Some months ago, I bumped into a dear friend of mine. It’s always wonderful meeting him. After many years as a missionary in far away countries, he is always full of stories and encouragement. When he saw me he held me in a big bear hug and said, “You know, prayer always works; always!” There was a gleam in his eyes.
I knew he was going to tell me about one of his adventures and he had my rapt attention.
“Jesus,” he said, “is a shepherd. He knows where the green pastures are and where the wolves hide, and we don’t. So when we need help, we need to talk to Him.” He chuckled and said, “I was in a financial pinch the other day so I entered my closet and took time to listen to the Master.”
“Sure,” I answered. “What did God say?”
“Teach,” my friend said.
“Teach? Teach what?”
“Huh? Teach Dutch?” I didn’t understand. I know the Lord never fails and that He’s always right, but this seemed strange. After all, everybody in Holland speaks Dutch already.
“I know,” my friend said. “I told the Lord the same thing. Nobody needs it here and on top of it, I live too far away from the nearest big town to find students.”
Still the Lord had said it.
“After my prayer time I had a great sense of peace,” he went on, “but still I doubted if I had heard from the Lord properly.”
He raised his index finger. “But then I switched on my computer and started to look at jobs listed on a jobsite. And guess what? There in front of me was the answer. Somebody wrote in broken English, Help! Speak no Dutch, but need learn. Pay good.
“Really, who wrote that?” I asked.
“It came from a businessman in some far away French speaking country who needed to learn Dutch for his business and wanted online lessons via Skype.”
My friend explained that he applied, and that the man wrote back almost instantly.
“He wanted to know if I was a qualified teacher. I wrote him back that I had been a missionary and had taught most of my life, but had no papers to prove that I could actually teach.”
That was three months ago. I met my friend again last week and asked him how it was going with his Dutch class. “Great,” he said. “The man learned a little bit of Dutch. It’s a difficult language for him, but he doesn’t care, for he has made a lot of progress in another subject.”
“Another subject, what do you mean?” I questioned.
“The Bible,” my friend answered. “At first he didn’t know much about the Bible, but those days are over. He’s getting fluent in the Bible, for he has found faith in God. It’s the only thing he wants to talk about during class, and…” my friend said with a twinkle in his eye, “he has even decided to pay me twice as much. I am thinking about becoming a full-time language teacher.”