Several times Paul’s hopes or plans for his journeys did not materialize. He had to flex when God opened doors – or closed them.
In Acts 16, the Holy Spirit told him not to go to Asia. Then the Spirit told him not to go to Bithynia and sent him to Macedonia instead. Sometimes Paul stayed in an area for a while and sometimes he had to flee. Sometimes the people Paul thought he’d be working with changed.
MOV has also learned to flex. Our policy is to go where asked – if possible. Most times that happens; other times, personnel or political changes in the country postpone or halt a trip. Sometimes the Holy Spirit puts on the brakes. It can be frustrating, but when we are doing our best to follow God’s leading, we trust we end up at just the right places.
Most recently, we had a renewed opportunity when Russia came back “on the table” after having been postponed for political and other reasons on a couple occasions. Centreville Baptist Church in Virginia sent an MOV Team to Ufa in 2018. SEND missionary Matt Hutchcraft worked with local pastors to set up a conference, and CBC elder Jeff Coward accompanied me to help with speaking.
It was a thrill to finally be in Russia, and a thrill to see God’s hand at work ‒ not early, not late, but right on time.