them. Then a determined look would cross their faces as they took the charms and hurled them as far as they could into the lake. When they splashed out of the water, no one needed an interpreter to understand the look on their faces. They were free for the first time in their lives. Free from the fears that had ruled their lives for so long. They were now children of the heavenly King. They weren't just from a particular cast, they were royalty and they knew it! Oh to one day be in heaven and meet these beautiful dark skinned brothers and sisters from India. To see them walking on streets of gold, never having to be sick or hungry any more, to see them meet their Jesus face to face! Oh what a day of rejoicing that will be!

Finally the day came to say our last good-byes to the villagers who had become like family to us. It was hard and many tears were shed. We promised to meet them in heaven and to pray for them every day. As we boarded the bus headed for Hyderabad conflicting emotions rolling around inside. Joy bubbled up in our hearts as we thought over the events of the last few weeks. A deep sense of purpose had been kindled in our hearts. This is what we were placed on this earth to do! Regardless of our careers, gender, or age, our mission is to tell the world about the soon coming Savior! Sadness hit us like a sledgehammer. We knew there was the very real possibility of never seeing these beautiful India people again on this earth. Our group would also have to separate and go to our respective homes. We would deeply miss our translators, taxi drivers, and the missionaries we had come to love in India. We had traveled to this far off land some as friends, some as strangers, but our hearts were knit together by a common goal and experience of leading souls to Jesus. Oh what a wonderful place heaven will be, where we will never have to say goodbye ever again.

Most of the group left the next morning and soon there were only three of us left in Hyderabad for another couple of days, George, treasurer for the NY conference, his wife Sandy, and myself. As we shopped one evening I stumbled over a dirty pipe sticking out of the sidewalk, scraping my toe. Thinking nothing of it, it was disinfected and bandaged as soon as possible, but nearly immediately infection set in till it was almost impossible to walk on that foot. Going to the pharmacy I asked the pharmacist what I should take for this infection and he suggested the common antibiotic, Cipro.

On Wednesday evening both the Wheelers and I were scheduled to fly back to the USA, they to NY and I to Los Angeles, California. That last afternoon we were going to go our separate ways for some last minute shopping, but we went together to the first store. I had taken my antibiotic a few minutes before. Suddenly I began to sneeze and Sandy said "you poor thing, are you getting sick?" I told her "no, I am sure it is just something tickling my nose in this shop. I feel fine." However a few minutes later my eyes began to itch, and my upper lip swell, then I knew I was in deep trouble. Grabbing Sandy's arm I said "Sandy, I have never had a reaction to a medication before in my life but I am apparently very allergic to Cipro which I took before leaving the hotel. I am going into Anaphylactic shock. I need you to go with me to a doctor's office or the hospital." Sandy looked at me in disbelief. How could I be fine one second and so sick the next? But we ran down the street, calling over our shoulder to her husband George, that we were going to the hospital. Sandy saw a police officer and told him "my friend is very sick, please help us get a motor rickshaw that will take us to the hospital." The police officer took one look at my rapidly swelling face and lost no time in stopping six lanes of traffic. Grabbing the nearest empty motor rickshaw he yelled to him "take them to Medwin Hospital." Away we roared. I hoped the hospital was close by and thankfully it only took a few minutes to get there. By that time my face was so swollen that my lips stuck out beyond my nose. I could sink my finger into at least 1 ?4 to 1 ?2 inch of edema on my forehead and chin and breathing was becoming difficult. By now at least 15 minutes had gone by since taking the medication.

They took us up 3 flights of stairs quickly so we could pay our entrance fee and proceed to the ER. Though the receptionist and nurses were very gracious and sweet they did not grasp the severity of the situation. I am sure that to them I was just one very ugly American lady. After climbing the stairs, I kick myself for having climbed them instead of waiting for an elevator. That exertion had pumped the "poison" of the Cipro through my system and now breathing was very difficult. I could feel my lungs closing down but miraculously my throat stayed open. The doctors in the ER were busy and we had to wait. By this time, Sandy's husband, George, had found us and sat down next to me. I grabbed his hand and hung on tightly. He felt sorry for me, figuring that I was really scared. Of course I was scared but I told him "no, the reason I am hanging on to you is that when I faint, you will be the first to know it because my grip will go limp." I felt extremely tired and fought like never before to stay awake and lucid. Suddenly my field of vision closed in to about a 4 or 5 inch hole and then everything went grey. It happened so quickly I was in shock! In seconds, I was essentially blind.

"Sandy, I am going blind. My internal organs are shutting down, I can feel it. Sandy I don't have much more time..."

