Saturday morning brought a very special encounter. The evening prior, I’d met a man named Chris who lives and works part time in Slovakia. We chatted for a few minutes and then he said, “I know a lady in this city who read your book, Moving from Fear to Freedom, and found it very helpful.” He hesitated momentarily and then, in his proper British accent, said, “I wonder…would you have time tomorrow morning to meet her if she so wishes?”
I knew that our schedule was jam-packed, but I also knew that I could slip away for a brief time without causing a problem. And so I agreed. When Chris phoned the woman later that evening to ask if she’d like to see me, she immediately said yes. And that’s how the special encounter came about.
Chris, my husband, and I arrived at the woman’s apartment at 10 AM. She was waiting outside her door. She greeted us with a warm smile and the traditional kiss on each cheek and then welcomed us into her living room.
We chatted about her family and her education, and we listened to her stories about life under Communist rule. Then she got up and went into her kitchen to prepare tea. “May I help you?” I asked. “You can come with me,” she said.
Women around the world share many similarities. One of them is the ability to make a soul connection in a short time. That’s exactly what happened once we were alone. She told me about experiencing a traumatic situation that had resulted in a huge amount of stress (I’m sorry I can’t give more details, but I must respect confidentiality). Everything climaxed during a 10-day period. It was during that time that Chris, who’d been a friend and business associate for many years, learned of her circumstances and gave her the book. “It came at just the right time,” said my hostess, and she gave me a warm embrace. “Thank you, thank you.”
I returned her hug, dumbstruck at how God orchestrated details leading to this moment…
- Moving from Fear to Freedom was published and released in August, 2007.
- Two weeks later, we launched International Messengers Canada. Multiple ministry trips to Eastern Europe followed.
- On one such trip, in late January 2009, I spoke at a women’s event in Slovakia and sold a few copies of Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman’s Guide to Peace in Every Situation.
- Ten months later, my new friend experienced tragedy, and Chris gave her a copy of my book. (Funny thing is that he doesn’t remember how he got it. I suspect that someone who bought it in January passed it along. But why would she have given it to him, an unmarried man?)
- Last week, my hubby and I brought a volunteer team to Slovakia. Our team was short-handed, so a week prior to our arrival, Chris volunteered to join the group. On Friday evening, I met Chris for the first time. He recognized my name and knew that I’d authored the book that he passed along in 2009.
- Chris asked me if I had time to meet this gal if she was willing and able. Both of our schedules allowed this.
I look at these details and marvel at how God has demonstrated His love for my new friend. But there’s more. When I told her about the new Bible study and DVD to accompany the book, her eyes lit up. She smiled and said, “Ohhhh…I would like that.”
It just so happens that one of our career staff who ministers in this city is in Canada now. I plan to phone her when I return to home, and to ask her to deliver a DVD and study guide to this gal upon her return to Slovakia in September. I’ll also send a copy of the original book because, when I asked the lady if she still had her copy, she said, “No. I gave it to a friend. It’s making the rounds.” Praise God!
This encounter was one I hadn’t anticipated when I arrived in Kosice. Authors love golden moments such as this, when they learn about how their books are impacting people’s lives in ways that only God could orchestrate. What a thrill! Now I’ll pray that He’ll use the Bible study and DVD to do far more in the lives of women here.
On Wednesday, I’ll tell you about a dream that’s come to mind since worshiping in a Roma (“gypsy”) congregation.