The Next Day of Heathrow's Hunger Games. Facing Unimaginable Odds, Part 28b

Waiting for gour hours at terminal E

Paul and Silas had been put into prison. All they wanted to do was witness about what Jesus had done for them, but the crowd turned against them when they cast a demon out from a servant girl who was able to fortune-telling, and now they found themselves locked behind bars.

That didn't stop them from praying and singing praise songs to God, however, and the other prisoners listened intently to them (See Acts 16:25).

Our Father certainly honoured them for their endeavour. Suddenly a violent earthquake shook open the prison doors and everyone's chains fell off (see Acts 16 :26). Imagine the reaction of the poor jailer when he found all those doors opened. He was toast! He would be executed for not having done his job right. I sure felt sorry for him, and so did Paul and Silas!

The jailer was about to commit suicide when Paul exclaimed: "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" (Acts 16:28b, NIV). Ardent believers are always filled with compassion, even towards their enemies.

Puzzled, the jailer verified their claim and found it to be true. How was this possible that no one had escaped? The jailer concluded it was a miracle. He fell on his face before the disciples, and he had but one question: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30b, NIV).

Finally Paul and Silas had the opportunity to testify to their heart's content. The earthquake hadn't occurred for Paul and Silas to escape. The earthquake was a wake-up call for the jailer and his family. He became quite excited when he heard the good news that Jesus had paid the price for his salvation. He immediately took care of their wounds. He and his family were then baptized in the middle of the night, and the next day Paul and Silas were set free by the town's authorities.

Our Father's priority is to bring salvation to anyone who is willing to listen. Without Paul and Silas being arrested, the jailer would have never heard the truth! Our Father orchestrated the events to offer an opportunity for the jailer and his family to know God!

Last time I shared with you our trials with British Airways when a thunderstorm stranded numerous planes. At least after all that waiting, we did receive a room in a chique hotel!

Why did these adversities occur? To offer us opportunities that would have never happened otherwise.

We barely had four hours of sleep that night. We woke up early as we were told we had to be standing in line at terminal E by five a.m. in order to rebook our flight. What we didn't expect is that numerous tourists were still sleeping on the floor at the airport. I felt so sorry for these poor people.

Terminal E was a mess. Stranded passengers were everywhere, and there wasn't even a hint of an orderly line. It was a real fiasco, and British airways representatives had to sort it all out. In the end, however, many who were last in line now found themselves first. Some even cheated to be ahead. Ohers, like us, were out nearly towards the end of the line, even though we had been among the first ones to be there.

This is where we met a French couple with their son. We let them go before us in line, and we soon made friends with them. We had so many similar interests, and instead of being bored, we were laughing the whole time, so much so that the British Airways personnel often came to us to find relief from the many passengers who were complaining.

Our new-found friends had slept at the airport, but their sleepiness disappeared as we talked with one another. And it was a good thing, because we stood in that line together for over four hours! In the end, we exchanged email addresses, and we have kept in touch. We have even been invited to visit them in France.

We were offered an opportunity to testify about our Father. Adversity is often an opportunity to reach out to others. If we look it that way, we will never want to grumble again.

Rob Chaffart

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