By Steph Hannen
I don’t know about you but there are times when the Lord shows up in a situation or circumstance and it takes me completely by surprise. I am not expecting him to turn up in this moment, on this day and at this time and when he does everything changes. One touch from Him & lives are transformed when we least expect it. But this is the thing; God is so much bigger than what our eyes can see and what our minds can fathom. He can even use our mistakes no matter how big or how small for our good and His glory. This my story of a mistake turned majestic.
On a Wednesday morning Darren and I would usually take a minister’s class in Clounagh Junior High, but since Darren was in Australia I had to take it and give a brief talk. I decided that I would talk about Jesus being our rescuer. I thought it would be a good reminder to bring some of the ‘Rescuer’ wristbands that were leftover from Render a couple of weeks before. So on the Tuesday afternoon, I went into the office and asked Charlotte for some wristbands. I took 12 and shoved them into my bag for the next day. On Wednesday morning I got up and decided to walk to Clounagh because it was a nice day so I only brought my notebook, Bible and a pen. I got to Clounagh and like a tonne of bricks it hit me, the wristbands! I had forgotten to bring my bag that I had put them in and it was far too late to go and get them. I was absolutely kicking myself, how silly can I be! People forget things all the time but I just wanted these kids to have a constant reminder of who Jesus is when they looked down at their maroon wristband. I did eventually get over it and didn’t give it much further thought…
Last week, I was in Haiti with a missionary Ashleigh Ballantine and we went to a local prison. We brought some food and drinks for the inmates and shared Jesus with them. In Haiti, the culture is so different to here in Norn Iron and so if you’re wearing an item of clothing or jewellery that they like they will say “You give me?” I was wearing a bracelet my parents had bought and tugging on my wrist one woman asked me if she could have it. I felt quite awkward saying no because these people truly have nothing except the clothes on their back. She then tugged on my wrist once more and said “You give me?” I looked down and there she was holding the ‘Rescuer’ wristband that I had got from our Render service a couple of months prior. I suddenly remembered the wristbands that I had had in my bag weeks before for the class in Clounagh. They were the wristbands I had forgotten, and I was carrying that same bag! I opened it and after rummaging around I handed the seven women a wristband each. They were so grateful. I wasn’t happy with just giving them a wristband and moving on though, so I asked the Pastor with me to translate for me. I explained to these women that were in their prison cell what the wristband said and what it meant to have Jesus as their rescuer. He was able to rescue them from all they had ever done wrong, from the life & messy situations they had found themselves in, ALL because He loves them. The women gratefully received what was said & were all very thankful. In the next cell beside the women were five young boys. These boys were all less than twenty. They too saw the wristband on my wrist and asked if they could have it. Once again I rummaged about in my bag and pulled out the final five wristbands, it was all I had but it was just the right number for the boys in the cell! Just as I had explained to the women, I explained to the boys what the wristband meant. After I had finished, the Pastor talked to them more about Jesus. Incredibly in that moment two of the boys gave their lives to the Lord, right from behind the bars of the prison cell! Praise God!
God showed up in an, ‘and suddenly’ moment in Haiti that he had begun to craft weeks earlier, miles away in a mistake made in a street in Portadown. But that’s just who He is. He is working even when we cannot see it. He loves to show up in the middle of a normal day & change everything. That morning He changed the course of two young boys lives, just like that. One touch from Him & everything changes.
“We know that in EVERYTHING God works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him..”- Romans 8 v 28