Journal Entry #5: SRL Medellin – July 10, 2021
Dr. Del Belcher, SRL Executive Administrator
Even though I have been having a remarkable week, Tuesday morning, waiting in the hotel lobby for the restaurant to open for breakfast, I encountered, what I was hoping to be, a fleeting dark cloud over me…wondering whether or not the Lord really knew where I was. Was I so overwhelmed with just being in Medellin that my reason for being there was just an illusion? Did God really know where I was? Did he really want me there or was this something of my own doing?
As I continued to wait, a gentleman sat down across from where I was sitting. For a few minutes, he rustled through his briefcase, and I continued in my thoughts finding myself encountering despair.
Then the man looked up at me and said, “Where are you from?”, in perfect English! I flinched in surprise and said, “I’m from Jackson, MI.” He said he had been in Michigan many times and we talked about the perils of I-94 between Detroit and Chicago. He asked me why I was in Medellin, and I asked him why he was in Medellin, and we chatted for a few more minutes along these lines. He then said, “I lived in a small town in Illinois for many years.” With this, I more than flinched…actually, I almost jumped out of my chair. I said that I grew up in Illinois and asked him where in Illinois. He said, Peoria!
Literally, I sat up as if I had received an electrical shock. “Are you serious?”, I said. He was as shocked as I was. I grew up in the Peoria area in Washington, IL, and he said he knew Washington well as that was where he had a medical office. He lived in Peoria but worked in Washington…and he also practiced medicine at St Francis Hospital which is where my family went to the hospital if needed.
We were speechless for a moment and then he said, “This is an amazing providence of God!”…and after a few more questions, we discovered that we were both Christians! We agreed…only God can do what He has just done!
We visited a bit longer, both amazed at God’s providence that we would meet like this in a city of four million people with hundreds, maybe thousands of hotels. He had to catch a flight and I took a seat in the restaurant…stunned, absolutely stunned.
I suppose there are many ways to interpret this amazing encounter. However, the only interpretation that came to my heart and mind, the only thing I could think of was that God was quietly and calmly responding to my questions and doubts, “Del, I know exactly where you are and why. You are not alone. You did not put yourself in SRL’s ministry and you did not put yourself in this place. I did. Now, trust me and be about doing what I have you here to do.” What a week this has been! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!