“God seriously rocks!”

This is a story of God’s perfect plans, and how if you listen, he will lead you.  With his perfect timing and plans he wove expertly all the details for me travelling out of my overseas country for home assignment.

It started with the persistent voice of the Holy Spirit telling me to check and see if there was, by a miracle, still a vacancy in the MIQ (managed isolation hotels) in NZ in May; a month earlier than I had booked.

I was not keen to leave earlier than the end of school, but I obeyed. The rules had changed, and those arriving in NZ on or after June 1 have to stay six months to qualify for the government to pay for your MIQ.  If I moved from 20 June to 20 May, I could finish the teaching term online during my two weeks isolation in NZ. The new lockdown meant I was doing remote teaching anyway.

That earlier departure would save me waiting around for two weeks after school ended and then another two weeks in MIQ, and then having to stay the full six months in NZ — a timetable that would mean I returned overseas to be in isolation over Christmas. I have been given the gift of flexibility to do what God had put in my mind initially when I was first exploring the next six months.

But — there’s always a but — rumours were flowing in the local media about a stricter lockdown coming, and the airports closing for 15 days.  Last time this happened they ended up being closed for five or six months, with only charter flights for a few airlines and no guarantee that you would get on one.  It meant having just 4 days to leave! A Kiwi colleague and I decided to book an early spot in MIQ in NZ, as that would be the first and most important step.

A thought came: should I text our NZ travel agent that night (Monday) to ask if there were any flights or MIQ spaces available? Even though it was midnight for him. I put my WhatsApp aside, but then the thought came back.  So I messaged him, knowing he’d be fast asleep and we could miss out on flights overnight. But his cat, who had been missing, had returned and had woken him up!  So he saw my message and was on Zoom with my friend and I within minutes, securing our flights for Thursday May 6 and talking the details through. It turns out that we could fly together and even stay together in the same MIQ hotel. So My friend was able to organise our transit hotels while I was still working with my class. What a Godsend!

But God was also in the other preparations — it took 5 hours to get a Covid test. Normally this process would take 15 minutes, but with the volume of people wanting to leave the country before flights stopped, there were huge queues. A local man who asked me how the queuing worked, ended up being another Godsend.

I arrived just after 7am to queue for the test (along with more than 1000 others, by mid-morning).  I was number 397 and the man was just a few numbers ahead of me.  I waited for two hours in a crowded place, then thought I could risk going home to work since the line was barely moving.  It wasn’t far to my place. I asked my new friend if he would mind texting me when we got close to our numbers. “Certainly,” was his reply.  So I was able to scooter home for two hours and do some useful jobs, like paying the landlord my rent for the next six months, all the while being updated by this lovely man.

I returned for another hour and a half wait to finally get tested. God had it planned and led me, just as he did when I first came to teach here with just eight weeks notice.

My test was negative and all the paperwork was eventually picked up, school books returned and my house all set for me to go.  I’ve made it back to New Zealand on home assignment. God is so good! He is the God of the details, and he seriously rocks!

— A Kiwi mission partner