In 2005, I was part of a team of 30 volunteers en route to Ukraine to work with Tomorrow Clubs, a network of Bible clubs sharing the hope of the Gospel with children throughout Eastern Europe. We had just arrived at Heathrow Airport in London when the flight departure screens went blank, and striking airline employees walked away from their posts. We were stranded.
Though Gideon’s situation was certainly more dire, in these moments I could relate to his doubts when the angel of the Lord announced, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.” I believed God was with us, but this was hardly an auspicious start. Over Gideon’s uncertainty, God replies, “Go in the strength you have. ... Am I not sending you?”
We used the time at the airport to practice skits, bond as a team, and pray together in the chapel. Twenty hours later, we had rebooked a flight to Kyiv. As our bags were unlocatable, we prepared to depart the airport without our luggage: including the materials we had spent months preparing for the children. It felt as though we were heading into this camp in a place of weakness—which left us entirely dependent on God to show up.
Leaving the airport, we walked through a 100,000-square foot holding area. There, like a needle in a haystack, was one team member’s bag. Soon another member found his, and as we scoured the heaps of waylaid luggage, we located all but one bag. It was just the reminder we needed that this mission was not ours but God’s, and its success hinged not on our strength but His. As God encouraged the Apostle Paul, we felt Him say to our team, “My power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). When God calls us, we, like Gideon, must go in the strength we have, relying on the God who sends.
Father, thank You that You use the weak and imperfect to carry out Your mission. As we minister in a broken world, remind us to depend not on our own strength but Yours. Help us to obey, despite our fears and inadequacies.
by Jeff Rutt, HOPE founder & CEO of Keystone Custom Homes