Keeping in touch online is no match for turning up on the doorstep!
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome he expressed his longing to visit, as well as his prayers for them (Romans 1:9-11a). Sometimes though, as Paul found, things get in the way and God's timing is not the same as ours.
Paul Winter, who works amongst the street population with Operation Joy, knows something of that.
As he explains below he has been prevented from visiting the Roma community in Manchester for the past three years, but just last week that changed!
I hadn't visited any of the Roma families since before Covid. I had kept in touch by mail and social media; a few times I had met members of one extended family in Manchester.
Today I decided that I would make for Levenshulme as it was R's birthday recently, so I prepared a present and a card. As I reached the house I saw a lettings sign and I thought that they had moved. Just then two teenagers came down the adjacent alley and spilt up. One approached the house I was visiting so I was able to ask if the family was still there. He confirmed that it was the same family, M had grown up in the last three years and I didn't recognise him. He called his mother who came to the door and she invited me in. "Why you no come for so long?" she asked. As it happened R was out, but by the time I left I was clued up on up-and-coming birthdays and was able to say that I would be praying for the family.
And to think I might have assumed that they had moved...
God's timing was in that visit, Paul had put himself in the right place at the right time for God to use him.
Is there anyone you have been praying for that you ought to meet up with face-to-face? Why not try the door?