Brother Han sat on my couch and shared his burden to help orphans in this Muslim region of his vast country.

He and his bride of four months began their married life hundreds of miles from friends and family, called to serve the unreached peoples of these mountains. I recalled that some months previously I providentially met a government official whose portfolio included the regional state orphanage. In this culture, where social connections are often the key to opening doors, I knew that a personal introduction to a contact such as this could give Brother Han’s vision a head start. A quick search of my phone’s hundreds of contacts failed to locate the official’s information, so I set the idea aside to pursue later.

As happens too often, I neglected to promptly follow-up on the search for the contact information. Three days later, I received a message from a person whose name I didn’t recognize. I checked the note attached to the contact, and sure enough, it was the government official whose information I wanted to find. We had not contacted each other since the week after our chance meeting seven months ago, but now he suddenly asked if I could help provide counseling for the orphans at their facility.

The timing could hardly have been better. If he reached out to me a week earlier, I would not have known of Brother Han’s dream and may not have pursued the opportunity so quickly. A week later and Brother Han may have made his planned unsolicited visit to the orphanage and potentially received a “no,” which can be awkward to reverse afterward. With the invitation coming at this precise time though, Han and I should be able to visit the orphanage together and open the dialogue for a long-term engagement with these needy children. Having the initiative come from the government’s side is nearly always better than trying to push doors open ourselves.

Praise God for His gracious interventions. Pray that the Lord would use this opportunity for the glory of His name, the blessing of these children, and the planting of His church in this corner of His world.

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