For quite some time, I have been in contact with a young man who, with his family, lives in a Hutterite Colony in another province. For a while already, he has been asking for sermons, which I was supposed to load onto a USB stick and send to him. I was busy and didn’t get to it. Last week, he left a message on my office phone asking again for sermons, also leaving his cell number to contact him.
I got to work right away and copied sermons to a USB stick, found a fitting envelope, and prepared everything to take it to the post office the next day. When done, I texted him to expect the USB stick in a few next days. I checked my phone once more. It showed “read.” Good, he now knows, I thought. Yes, I expected an answer, but none ever arrived. Was something wrong? Did something happen?
The next morning, I connected with him via email like I had always done in the past. I asked if everything was okay or if the text had gotten into the wrong hands. He wrote back, telling me that he never received a text message. He gave me his number again. The riddle was solved. I had sent the text to a different number. Imagine this: there is a person somewhere out there who received a text, informing him sermons are on the way to him and that he can expect them to arrive soon. That must have raised some questions for sure.
I took my phone and sent another text to the wrong number, apologizing for what happened and explaining the situation. The person answered: “No worries. I kind of appreciated the blessing. I was in a car accident yesterday. What were the sermons about?” I asked about the seriousness of the accident and explained what the sermons were about and that they were intended to encourage a friend. The person wrote back that everything was fine, no serious injuries. Then I read, “I feel that I am losing my trust in the Lord. I would appreciate an encouraging sermon as well.”
I thought the time had come to exchange names. I asked. Maybe I was a bit daring, but I had nothing to lose. At the same time, I explained who I was, where I lived, and that I was a pastor and a grandfather. The person answered my question about the name and added, “I am a 21-year-old woman and live in ….” For some reason, I was under the impression I was dealing with a man of similar age to mine.
Text messages went back and forth, and I encouraged her not to let go of the Lord but to turn to Him for help and to trust Him. I pointed her to our church’s YouTube channel, the “52nd Street Church of God in Wetaskiwin.” She wanted to log in once she was done working. With that, we said goodbye to each other. I was glad that I could be of help to her.
Then came one last message. “To be honest, your text saved me from doing something I would have regretted later. Thank you. God bless you, Pastor Semenjuk.”
Wrong number? Just a coincidence? I have no idea how I received her number. The area code was the same as my friend’s, but the number was completely different. There is just no way this happened by chance. No way. Wrong number, yes, but right person and right timing.
I believe in a higher hand. A hand that controls, leads, and directs our ways. God is aware of a seeking person and orchestrates a meeting with another person who can help. We don’t meet by chance but because God has planned it that way. I remembered how I had often prayed God would give me opportunities to be a blessing to others. God had answered my prayer.
Over the next days, I will check and see how this woman is doing.