8:49 . . . or so I thought. When I got to the bus stop, I thought the bus would surely come around the corner within the next 30 seconds or so. A couple of minutes went by and I decided to look at the posted schedule. 8:48! That’s what I get for cutting it so close.

Almost every Sunday, I take the bus to the Tokorozawa train station, and then ride three stops to Higashi Kurume, where the international church we attend meets. (Gary goes earlier for worship band rehearsal.) It was particularly annoying on this already hot summer day, as now I had a fifteen-minute wait in the sun for the next bus.

Little did I know . . . God had a plan.

I tried to find a little shade and resigned myself to wait for the next bus. After a couple of minutes an elderly lady came from across the street and joined me. (She had allowed plenty of time to catch the 9:03 bus.) I started to say “Ohayo gozaimasu,” and at almost the same time she said, “Good morning.” As we talked, I discovered that her English was quite good. When I told her I was going to church, she immediately volunteered that she was on her way to church too.

“I go to the Lutheran church every Sunday. I’m a Christian.”

“How did you become a Christian?”

“I went to an English Bible class, and after several years of studying the Bible I believed.”

When the bus arrived, we got on and I continued sharing how I had missed the bus I was trying to catch, but how blessed I was to have had the opportunity to meet and talk with her.

Then I happened to glance back, and there was Izumi, the wife of one of the “divine contacts” God gave us last fall in our community. She, her husband, and their two-year old daughter had come to our home for a meal and Gary had enjoyed an especially encouraging spiritual conversation with her husband.

We had tried to get together with Izumi’s family again, but various events kept getting in the way. We had been wondering if the door had closed on this relationship, until a couple of weeks ago when Gary “just happened” to meet Izumi’s husband out walking their dog. And now here I was entering into a God-arranged conversation with Izumi. Somehow, we feel God still wants to see us develop a relationship with this family.

All because I missed the bus . . .