It wasn’t exactly like we were starving, but I guess if you were a teen-aged boy you may have thought so! The quality of food we were being fed at the camp where we were staying definitely left a lot to be desired.
As the team leader, I had already broken the camp rules by sneaking my team of 23 people down the dark alley one night after curfew to get to McDonald’s for what seemed like a banquet. So, I was not too surprised on a Saturday evening when one of the young people prayed that the church that we were going to the next morning would provide lunch for us. I chuckled a little to myself and dismissed it as a little frivolous.
Image the delight when we arrived at the church and people were bringing plates of food to place on a table. During the announcements, we were invited to remain after the service to share a meal with them. Then it was time for us to lead the worship service. One of our team members shared with the congregation what their prayer had been, and how they had been our answer. Everyone was happy!
Before we left them a gentleman quietly came to me and said he was a chef at a large hotel.
‘Would we please come to his home for a meal and put on a program in his yard?’ he asked.
His hope was that his next–door neighbor would join us, as his family had tried to share God’s message of love with him for years. This was much more than just a second wonderful meal coming our way. It was an opportunity for us to give the food, the very substance of life, to the neighbor.
Although he refused the invitation, we could see him watching and listening through an open window. We devoured a beautiful meal and proceeded to share the message of God’s love through music, dance, and testimonies. Before we left our wonderful host, a young boy came from the house next door and said, “this is from my father.” It was a $100 bill.
We pondered the answers to our little, crazy prayer. Yes, our request for a nice meal was doubled. But, what about the next-door neighbor? He didn’t come to ask us to pray for him to receive Christ as his savior that night, but no one gives away $100 for no reason. He had to have heard, on some level, our message. Good seeds were obviously sown.
You never know, at the end of a mission trip, the full extent of the impact that you are leaving. People are watching. People are hearing.
Your crazy, little prayers may not be so crazy after all.