Poor Sandy ran to the nearest open door and barged into an office where a doctor sat behind his desk talking to a patient. "Please sir, my friend, she is dying, she can not breath well, she can not see, she is in Anaphylactic shock, please help."

The doctor leaped from his chair and ran with Sandy over to me. I could hear him but I couldn't see anything but a moving grey shadow. He threw open another door, hauled the startled patient out and sat me down in front of a Dr. Gopal. He put a blood pressure cuff on me and took my blood pressure for so long that I was quite sure he was going to squeeze my arm off. "Please doctor, what is my blood pressure?" I slurred. "It is normally 110/70, what is it now?"

Ignoring my question he fired questions at me ", what medication have you had, how long ago did you take it? Now open your mouth and stick out your tongue" When I told him I had taken Cipro now some 25-30 minutes before I heard him suck in his breath. "Please doctor, I can't see and I can hardly
breath. I itch all over terribly."

Finally they wheeled me into ICU. By this time I was so exhausted I couldn't have walked if I had to. Putting me on the bed quickly they plunged in an IV and 5 injections. They then hooked up a heart monitor. I was horrified to hear what sounded like an erratic flat line of buzzzzzzzzz bleep bleep bleep buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz bleep bleep buzzzzzzzzz. "Put her legs up", commanded the doctor. Instantly my heart rate went to bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep, about 140 beats per minute.

"Ugh", I moaned. "Trust me, having too fast of a heart rate is better than an erratic heart rate" the doctor said. I knew that I was close to death. I felt internal organs I never knew one could feel which were shutting down. I was very close to loosing consciousness. My tongue was thick, dry and swollen. As I lay there I thought, "this is it! I am going to die here in India. Oh God, please take away the fear of dying. I really can't handle that on top of feeling so sick." Instantly a peace washed over me that nearly made me cry, only I was too tired to cry. I thought "Oh Lord, please let my family know that I love them, that I wish I could be with them, but that it is OK if I die. For what little part I played, 525 precious people have given their lives to Jesus and that is worth everything!"

A couple of hours after being admitted to the hospital, George left and called the people at the Union office. They ran over to the hospital arriving huffing and puffing with sweat on their foreheads. By this time, I was felling like I just might live through this. Those men and women were so dear as they prayed for me. They were so concerned. My translator, Pastor Rao,spent a couple of hours sitting beside my bed praying and trying to think of things to say that would make me feel better. My family was called and they along with people all over the USA, including the NY conference officials, dropped to their knees and prayed for my recovery. What a wonderful thing it is to belong to the family of God.

That night there were other patients in the ICU who were very ill. The man next to me coughed and hacked so badly I though he was going to die. In the middle of one of his coughing fits, he cried out "Oh God, someone help me! I am going to die!" About that time, Sandy and George returned with a plate of steaming potatoes and carrots. They had gone to all the trouble of asking the cook at the hotel if he could make this mild food for me since I did not feel like eating much else. Together we prayed that the Lord would help the patient in the next cubicle. After many prayers and making sure I was doing ok, Sandy and George reluctantly left to go back to the hotel, promising to be back first thing in the morning. They had been with me the entire time, never considering what the last minute change in their international tickets could cost them. Their loving care and prayers was so comforting to me.

Throughout the night I understood a lot that was going on around me. Oh sure, the very competent doctors and nurses spoke to each other in Telegu but the medical terminology was thrown around in English. One man was there for possible amputation of his legs due to a severe case of diabetes. Another lady was admitted with very painful angina. Cries and the sounds of people fighting for their lives permeated the room. About every 15 minutes they woke me up to check my blood pressure, check my IV's , or give me another pill or shot. Every time they woke me up I prayed for the patients around me.

Around 2 a.m. I woke up to a very silent ICU. I momentarily panicked thinking that everyone had died except for me, but then I heard the steady beep, beep beep of the heart monitors. They were just peacefully sleeping! Sitting up in bed, leaning on my elbow I looked towards the nurses station which was right outside my cubicle. What I saw surprised me greatly. Sitting in a chair at the desk was an American looking man with very straight blond hair cut in a bowl hair cut much like someone might have had in the 1970's. He had on a t-shirt and jeans and no lab coat. In India there is a uniform for everything, especially in a hospital setting. This man couldn't be a doctor dressed like that. He was looking through the charts and then he picked mine up. How I knew it was mine, I have no idea but as he read it he shook his head to what he read, then he looked over at me and smiled. His blue eyes crinkling as he said "you know, you are going to be all right." Without a shadow of a doubt, I knew I was looking into the face of my guardian angel.

