Wednesday, July 20, 2005

God At Work

I need to share a letter with you and let it be the blog this week. Tom Langley is one of the best men I know. He and his lovely wife, Angie, have served as missionaries in Romania for two different stints (I believe it was about five years each time). His heart for God and missions overwhelms me and humbles me. He is now one of the leaders of World English Institute (WEI) a worldwide evangelistic effort of the churches of Christ. That is one of the two mission works my wife and I are leading a cruise to support next January. I consider Tom's life to be a blessing to many thousands all over the globe and that is why this letter this morning shocked me and drove me to my knees to thank the Father for being at work in this world. Here is the email forwarded to me by Tom's friends.

"In case anyone is wondering, I was in London the morning of the terrorist attacks. I spent the night of the 6th in a hotel in Central London. The city was crazy with celebration after winning the 2012 Olympics. The next morning I had to get back to Heathrow to catch my plane home. That very morning I was two steps down into the subway when I looked at my watch and sudenly had a strong impulse to go shopping instead of traveling to the airport early. So, I backed out of the subway and started looking for a shop to buy a shirt to wear home. All of my clothes were dirty and needed washing. Thirty minutes later when I finally decided to take the subway to the airport, everyone was coming out of the Underground and the Tube workers were saying that there was a computer problem and all the lines were closed. There were thousands of people on the streets and sirens were going off everywhere. I ran from one Tube station to the next hoping for a working line out of the city headed to Heathrow. Still unaware that there was a terrorist attack, I saw a man laying on the ground and being attended to by several medical and emergency personnel. I then frantically jumped on a bus to Paddington station in hopes of getting the overland train express to Heathrow.

"People on the street were saying the overland trains were still running. While I was on that bus, passengers on their cell phones starting telling everyone that a city bus had exploded near us. Many people got off the bus at the next stop. I decided to take my chances with several others and stay on the bus. I finally made it to the above ground Paddington train station only to discover that ALL transportation out of London was closed. Unbelievably, in the midst of hundreds of people trying to get a taxi, I was able to get in a taxi with 4 others also wanting to go to Heathrow. It was on this taxi ride that we started hearing news reports on the radio that this was indeed a massive terrorist attack and that many had been killed and hundreds wounded. I got to the airport just before boarding and was able to catch my flight to Chicago. It was really strange watching the news reports at the airport in Chicago that evening, and knowing just hours earlier I was in the middle of all that chaos.

"As it turns out, the deadliest explosion occured on the very line I was to take to Heathrow that morning. According to the time of the explosion, I would likely have beenon that train had I not impulsively decided to buy a new shirt for my trip home. I didn't find a new shirt, but I think I'll keep the old sloppy one I had to wear home, and, of course, I am grateful to God for for His protection. "

And I am thankful, too, Tom, that a great servant of God was spared. My heart goes out to those who lost family and friends to the islamofascists, but it is amazing to me to hear the stories of survival and notice how many of those who DIDN'T die are the very people who will give their lives in service to the lost and hurting.


At 7/20/2005 11:49:00 AM , Blogger salguod said...

Wow. If someone told you "The Holy Spirit told me to go shopping." would you believe them? It sounds like that's just what happened. Thank goodness he listened.

At 7/20/2005 12:04:00 PM , Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

What an incredible, amazing, soul-strring testimoney. I've heard such stories before over many years of safety and rescue at the hands of strangers who suddenly appeared (angels?) and the like, of sudden impulsive moves made, without reason, only to find out afterward danger and death were but a few steps away.

These wonderful testimonies of God's providence never cease to thrill me. Thanks so much for sharing his letter and testimony with us today, Patrick. It's certainly made my day much better and my love for God and gratitude for His work in our lives stronger.

At 7/20/2005 02:10:00 PM , Blogger JD said...

Thanks, Patrick, for sharing this stirring account. I sometimes ponder the question: how many times has God spared me, protected me, re-directed me ... and I never knew it?

At 7/20/2005 02:54:00 PM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

JD, I think you are absolutely right. My guess is "thousands upon thousands." When I think of where I would have lived and who I would have loved without the direction of God.... Shudders!

At 7/21/2005 06:58:00 AM , Blogger Billy D said...

Phew. Talk about hair-raising! G-d was definitely warching out for him. This is an example of why I walk through lifr the way I do. I know G-d directs me, and I just follow His lead.

At 7/21/2005 07:54:00 AM , Blogger Steve Duer said...

Thanks for sharing that incredible story. My parents will soon be returning from a WEI trip to Romania. They speak very highly of Tom.

I agree that it is not a coincidence that Tom went shopping. The thing that makes God who he is and reminds me of my finite mind is the questions that the story begs: What about those on the train and busses? Why didn't they get the call to go shopping? Did they not listen? Did God not call them to go shopping? I don't know the answers. I just have to trust in the Lord with all my might and lean not on my own understanding.

At 7/21/2005 01:26:00 PM , Blogger Difster said...

Last night I had to run an errand and rather than take the freeway back, I decided to take PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) which takes longer. Why? I don't know. But as I was going to sleep, I wondered whether I was diverted by The Holy Spirit for some reason that I'll never know.

Now I'm reading your blog this morning and I am grateful for His unseen guidance in our lives.

At 7/24/2005 02:26:00 PM , Blogger chasing sanity said...

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