How do I know God is real? For certain? I’ve experienced Him in specific, very real ways. One of the most amazing experiences was another one in the Dominican Republic with my friend, Mindy. We had visited the boy she sponsored through Compassion International, but she’d known that she would sponsor another child somewhere that week. In fact, she picked out his photo from a pile of child packets of unsponsored children. This pile was from all the different child development centers that different groups of sponsors would visit that week. I cautioned her not to choose one until we knew which center we would be going to, since we would be split up into small groups. But she picked out Oscar and insisted on wanting to sponsor him.
When we looked to see which group we were in, it was not Oscar’s village or child center. In fact, we got on our bus and the guide began telling us about another child center that we would be visiting, far away from Oscar’s. I don’t know what made me do it, but I sat in the back of the bus asking God to take us to Oscar’s child development center: “Please, God, please take us to Oscar!” We had heard all the details about the other center, but when we pulled up in front of it, the number was wrong–it was Oscar’s center! I jumped up and said to Mindy, “Let’s go find Oscar!”
We went to the Project Director of the child center and asked if she knew where Oscar might be. “Yes,” she said, “in fact, his home is the one we’re taking all of you to visit today!” That was amazing. I have shown up at child development centers before with child packets of unsponsored children, and the specific child isn’t always easy to find. If they aren’t sponsored yet, they often are not very involved with the ministry yet, or may be at home or helping their parents in the market place. But Oscar would be easy to find, because his home was the one selected for the sponsor tour. Needless to say, Mindy sponsored him on the spot. Click here to see a previous story about Oscar’s home and family. It’s very moving to hear how very deep in poverty this family was. The “little one” that he said was “better” (in a follow-up letter) was no doubt the one we saw in a crib that we felt would not live much longer. It was refreshing to hear that the baby had survived with Compassion’s support. And again, it was amazing to see and experience how very real God is.
For previous posts in my “God is Real” series, click below:
God is Real–Part Three (a hurtful e-mail)
God is Real–Part Four (pain)
God is Real–Part Five (a zany miracle)