God of the small things…

Does God really have specific, detailed plans for our lives? Or does He
simply have a “Big Picture” in which the details don’t matter?

Does God really have a specific, detailed plan for our lives? Or does He simply have a “Big Picture” in which the details don’t matter?

I believe He cares about every detail and will guide us specifically if we trust Him to do so.

Vivian and I met and married during the Rhodesian Bush War, so our early years of married life were punctuated with regular army call-ups and separations.  As a new believer in Jesus Christ, I was hungry to learn more, and felt my spiritual growth was frustrated by continuous call-ups. I spent hours reading my Bible in the bush, but I never seemed to finish a preaching or Bible study series in church.

Eventually, I felt that Bible School was the answer. But where to go? When to go? How to go? Money would be the toughest challenge. Of course, Google and emails were still the stuff of science fiction. I talked to friends who had gone to Bible College in the UK. Our application to enrol there was successful, and everything looked set for us to start in the UK Autumn of 1980.

Ironically the finance we needed came out of tragic circumstances. My mother had been fighting cancer for a number of years, and finally succumbed at the age of 53. Just one week later, my grandmother died. Because of my mother’s death before my grandmother’s, my siblings and I inherited Ma’s portion.

Shortly after this, we received news that the married accommodation at Bible College in the UK was no longer available, but ‘could we come next year?’ I was sure we were supposed to go in 1980, but now I had no idea where. The first hint of a new direction came from a pastor friend, who recommended Christ for the Nations (CFNI) in Dallas, Texas. I had never heard of it, and the States seemed too far away to consider.

We booked a short holiday at Lake Kariba during a gap in call-ups, to pray and ask God for direction. On the transfer boat, we met a local pastor. In the course of casual conversation, without us mentioning names, he declared that CFNI was the best option for us, and that he had the contact details. With a growing sense of excitement, we collected the information and posted our applications.

I had to give a month’s notice at work.  The country went into chaos. I was in the army for continuous call-up and I was in a remote area, not knowing whether to resign or not. No news came…

With only a few weeks to go until our deadline, our prayers got increasingly desperate. We flew to Durban briefly to wind up my grandmother’s affairs. Staying with my uncle and aunt, she invited us to her Presbyterian Church to hear a visiting choir from America. We had just settled into our pew when the visitors were introduced as coming from Christ for the Nations. I was speechless! Not only that, but the team leader was the Registrar! He remembered our application, and assured us we would be accepted!

So it was that God moved me from a hunger for more of Him, to a Bible College I had never heard of, in a country I had never visited, and miraculously supplied the funds! Not only that, but He led more than thirty other “new Zimbabweans” of all races to the same place, at the same time, where it became a little haven of reconciliation after the bitterness of war and division.

Thirty five years later, Viv and I have been privileged to have helped and partnered with more than three hundred churches in six countries. All because of God’s faithful leading and unmistakable caring about even the small details of our lives.

Proverbs 3:6:

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.             

Peter Jenkins  

South Pen