Kit and I had lived and met in Nigeria and learned to love aspects of Africa. Some years later we delighted to lead a short-term evangelism team to Kenya.
We were both runners in those days and thereby full of energy. One day we played hooky—or so we intended—by leaving everybody and with our translators trekking under a beautiful blue sky deep (maybe eight miles) into the Kenyan countryside. We loved passing farms, picturesque villages, and occasionally large wild animals following the dirt road then took a winding path.
At the end of the path, we noticed a cluster of thatched mud huts, the home of an extended family. “We should at least try talking to with someone today,” I said as we approached.
Inside the circle, a communal fire smoldered. At the fire, the family patriarch, a man of perhaps fifty sat on a log by the embers. Seeing me, the man visibly startled like he had seen an apparition. I politely asked permission to talk about God. He nodded and followed with intense concentration. When offered an opportunity to receive Christ, the man quickly agreed.
After praying, the patriarch immediately gave us his tobacco and alcohol which we interpreted as sincerity. After I thanked him, our translators invited the man to an open-air meeting that afternoon sponsored by a Kenyan church. We started the long walk back.
Back in relative civilization, Kit and I attended the meeting. To my surprise, the patriarch had walked the eight miles to join us. He asked to speak and told all present that for years he had resisted becoming a Christian. He had told God that he would become a Christian on one designated day only if God provided a messenger. That day, not wanting to become a Christian, he had remained close to home. Then a white man had appeared at his fire to tell him about Jesus.
Think God won’t go to extremes to save someone? God can even use a desire to play hooky. Or maybe God plants desires. Years later I received a report on this man. He had joined the church and remained faithful.