2011 March 29
As the sun sets, here we are walking along the river enjoying the birds. Jonathan and I, Kel and Josie have just traveled by motorcycle 11 kilometers out into the bush of Chad, Africa. Our plan is to spend the evening and morning looking for and identifying birds along this beautiful river. We will spend the night here also.
As we walk along the trail that winds it's way along the river, Jonathan gets out his binoculars to get a better view of a beautiful bird. His glasses get in the way so he takes them off and puts them into his front pocket with one of the ear pieces hanging out.
We saw lots of beautiful birds. The Pied Kingfisher was one of our favorites. Jonathan and I and the other couple just kept walking along in the sand stopping often to look through our binoculars. After about 30 to 45 minutes we decided that we had better head back to our motorcycles to set up for the night before it got too dark. We were going to find some good places to lay out our mats and then start a bonfire.
Just when we had arrived back at camp, Jonathan pulled out his glasses. That's when he saw that one of his ear pieces was missing. He said, "Oh no, now I'm in trouble." I turned and dishearteningly saw that the piece was missing. He said, "There's no point in even looking for it. It could be anywhere along where we walked since I put my glasses in my pocket at the beginning of our walk." Josie piped in right away, "Let's look for the piece right away and pray that God will help us find it." Then Jonathan said, "God knows where it is." And I said, "I have found things after praying before."
All four of us gather in a circle and ask that God will help us find it. "God, You care about the little things as well as the big. May we find this ear piece for Jonathan's glasses, not for our glory but for Your glory. Amen."
It was dark now so we turned on our flash lights and begin the search. I was thinking about how impossible it would be to find a little ear piece that looks like just a little stick curved at the end unless shined upon at the right angle which would cause it to shine a bit. Then I realized this was not exercising faith so I decided to depend on God more and do my best to try to find it even though through human eyes it was next to impossible. "Maybe God will want to bring glory to His name tonight?" I thought. It would be so encouraging to find it.
Jonathan was thinking very thoroughly through where he took off his glasses the first time. He thought it was toward the beginning of our walk close to the river where we saw the kingfisher. We carefully walked along looking for Jonathan's sandal prints in the sand. "Even if we find where Jonathan thinks he put his glasses in his pocket, that doesn't mean the glasses piece will be there. It still could be anywhere along the trail," I thought.
By now Josie was way ahead of the rest of us. Jonathan and I where about where we thought we saw the kingfisher and Kel was right behind us. Jonathan and I stepped down close to the water and looked around with our lights. Then we turned and went up a steep bank where the trail headed up and then paralleled the river again.
At the top of the steepest part of the bank where the trail turned right again, the trail split just for about 10 feet and then joined again, one trail going a little down and the other up just a bit more. Jonathan paused for a moment and said, "I'm pretty sure I took the lower trail," and then headed down that way. Then I thought, "Just in case, I might as well take this upper 10 feet of trail." As I was just about entering the main trail again, there I saw it, right before me in the path! "Wow! here it is! I found it! Praise the Lord!" I said. Jonathan was just a few feet from me and came excitedly to see. Kel was there very soon also. Then we called up the trail telling Josie the good news. (see attached pictures)
Jonathan says, "Let's pray and thank God right here before we go back." We gather in a circle again. This time, around the little ear piece in the sand and praise God for showing us where the it was along the trail that night.
Isn't God amazing! He truly cares about us and our needs. I think He enjoys answering prayer and encouraging us in this way, don't you? What were the chances of finding a brown ear piece, at night, on the sand that has lots of little dark sticks on the sand also? Extremely slim! This experience has strengthened my faith and I want to never forget it.