Yesterday, our youth pastor and his wife and another youth leader and I brought sixteen of our youth to Orlando, Florida, for the Christian & Missionary Alliance LIFE conference. The conference happens every three years and boasts some of the best Christian speakers. It’s literally a conference for teenagers, and they will sit in a variety of seminars for the next four days
For some, it will be life changing.
This is my third time attending, and every single time I have been blown away to see the power of God at work.
For the 2016 conference, I hadn’t planned on attending because I didn’t want to use my vacation time, but our youth pastor needed some other adult leaders to attend, so I agreed. We drove to that conference, and I rode in the car with my dear friend, Cindy, our youth pastors wife. I was so encouraged by our conversation during the whole trip, and I realized that God had allowed circumstances to be what they were SO THAT I WOULD BE WHERE GOD NEEDED ME TO BE. He does that for us, you know!!?
Well yesterday was no exception. We had a connection on our Southwest flight in Atlanta but didn’t need to exit the plane, which gave us an opportunity to move seats and be closer to each other and the front of the plane. When we did, I took a seat near the front of our group so I could get off first and be in the terminal when thebithees got off, and our pastor sat at the back of our group to bring up the rear. Two of our girls were in the row with me and one girl sat by herself in the row across from me. She seemed to want to be by herself. A few minutes later, our pastors wife joined her so that she wasn’t alone, but she still sat fairly aloof and looked out the window. (I learned later that her husband had encouraged her to move her seat). As the began boarding, someone put a guitar into the overhead compartment above me and took a seat. I didn’t pay much attention after that, but at some point, I saw a man ask Jessie if she minded he took the isle seat next to her (and across from me). He sat. I smiled to myself as I heard her introduce herself to him and, in the process of exchanging pleasantries, explain that we were taking this group of kids to a Christian conference. His eyes lit up and he began to tell her about all of the “God moments” he’d experienced. Turns out he loves Jesus and looks for opportunities to encourage people with Gods love.
He shared with her that he writes poetry and shared one of his poems with her.
As it turned out, he had been sitting in the row in front but a woman with limited mobility came into the plane and he gave his seat up for her to move into Jessie’s row.
I smiled because in my introverted self, I would never have struck up a conversation with him had he sat next to me. But somehow God knew that Jesse needed that mans encouragement at just that moment. Not only that, but He orchestrated every seat change for both Jessie and Danny to make it happen.
By the end of the flight, I could tell that Jessie had been touched by Danny’s spirit, and his poetry. I have no idea how he makes a living but he told Jessie that he felt Gods calling on him was to be an encourager to other people.
As we gathered our belongings to deplane, and he reached for the guitar above me, I said “oh, that’s your guitar!?” He said, “yes. It’s my guitar. My wife didn’t like that guitar when we were first married but I told her that we had spent a lot of time together… just me, and God and that guitar”
Thank you, Danny, for your blessing to Jessie (and consequently me vicariously). May God continue to use you to be an encourager!
If I can get a copy of his poem from Jessie, I’ll share it with you so you can be blessed too!