Every day, God uses us and often we are unsuspecting. That makes those rare moments when we catch a hint so much more precious – the times when the veil flutters enough for us to glimpse the masterful ways God has mysteriously orchestrated some of those chance encounters in our lives.
This weekend was one of those times for me. Back in 1986, when I served with Campus Crusade at U.C. Berkeley, I left the States for my first time to be part of the first-ever summer project in Yugoslavia. The night we arrived in the country, my team and I plopped down on the steps of the hang-out spot, the horse statue in the center of Belgrade. We eagerly began putting into practice the reason we had come. We started conversations with several Yugoslav college students and turned the talk to Christ. I shared my testimony with a young woman named Gordana. She gave all the answers we’d been trained to expect. She was an atheist. She was a Communist. Religion was just a fable that old women believed in. We talked a long while and then we parted, never expecting to see each other again.
My team went on to Dubrovnik, now Croatia. We planted many seeds that summer, hoping that God would bring someone into that spiritually-dark nation to water them, trusting that He could do the impossible.
Three years later, the first Yugoslav had joined Campus Crusade staff and was coming to my team at Berkeley to be trained in ministry. Her name was Gordana. Indelibly, permanently etched in my memory is the night the two of us sat on the floor in my apartment with my journal between us. I read my entry from that night in 1986 at the horse statue, verifying that she was THE Gordana and I was THE American. God brought many people from many places to water and weed and fertilize and shelter that seed that my team so quickly planted and left untended.
And this past weekend, when Gordana and her family came to visit, He reminded me that He’s the one who causes the growth even when we don’t see it happening. Sometimes He gives us a glimpse this side of heaven, and when He does, it is breathtaking.