“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Go south to the road — the desert road — that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means ‘queen of the Ethiopians’). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.” — Acts 8:26-28
Last year, I went back to Texas to celebrate Thanksgiving. As I boarded my flight at the Des Moines airport and got settled into my seat, a young, athletic man walked down the aisle and sat across from me. He had on a gray Homestead Volleyball hoodie. The couple next to him asked where he was going. “San Jose, California,” he answered.
I grew up near San Jose, so my interest was piqued. I turned to him and asked, “Did you go to Homestead High School?” He told me he did. I then informed him I was also a Homestead alum! Both of our minds were blown. The world felt so small.
Now, Des Moines, Iowa, is nearly 2,000 miles from Cupertino, California, where Homestead High is. What are the chances we’d be on the same flight? He told me the chance to play volleyball at Grand View University was what brought him to Des Moines, and I told him I moved to the area to pastor a church. My wife and I went to watch him play, and later, I found out the chaplain for his team is a member of the church I pastor.
Like Philip meeting the Ethiopian and leading him to faith in Christ in Acts 8:26-40, the people we meet aren’t coincidental. Each encounter is ordained by God. Philip knew that, and the result was a new believer. Therefore, treat everyone you meet today as someone God placed in your life. Pray for God to show you His reasons for why you crossed paths.
— Ikki Soma, former Houston Rockets chaplain
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