At a time when we were feeling the weight of discouragement, God led us to a man named Harry, and for that, we’re grateful.
Earlier this year, my husband, Allen, and I felt pretty discouraged with the vision of missions for our lives and not having much clarity as to which direction to take anymore. We were about to leave for another missions conference when we began to pray again for God to give us direction and recast a unified vision between the two of us.
Attending this conference was a man named Harry, an entrepreneur who helps start businesses overseas. He employs workers on the field, as well as people who come to the faith, and uses business as a way to plant churches and spread the gospel. We heard Harry was starting a horticulture platform – which is Allen’s degree – and were thrilled because we had been searching to do something in this field for a while. We had almost given up on that vision and felt it wasn’t what the Lord wanted since we couldn’t find anyone doing it. When we learned about this new opportunity, we really wanted to connect with Harry – as did everyone else at the conference. So, once again, we were feeling discouraged.
On the last morning of the conference, Allen and I were convicted about taking the steps that made sense to us, but were not fully seeking the Lord for each decision. That morning, Allen prayed,
“Lord, if this is you then I want you to make it happen, but I’m going to stop trying to make it happen.”
We took a step back, “Lord, where do you want us? We want you to guide us, and we’re seeking you first. Guide us where we need to go.” Allen started praying this in regard to meeting with Harry.
Later that afternoon we ran into a couple we’d met who were moving overseas to work with Harry. The husband announced, “Allen! I told Harry about you and he wants to meet you!” Excitedly, Allen held back and said he wasn’t going to do anything; he had surrendered it to God and wanted to wait on Him.
Shortly there after, the next session had already started. We were running late because we had gotten into an argument that delayed us and caused us to miss the beginning of the session. Hurrying on our way, we ran into the same couple. They told us, “Harry wants to meet you right now!” We couldn’t ignore it.
We met with Harry. The timing, funny and providential, but the opportunity, perfect. We learned about the new horticulture opportunity in a large refugee population in the Middle East. As people come to faith they are trained in the trade, providing them with a living. It would be a logical strategy with principles in church planting. Trainees would be raised up as church planters, and they would then go back to their own countries as church planters.
Allen has dreamed about an opportunity like this for more than 10 years. With his passion for horticulture, he knew he wanted to use it to help meet a physical need, help people make a living, and share the gospel.
We are now in the very early stages of pursing this opportunity that the Lord put together. At a time when we were feeling the weight of discouragement, God led us to a man named Harry, and for that, we’re grateful.
God is faithful. Often, He doesn’t show us the big picture right away, but rather asks us to trust Him, wait, and pray.
Allen and Nikki went through Cafe 1040’s Overseas Missions Mentorship in 2012 as a married couple. We wanted to share their story as God continues to direct their path toward a life of missions among the unreached. To ensure their security, we have changed the names and locations in their story.