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Urban Concerns

I’m sure we have all heard someone say at least once in our lives “that was a God thing” or something similar. There are books with that as a title, many sermons with that phrase as the series title, and even videos that you can watch which share many stories that are incredible, amazing, and encouraging. Certainly every believer has experienced a few “that was a God thing” moments, if not many already. Of course, the greatest of all of these “God moments” would be the time that we came to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. As you study the Scriptures and grow in your understanding of biblical doctrine and theology, you will begin to understand, appreciate, and relish just how much a “that was a God thing” moment your conversion truly was.

 God’s Provision

Speaking of “that was a God thing” moment, I am reminded of the life and testimony of the great George Mueller from the 1800’s. Yes, God was doing some amazing things in the 1800’s just like He does in every age. As this man of God followed the call to minister to the thousands of orphans in England, God worked daily in miraculous ways. There are so many amazing stories of “God things” in the life and ministry of George Mueller that it would make even a hardcore, introverted, pessimistic, rigid, skeptic shout “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

In an article at www.christianity.com entitled, “George Mueller, Orphanages Built by Prayer,” the following story is shared where the orphans at his orphanage did not have any food to eat one morning. They were dressed and ready to start their day, but they had no food. When George was informed of this problem, he asked that the 300 children be seated in the dining room. He prayed to God, thanked Him for the food, and then they all proceeded to wait. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door and shared with George that he couldn’t fall asleep last night so he starting baking bread for the children and was there to deliver 3 batches to them. Right after that there was another knock on the door and it “just so happened” to be the milkman whose cart had broken down in front of the orphanage, and he informed George that he was giving the children the milk because it would all spoil before he could get the cart fixed and milk delivered to the customers. The milk and bread was just enough to feed the 300 children that particular morning and was yet another instance of God’s provision for them. If you want to read more about this great man of faith go to https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/church-history-for-kids/george-mueller-orphanages-built-by-prayer-11634869.html and enjoy a short, faith building article about George Muller.

 Starbucks Encounter

As I think of different “God thing” moments in my life, one that stands out occurred two years ago. My wife and I had traveled through the night having left Indianapolis late on Friday to get to a Saturday wedding in Burlington, NC. As we were arriving, I asked my wife if she wanted me to stop at the Starbucks coming up at the next exit. Of course, we were both very tired from driving through the night, but there was a Starbucks a few miles down the road closer to our destination and I thought she would just say that we should wait until our exit. Well, she said “Yes” about 100 feet or so from the exit. I quickly made my way to the exit and into the Starbucks parking lot. When I walked into the Starbucks there was only one customer sitting by himself. I turned around and discovered that Jennifer was still in the car organizing some things and not right behind me so I decided to talk briefly to this man sitting in Starbucks. To make a long story short, this man, Malcolm Henderson, was a doctor/surgeon from Chicago who was currently a missionary in Haiti. In our brief talk I discovered he was married, had four children, and had left everything behind in the States to serve God in Haiti.

As we were leaving with our tall coffee and tall white chocolate mocha, I mentioned to this man that if he and his family were ever in Indianapolis he had a place to stay and fellowship. That is not how I would typically end a conversation with a random person in a random Starbucks on a Saturday morning in town in North Carolina. However, God was at work and He knew that two years later, this “chance” encounter would be responsible for myself and many others experiencing life changing mission trips to Haiti with the Charis 4 Haiti ministry (https://www.charis4haiti.com). I have had the privilege of going to Haiti four times with two of my children, my brother, my best man from my wedding, and countless other church members, CBC students and staff, Verity students, and my closest brothers in Christ that I have in my life!

My wife and I consider the Henderson family as one of our closest family friends, and I would not exchange the lessons learned in these past two years for anything. I have become very close to Malcolm, have experienced another world with some of my closest brothers and sisters in Christ, and have seen God move and work in ways that I would not have experienced without this “that was a God thing” encounter in the summer of 2014 at a Starbucks in North Carolina.

 God Is at Work!

As I close, I want to encourage all of you to thank God for the “it’s a God thing” moments you have had in the past and pray that when God moves in the future you see Him moving and you allow Him to do what only He can do. When God is at work, you cannot stop it, predict it, or improve on it. I thank God for what He has done in my life, for what He has done in your life, and for what He is going to do in all of our lives in the future. To those doubters, haters, and scoffers who don’t believe in this spiritual reality, all I can say in a loving response is “It’s a God thing, you wouldn’t understand it, but I hope you eventually do.”

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Marcus Schrader, M.Div.: Marcus was raised in a Christian home with a father who was an Old Testament/Hebrew professor. He has been married to Jennifer for 17 years and has six children. Marcus has a Master of Divinity degree and is pursuing a doctorate in Global Leadership. He currently serves at Crossroads Bible College as the Dean of Administration and Academics. He enjoys reading, hiking, sports, spending time with family, politics, traveling, and history.

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