In a severe snowstorm during the Christmas season, Margaret and I lost electrical power for about seven hours. It was especially cold so we told our neighbors who had generators to call us when the power came back on, and we went to a large bookstore to work and be warm. Margaret knitted while I worked on various projects and correspondence.
I became very tired, so relaxed in a large chair to take a brief nap. Just at that time, a man walked by the table where all my papers were spread out and, seeing one of our newsletters, stopped and said, “Action International Ministries!” He then turned toward me and said, “Are you Doug Nichols?” I stood up and said, “Yes, have we met?” He responded, “Yes, we met 15 years ago in Costa Rica when you spoke at a conference for organizations working with children in crisis.”
As we talked for awhile, I noted a real sense of sadness and concern in his voice. He finally said, “Can I sit and visit with you for a few minutes? I need to ask some advice.” He then began to share some concerns on his heart for future ministry. I sought to encourage him from the Word and we prayed together. After 30 minutes or so, he said he had to get to a Christmas program and thanked both Margaret and me very much for the time spent together, saying he was greatly encouraged.
In thinking about this wonderful “providential meeting” later, Margaret and I both realized that the only reason we were at this particular bookstore at that specific time was because our electricity went out. It was very inconvenient at a time of the year that has so many things to do, yet God used the situation to put us in His appointed place to encourage this dear brother in Christ for the glory of God.