By Dr. Page Wages.
In the summer of 2017 and our short term mission team was serving the Navajo Nation in Kayenta, Arizona. Our team was full of hope, that one quality that is steadfast and strong in every Christian heart. Hope that allows us to wake up every morning and get through each day, hope that sets the stage for unexpected miracles. Through hope, we are saved and are able to bring the same hope to others, allowing people to see the love of Christ through us.
Little did we know that this summer trip would be life changing for one young man named C.J. When our van originally pulled up at C.J.’s grandmother’s house to vaccinate her sheep, we had no idea that we were an answer to his prayers. He had been struggling with God’s direction in his life and had prayed the night before we came for God to send him a sign. The answer to that fireside prayerfor a sign turned out to be our team, a bunch of veterinary students from NC State accompanied by a few crazy professional veterinarians. C.J. eagerly jumped in to help with the sheep and participated in prayers with his family. When the time arrived for us to leave for our next assignment, C.J. accepted an invitation to join us and climbed into the van. He continued with us for the rest of the trip, finding his own transportation to each location as he learned from us about the trade of a veterinary technician.
After 10 days of serving with the team, praying, participating in devotionals and worshiping together, C.J. clearly understood where God wanted him to be. Following his return home, he got a job at a local veterinary clinic and began preparing for Veterinary Technician School. His local church supported his journey to Alaska with the same short term missions team as a full-fledged member of the group! He was ready to lead prayers and devotions on his own, with clear direction from the Lord.
When on a mission trip or doing things that are not in our normal, daily life, we often do a better job of looking for the unexpected. We ask ourselves, “What is God trying to show me today?”
Why is it that we wait until we are out of our comfort zone to look for the unexpected? Maybe the unexpected miracle is talking to a particular client that needs love and support that day, or maybe it’s the way you handle a staff conflict. Or, like in C.J.’s life, you become someone else’s miracle.
Whether the miracle is for us or through us, we listen for the Holy Spirit’s whispers that lead us. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And these three remain: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of all these is love.” It is through loving others and growing in our faith that hope develops and miracles happen.
For our short term mission team, C.J. was our biggest ‘God Moment’ and miracle of the trip. For C.J., it was an unexpected miracle that he experienced after a fireside prayer. A miracle of hope arrived in a van full of veterinarians and a few crazy Veterinarians ready to serve who invited him to join them.
Dr. Page Wages is a private practitioner in Raleigh, NC. She has been leading trips with CVM for 16 years. She is also actively involved with the students at the NC State veterinary school and continues to mentor them.