I was at this year’s FurnitureFest at Tulsa University when I spotted a young student who stood off by himself. Engaging him in conversation, I learned that he had arrived from Ethiopia three days before and knew no one in the States, much less at the University. He had yet to find a place to live and, of course, had no furnishings for an apartment if he should find one. He seemed lost and no wonder—being so far from his homeland and completely on his own.
Something about the man touched my heart and I was concerned about his fitting in at the University and making a place for himself where he would be comfortable during his studies in the States. I mentioned my concern to others who were working with the international student ministry and began praying for him by name. My prayer was that someone would step up to the plate and help with housing, furniture and especially companionship.
Just a few weeks ago, I sat in a classroom group that was discussing personal experiences with international students. I was meeting the group members for the first time. One student from TU shared his story about asking an international student he had met at the FurnitureFest to be his roommate. Just like that—they meet and he invites him to come live with him! The international student was from Ethiopia and had only been in the States three days at that time. He was the very same man that I’d met and was subsequently praying for.
It’s true that God does not always allow us to see the fruit of our labors. We don’t always hear the answer to our prayers. But sometimes He does, and we do. And when this happens, we are very, very blessed.