A Gift for Our American Friends

Acts 11:20-21

But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyre’ne, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number that believed turned to the Lord.

Thought for the Day: Be thankful for the unexpected gifts.

Our choral group, the Bert Coble Singers, walked into to the Russian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg, Russia, having no idea of the gift we would receive. From the outside, it looked like a beautiful, old building. But when we walked in, we saw a very modern looking church with modern seating and decor. We were told that during the Soviet Era the church was turned into a swimming pool and recently it was turned back into a church and the swimming pool had been covered over. This made for beautiful acoustics as we sang. But that wasn’t the gift. We didn’t know when we walked in that another singing group would be performing after we performed our songs. We sang our pieces and then a young adult choir from St. Petersburg, with their gorgeous voices, gave us a gift of song that was absolutely unexpected. Then, it happened, the director turned and said in English, “This piece is for our new American Friends.” As soon as the first words started, “Oh beautiful for Spacious Skies….”, everyone in our group started tearing up and listened as this Russian speaking choir sang the entire song, “America”, in English. My father sat on one side of me with my husband on the other. We all looked around and everyone in our group had tears in their eyes. Between us being on the last part of our trip when many of us were ready to get home, and the pure musical gift we had received, we felt peace and love from these strangers.

I believe God places gifts in front of us all the time, right when we need to receive them. This gift was obvious and brought us all to tears. But what about the less obvious gifts God gives each day.

Prayer:   God, thank your for the obvious gift you give. Help us to see your hand in the not so obvious gifts you give in the people and events that happen in our lives. Amen.


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