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Coincidence or Providence?

This past season in Guatemala, we had to get along without the immediate assistance of Berny Leonardo. He has moved and is now the manager of a large school in Guatemala City. His absence made many things change and communication more troublesome. Gary Bartholomew was anxious about the problems he might have communicating when he needed to buy things in the town of Poptun. There was no need for anxiety.

Gary needed two small bottles of Argon for a wire welder so he went to the shop in Poptun where he usually buys oxygen. He tried to get the clerk to understand that oxygen was not what he wanted, but was making no progress. Then he noticed a man standing by who was crippled but able to use one crutch. One of his arms was cut off just below the elbow. The man spoke in English. “Do you need help?” When finished with the immediate need to translate, the man said, “You’re a Christian aren’t you? Without waiting he went on, “I am too.” He said he had been baptized recently and now had a better life. “No more drinking and no more fighting. Now I wait for Jesus.”

Gary went on down the street to where the first clerk had directed him. They wanted to sell him propane. Again communication was the issue. They went next door and brought back a mechanic spoke English. “Follow me to the other side of town,” he said,” I know the place you can buy Argon.” When finished with the purchase, the man inquired where Gary was from. When told the Spokane area, the man said, “My father-in-law and Mother-in-law are from there. Their name is Minden and they live in Sand Point, Idaho.” Gary knows the family. The man is an excellent mechanic and helped later in the season.

Gary went to a gas station where a new account had been set up. The attendant had seen Gary and pumped the fuel. Gary asked to put it on the new account. The attendant knew nothing of this and neither did the cashier. What now? Just then, Chris Thompson, from Living Testimonies, walked in and translated. He had just stopped in from off the highway to buy a fruit drink. Gary was able to put the fuel on the account. Gary had never met Chris before and probably never will again as he was just traveling through.

Could these all have been coincidence? Some might say yes, but these things keep happening just when we need them. We believe they are Providence at work.

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