"That is nice to know! Thank you, but what about all the others here? They are so sick.”

"Yes but they are doing better now."

My one chance to talk to my angel and I was too tired to keep my eyes open any more! I told him, "I wish I could talk to you more but I am so very tired."

"That's OK, he smiled.

I lay back down and was asleep almost before my head hit the pillow. A short while later I awakened with an all too familiar sensation. I was starting to itch all over again. Now, I don't know whether it is possible to have a secondary reaction but that is what it felt like. My chest started to tighten up again, despite the oxygen I was on. At that precise moment a short, wiry male nurse with laughing eyes stepped into my cubicle, syringe in hand.

"Madam, are you feeling ok?" he asked.

"No I am feeling agitated, itchy, and my chest is tightening up again."

"I know Madam, that is why I am here."

"How could you know? I just woke up."

His eyes danced, "Oh Madam, I just knew, now there is some more hydrocortisone for you. I will put it in your IV." He stayed for a few minutes monitoring my breathing and blood pressure and I began to feel better. As he turned to leave I asked him again "but how did you know?"

Chuckling to himself as if he knew a secret I didn't, he walked around the corner and I never saw him again, not that day, not the next, not ever on that floor. Was he also an angel? I don't know but if not, I am sure my blond-haired, blue-eyed, 70's hairstyle angel had told him I needed that injection.

The next morning Dr. Gopal stopped by to see me. "Oh Madam, I would NEVER recognize you today! You look so very different than when I saw you in my office. I thought for sure you were going to die, and if you didn't that you would at least go into cardiac arrest. I had epinephrine and atropine
ready for you as well as the shock paddles to jump-start your heart if necessary. I was so worried about you! I called up to ICU so many times that I am sure they got tired of me calling but I couldn't get up here till this morning. Madam, I prayed to all my gods last night. I am a Hindu, but I absolutely know that Your God saved your life. You see, the reason I wouldn't answer you there in the ER about your blood pressure is that you had No blood pressure! Most people with such a severe reaction die within 20 minutes without intervention but for you it had been nearly 35 minutes. When I saw you in my office, I knew you had 2-3 minutes before you would probably die and if you didn't you would go into cardiac arrest. I have never seen anything like this! You are a walking miracle!"

A day after leaving the ICU, I went back to thank everyone again, to get their pictures and email addresses. One young doctor asked me, "Why are you here in my country?" Since he was a Hindu and we had been cautioned to be careful in our responses I said "Well, I was here for several reasons, but one of the things we did as a group was giving health lectures in remote villages, teaching them how to avoid common diseases.' The doctor looked down at his spotless lab coat and began to roll and unroll his tie. When he looked up his eyes were full of unshed tears. "Madam, that is why you did not die. You see, as an American you are more respected than our highest cast. As a result, it does not matter whether you are a doctor or not, such teachings by you will be accepted and put into practice. Thank you for doing for the poor of my country what even I could not do for them. That is why your God did not let you die, because you were kind to even the lowest of people. But I have another question. Why did you look so worried last night about the man next to you in the ICU?"

"Well, I thought he was dying and so I prayed for him. I felt so badly for him gasping for what seed to be his last breath."

"That is true Madam, he was very, very ill as were all the patients up here last night but somehow they all got better and slept. I think that some will even fully recover. I don't understand it! I am a Hindu, you are a Christian..I don't understand it!"

"Well God loves everyone!" I smiled.

He nodded, still looking confused. "Can I have your email address so my husband can write and thank you for what you have done to save my life?"

"Oh yes, please, I would really like that," he said, his whole face breaking out into a smile.

I got a piece of paper and collected his email address along with those of other doctors and nurses. Now I knew what I had always suspected.that this whole episode happened for a reason. Nothing ever happens in life by accident. There is a divine plan and I felt so honored and humbled to be a part of it. From our Muslim travel agent, the pharmacist who had sold me the Cipro, the guard at the hospital, the janitor who saw me in the ER, the people at the hotel, all heard the story of how God worked a miracle They were deeply impressed and kept saying "your God saved you!"

But God wasn't done yet! Before I left Hyderabad I felt very impressed to wear my best India Punjab outfit despite the fact that I was worried that it would get snagged on such a long trip. After several long layovers, I had a four-hour layover in LA before proceeding up to visit my parents-in-law in Oregon. As I was standing in line to get a much coveted salad (do you have any idea how great even plain lettuce sounds when you haven't had any fresh salad for a month?), a man tapped me on my back.

