Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Acts 8:26-29
About 5 years ago, my church got a phone call from Catholic Charities about 40 or so refugees from Burma whom they were helping to relocate into our city. Our church had been an emergency shelter during Katrina and I suppose that helped put us on Catholic Charities’ call list. “Sure, we can help!” After all, providing this small group of dear people with some much-needed help as they acclimate to their new home here in San Antonio would not exactly tax our church’s human resources. But, rest assured, this was not a ministry we had identified in our strategic planning process. This demographic was nowhere on our radar screen. There was no grand plan for this ministry at all. All we had was a sense that God had used Catholic Charities to place this opportunity before us, so we said “yes”.
To me, it seems similar to this passage from Acts 8 about Philip. We are not privy to very much of the “planning meetings” by the Apostles or by the other leadership of the early church…we do not know what kinds of ministries they had put into place that were aimed at the spread of the church in the face of serious oppression and …