His Mysterious Ways

ephesians-3-12

We never know how God will use our small acts of love for His great purposes.

His intent was that now, through the Church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. — Ephesians 3:10—12

“I was praying in the room. I was naked in the night. Alone. I was going to leave town. I was planning to commit suicide by taking poison.” Lying on the floor of her mud-brick home in Ethiopia, the rain pouring through her thatch roof, Wosene was hopeless.

“We had nothing to eat and no clothes,” she told me.

Wosene had nothing to give her three children, each of whom — instead of attending school— tended cows and was paid in food rather than money. In desperation she cried out to God. “I knelt down and prayed to the Lord, ‘Please deliver me’,” Wosene told me. And God did.

When she and I spoke, Wosene’s life had been transformed. She had a gentle spirit and a joyful, welcoming smile. And she was very pleased that her family now lived in a solid, cement home, her children were in school, and she now had a job that enabled her to support her family.

Yes, God had worked in His mysterious way. Through a grandmother living in a small Nevada town, God answered Wosene’s prayers far beyond her imagining. Her life had completely changed when a total stranger named Donna made a commitment to sponsor Wosene’s daughter, Sanyat, at a Women of Faith conference. That was the beginning of a big transformation in the lives of both women.

Through World Vision, Donna would eventually sponsor Wosene’s other children, enable Wosene to move into a sturdier house, and help provide electricity to their home so the children could study at night.

As we sat in Wosene’s new home, I asked if her sponsor had written her any letters. Wosene smiled, stood up, walked to a small locked cupboard, and took a key from around her neck. She unlocked the door, carefully lifted out a large plastic bag filled with hundreds of cards and letters, and spread them all out on the table. “These have all come from my sponsor.”

Here were hundreds of handwritten cards and letters, each one encouraging this young mother, offering her support and affirmation, and telling her that God loved her dearly. Through those letters Donna had poured her love into this young mother’s life. As I saw how Wosene treasured her letters, it was clear that Wosene loved this woman she had never met. I jotted down her name — Donna Galli — and made a note to find her back in the States.

In her desperation, Wosene had come “boldly and confidently into God’s presence,” pleading for deliverance from her spirit-breaking circumstances. God’s answer had come through a grandmother in Nevada who felt God’s simple call to sponsor a child.

Wosene’s story is not only of a woman who cried out to God. It is also the story of God’s mysterious ways: He worked through one of His people half a world away to answer Wosene’s prayers and show her and her little family His great love.

We never know how God will use our small acts of love for His great purpose.

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Your Turn

Imagine Wosene’s circumstances in Ethiopia — naked, hungry, with several mouths to feed… I had the privilege of attending a Women of Faith event several years ago and Donna Galli was introduced to an arena-full of women up on their feet in applause celebrating this story of two mothers a world apart, bonded together by our amazing God.

How will you step out in faith and allow God to use your small acts of love? Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Richard Stearns

Richard Stearns brought nearly 25 years of corporate experience to World Vision when he became its president in June 1998. Stearns holds a bachelor's degree form Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His professional career began in marketing with the Gillette Company. From 1977 to 1985, he held various roles with Parker Brothers Games, culminating in his appointment as president in 1984. In 1985, he became a vice president at The Franklin Mint, then joined Lenox in 1987 as president of Lenox Collections. In 1995, Stearns was named president and chief executive officer of Lenox Inc. As president of World Vision Inc., Stearns is responsible for U.S. operations, which include fund raising, advocacy, and program development. Stearns and his wife, Renee, have been World Vision supporters since 1984. The couple has five children and live in Bellevue, Washington.

Renee Stearns

Reneé Stearns is a former attorney, mother of five, and grandmother of one. She is active in church ministries, leading Bible studies, and speaking at conferences and retreats. Reneé is passionate about helping others broaden their worldview to include the great needs she sees in her travels with World Vision.

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