By Andy Sims
On a recent trip I was privileged to baptize five women off the shore of Cuba. You can imagine the thrill. Regular trips to this island country closed to American tourists are a part of my ministry with Lifeline Christian Mission. Still, I never dreamed something like this would happen to me.
The setting was picturesque. Beautiful Caribbean waters. A small gathering of friends clapping and singing. Believers so eager to start anew. It wasn’t until we were climbing the steps up from the ocean that I began to take in my surroundings.
I Didn’t See That Coming
Why were there steps leading down into the water on an otherwise vacant shoreline? Then I noticed a concrete bunker with a system of tunnels leading to other bunkers along the shore. The structures were weathered and neglected. Yet, the gun turrets cut into the concrete every 10-15 feet created an ominous feeling. What was this place?
I was told these bunkers were built by the Russians during the Cold War era, designed to protect against an American invasion. The irony instantly took hold of me. Here I was baptizing five Cubans at the very place built to keep Americans out.
God Is Already There
Why are we so surprised when God shows up? Whether in Jacob’s dream or on a Cuban shoreline, the Lord is well ahead of us. He’s present and active. His timing is perfect. He doesn’t miss a thing.
I’ve spent a good portion of my life inviting God to join me, not realizing he’s already busy in places I may never see. Our best hope is to look for him everywhere we go, to join in the things he is already doing, and to acknowledge his ownership of each moment.
Jacob’s awakening was to a God who is everywhere. That same God is calling us out of our limited existence into his vast, exciting enterprise. The scope of his plans might surprise you. Chances are your dreams aren’t nearly as big as his.
Andy Sims is the director of leadership development for Lifeline Christian Mission (www.lifeline.org). He and his wife, Mindy, live in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have three grown daughters and one granddaughter.