God's Perfect Timing

By Liz Schaefer, Partnership Coordinator

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.‘ – Ecclesiastes 3:1


As we go through our planning process for our summer construction projects out here in Ohio, we journey our way through a long list of logistical considerations. We think through things like whether we will be able to accomplish the project in a quality manner, we consider how many volunteers we have signed up, whether the project aligns with our mission – the list goes on. However, one of our most important preparation tools we use is prayer. Even through all the logistical preparation checkpoints, there is always an element of ‘unknown’ that we lean on the Lord’s guidance for. Will this homeowner feel comfortable inviting strangers into their house? Is this homeowner in good enough health for this experience? Will they be overwhelmed by us? Will they join for lunch time devos? What does our ministry with this person look like outside of the construction project? We know that the Lord connects us to each family we work alongside, however sometimes the reason isn’t clear at first.


As we wrap up the third week of our summer work out here in Lorain County, I’ve been blown away as the Lord has pulled back the curtain on His ‘why’ for connecting us with the homeowners on our schedule. One individual called me about 2 weeks before we were scheduled to start working at her home to share that she had been scheduled for a surgery that would take place on our second work day. As we discussed our options, the homeowner decided that she would like to continue as planned despite the surgery. I was interested to see how it would play out.


The day before the surgery I received a phone call from this homeowner. The surgery had been cancelled due to an irregularity noticed in her white blood cell count. This sweet lady had been waiting 10 years to have this surgery and now would have to wait longer. A week later the surgery was rescheduled, still during the duration of the project taking place at her home. Next Step volunteers were able to pray over her as she prepared, once more, for the surgery ahead. Again, I received a phone call the day before the rescheduled surgery. In tears, the homeowner shared that it was once again cancelled- this time due to concerns with her kidney health.


Initially when I received word that this surgery would take place during the work project, I thought ‘what bad timing’. I mean, who wants to recover from surgery while 10 strangers are hammering away at your roof? However, as I reflected with this homeowner, God’s timing became perfectly clear to me. ‘I think God put Next Step in my life for exactly this time,’ she said, ‘He knew that it would have been nearly impossible to deal with my cancelled surgery alone. The groups have been able to encourage and pray with me, which has been the only thing that has kept my spirits up through this.’


When we added her to our schedule, we knew we would be able to share Christ’s love through the work on the roof. We had no idea that He would be able to use us for far more.

Next Step Ministries