"Excuse me but I am so curious. I have never seen an outfit like the one you are wearing. I think it is very nice but is it from some country?"

"Yes, it is called a Punjab outfit and it is from India."

As I turned around the man could see that I was carrying my Bible. "Hey that is a great book; the best as a matter of fact," he smiled. I smiled in return and stepped up to make my order. For some reason he got his food first and went to sit down. A couple of seconds later he came back looking a bit uncomfortable, "if you want, when you get your food you can come join me at my table."

I raised my eyebrows and looked at him in surprise. I saw a 64-year-old man, about six foot four inches tall with an open and kind face. "I'll think about it".

Sitting down at his table, I put my food down and saw that he was staring at me intently.

"What gives with you", the man whose name was Bruce, asked.

"Excuse me? I don't know what you mean."

"I mean, why are you so happy?"

"Well I suppose it is because I just got back from a trip to India and has some wonderful experiences there."

"Oh, do you work for the government?", asked Bruce raising his eyebrows.

"No, it was a mission trip. I am a Seventh-day Adventist and we were there giving health lectures and telling people about Jesus," I grinned enthusiastically.

"A Seventh-day Adventist? I know all about them. I used to live in the Loma Linda area some 25 years ago. So where did you go to school? Loma Linda, La Sierra, Walla Walla, PUC?"

"Andrews University actually, but I am impressed. You do know quite a bit about Adventists."

His face brightened as he quietly asked "Could you tell me about your mission trip please, I want to know about all of it. I have time."

I told him about the many miracles I had experienced, about people coming to knowledge of Jesus and cutting off their devil charms when they were baptized, of seeing people healed, and of my experience in the ICU. Several times he got very teary eyed and turned his face to wipe his eyes.

"So why are you so happy and I am not? I have a good marriage, I am involved in my church, I love God, I have a good business which makes a very good living, so why are you happier?"

"I don't know. I just met you, but maybe you are just living for yourself instead of to benefit others."

"Ouch", Bruce whistled softly. "So what should I do?"

"Well aren't you close to retirement age? Could you sell your business for enough money to live off the interest?"

"Oh easily."

"You will never know what true happiness is till you are doing exactly what God wants you to do. Now maybe God wants you to continue on with your business, but just maybe He knows you are at the point where you can sell your business, live off the interest, and work in full time mission work of some type. When you dedicate your life to giving the gospel, you will have a sense of fulfillment that nothing else can replace."

"But what would I do? I am not a preacher."

"You don't have to be a preacher to be used by God in ministry. You know how to run a business and you do it well. Why not teach other young missionaries some of the secrets of your business success, how to do their accounting etc."

"I can't believe you are telling me this! I have had a feeler to help in just such a training center where young missionaries are trained in everything from church planting skills, construction, business skills etc . They come for a summer to Hawaii for this training before going on to their mission field. I have just been afraid to "jump in with both feet" when my business is going so well. Fact is, God and I have been having a good argument today as I flew from Miami to LA. He suggested I sell my business and go into full time ministry. I told God, "That's crazy! Nobody gets to this point in their career, doing so well, and then sells out." And God said to me "I didn't ask you if you were "nobody". I just asked if you would work for me." Now you are telling me the same thing and you don't even know me!"

We talked during my four-hour layover then found that we were on the same plane and could sit together for another hour. We pored over the Bible, and discussed stepping out in faith, mission work, the source of true contentment and many other topics. When he got off the plane he shook my hand warmly. With tears in his eyes he said, 'You know don't you that our meeting up was an appointment set by God. I would have never noticed you except that you were wearing that Indian outfit and God took over from there. Thank you so much for taking the time, not thinking it was strange that I wanted to talk to you. Thank you for sharing your mission experiences with me. I have a lot of things to think over, but I think that I am going to put my business up for sale. It is too late in earth's history. It is time to go broke for the sake of the gospel."

So, why should you go on a mission trip? Because, it will change your life forever. You will come back not just knowing in theory that God can do anything, but you will experience it first hand. Your heart will be wrung out as you see the poverty around you and the hopelessness that wealth brings without knowledge of a personal God. You will be humbled to know that God is anxious to use anyone who is willing to be to be his hands and feet, to reach a hurting world. Your priorities will be rearranged. Friendships will be sealed which will last for eternity and feel as close as your biological family. And one day when you get to heaven you will have many friends from a far off land that will say, like the lyrics of a song you probably know, "Thank you for giving to the Lord! I was a life that was changed, Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you gave." What does it cost to go on a mission trip? That, my friend doesn't matter, because you see, the rewards are out of this world, and the ticket price will be long forgotten.