“What do you think about the Mayan calendar and 2012?” The young lady asked in broken English. I realized that this was definitely a Divine Appointment. She was sitting on the aisle seat with one seat in between her and my window seat. No one came to sit in that seat, and so we had started to talk. She was from Italy and headed to Kenya also, to help with something at a library there. In talking with her I realized that she didn’t know too much English, but realizing that Spanish is quite similar to Italian I sometimes fell back on the few words I know in Spanish to get a point across or to ask a question. She asked me what I was doing in Kenya, and when I mentioned mission work she asked what denomination I was. I told her that I was Seventh Day Adventist. Asking her what she was I learned that she was Catholic. But she said she knew a little about SDA, but didn’t know much about what we believe and how it compares with Catholics beliefs. So I explained to her about some of the things that we believe starting with the things that we have in common, then explaining some of the differences and how we take the Bible as supreme authority. I gave her some glow tracts I had and she read them right away, then continuing conversation. I knew that somehow God had arranged that we were both on the same flight sitting in the same row, with no one in between us!
I answered the question carefully explaining that I wouldn’t be surprised to see something happen this year, but quoting Jesus where he said that if possible even the elect would be deceived. I them pointed out how almost all of the world’s religions are all looking for some bright shining one to appear to them. “This is a reason that we have to be careful” I explained, “because Satan would love to take advantage of this, and the Bible says that he appears as an angel of light.” “Ok, I don’t think that 2012 is going to be the end of the world” she said. “Yes you may be right,” I answered, “but I don’t think we have much time left in this world just the same.” I went on the explain how Jesus said that there would be wars and rumors of wars, and famines and pestilence and floods. And he said that all these things are just the beginning of sorrows. I told how the word in Greek for sorrows is actually the same word used for the contractions of a women giving birth. The contractions come more and more often with increasing frequency, the same is true as the end of time comes closer. We definitely are seeing an increase in natural disasters, and wars and the things that Jesus predicted. This all points to the fact that the time left on this world is very short and now is the time to study to know what is truth. If we wait, we may wait too long.
When we finished talking I leaned back in my seat to rest. It had been a long day and the night before I hadn’t got much sleep either on the plane from Atlanta. That plane was just stopping in Amsterdam before continuing on to Mumbai, India. I thought about the lady I had met just before boarding in Atlanta, and how that was a divine appointment too. I could see that she was Indian, but I asked her where she was going anyway and she said she was headed to Mumbai. So I told her I’d been to India and we got to talking… I talked a little about the need that there is over there, being careful because I figured that she was probably Hindu. But come to find out she was Christian! I was surprised! It’s not many random people from India that I’ve met in airports and such that are Christians! This is rare! She said that disciple Thomas went to India in the early Christian days, and she believes that she is a descendant from some of those that he converted… So I started sharing my burden for the unreached in India and how they have no opportunity to know about Christ. She replied saying that she didn’t think that God would necessarily send someone to hell because they didn’t have an opportunity. This seemed like an unusual point of view to me… I acknowledged that there was some truth there, but that we need to do our part, because Jesus commanded us to tell them. She mentioned also about how sometimes things can be difficult and sensitive working among the Hindu people. She lives in the US with her husband who is from the US. She said, “Well I do my part, I send my tithe so they can hear.” I affirmed that that is good, but I pointed out that she has an advantage that I don’t have. She knows the language, and she knows the culture and is able to relate to the people in a way that I can’t. So I tried to just encourage her to do what she can to reach people there using the background that God has given her. I pray that God will continue to lead her in that direction.
I woke up when one of flight attendants came by and gave me my meal. I had requested vegetarian meals and they brought the special meals before they went down the aisle with the regular meals. We were getting close to our destination of Nairobi, we were about an hour and a half out. After eating my meal I saw the sun was beginning to set. The bright saturated colors permeated the west sky as the sun began to sink behind the horizon. I looked at the flight info again and saw that we were getting closer to Nairobi. I realized that I might never see my Italian friend again, and suddenly I felt I had to talk to her about another thing that made the Adventist message special. I had already talked to her some about the Sabbath and how we take the Bible as supreme authority in everything. But I felt that I needed to talk to her about the message God has given the Adventists for this time. So I turned to Revelation 14 and started to explain the three angels’ messages focusing on the last one and how at the end of time God is going to have a people who keep all 10 of the commandments. “God has sheep in many folds,” I explained, “but He’s given the Adventists a special message to bring people back to the Bible”. Then, realizing that the ten commandments that she knows are different than what God wrote on Sinai, I turned to Ex 20, and started to show her the ten commandments from the Bible, explaining that there was a change back hundreds of years ago, and that that’s why her Catholic Bible isn’t the same. She was happy to learn, and so I suggested that maybe when she gets back home that if she wanted we could arrange some kind of Bible study so she can learn more. All at once I realized we were landing! I had been so focused on the conversation that I didn’t keep track of how close were were getting. We taxied in from the runway, and came to the gate but before parting God impressed me that I should pray with her. She had asked me about prayer earlier and I realized that she may not have seen anyone pray before like we pray. So I prayed with her asking God to guide her as she studies and that He would reveal to her new truths from His Word. “Amen”, I said, she crossed herself, and then we parted to disembark the plane.
It’s Divine appointments like these that make working for God worth it! It’s so fulfilling to talk to someone and know that the words you speak are not your words! When God speaks through you, it’s an experience like nothing else! Don’t miss out!