The secular mind calls it “Serendipity.” As a Christian, I prefer to describe it as “Divine Appointment.” Whatever you prefer to call it, I had one of those amazing experiences during my recent trip to South Africa.
Last month, our worship mission team of 10 traveled to Cape Town, South Africa to work through a local ministry called, “Living Hope.” While there, we had the privilege of staying at Living Hope’s “Team House” — a facility built to host teams working through Living Hope in the Cape Town area. Most of those teams working through Living Hope and staying at the Team House have some sort of faith-based connection…either a church or mission agency.
So you see, it’s just a little strange that I would even meet Natalea. You might even call it a “Divine Appointment.”
Natalea, along with six other people from around the U.S., had won the trip to Living Hope all because of an essay contest! Natalea was staying at the Team House because her employer — an American hospice care company that worked with Living Hope — had given their employees the opportunity to win a trip to Cape Town to contribute to the work being done at Living Hope. Because of her winning essay, Natalea was experiencing, first-hand, the work being done through Living Hope.
From the start, she was intrigued by our team. I noticed that whenever we returned from our day, and her team returned from their day, she would gravitate to our side of the house to sit and talk. She asked question after question about what we were doing and why we were doing it. I would soon learn she was from Missouri, and I couldn’t help but think she represented the “Show Me” state very well…so many questions!
And then one night, she asked me a question that almost knocked me out of my chair. To this day, I still have not fully recovered from her question. Here’s what she said:
I’ve been a hospice nurse now for five years. I have been with hundreds of people as they were walking toward death’s door. I’ve seen it all. But basically, I’ve noticed that every person falls into one of two categories: Some people approach that door singing — they are at peace (and their families are too). But I’ve seen others walk toward that door screaming — the terror and fear in their eyes has shaken me to the core.
She continued, and then asked her question:
Now, I’ve never been much on church. As a matter of fact, no one has ever really told me about Jesus and what He can do for me. But, I’m convinced there is something real on the other side of that door. What is it? What happens after we die? What is on the other side of that door?
That may be the most profound question I’ve ever been asked.
Director, LifeWay Worship
P.S. Make sure to come back. It’s our prayer that we’ll get to share Part Two of this “Divine Appointment.”