My Miracle Year

“There are two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as though everything is a miracle.” (Albert Einstein)

As this year proceeded, I began and have continued referring to it as “My Miracle Year”.  That’s because I’ve witnessed events, which not only stand out as supernatural, but include outcomes unlike anything I’ve previously experienced over an entire lifetime.

Of course, for anyone to try listing the miracles in their lives would result in their overlooking or not even realising practically all of them.  But even the amazing way I returned to the Solomons in January, when most former ex-pats here have not had that chance, would be a good place to start.

This crossing of a closed border involved jumping through several hoops, so to speak, ascertaining all the information and meeting all the requirements stipulated by the Solomon and Australian Governments, Solomon Airlines, and hotel quarantine specifications.  In the end, everything came together with returning home after 10 months out of the country.  In the process, I was also able to save thousands of dollars I could have spent, through discovering the right questions to ask of the right people at the right time!

From there, I soon found many in country issues that needed to be urgently addressed though I knew nothing about such matters in my absence from the Solomons.  This involved legal problems I’d never faced in my life.  But with God’s help we were able to deal with the relevant government departments (5 in total) such that we were able to resolve every difficulty and save even more money in the process.

One thing with the borders closed to the outside world for the last two years, such has made it hard to access supplies for the training centre we’ve normally sourced from overseas.  This included a computer that suddenly required repairing just before I flew back to the Solomons, official documents needed for visa applications for both Alister Moss and myself, and car parts and print cartridges unavailable in the Solomons.

But God has provided means for securing all these required items, plus another printer to replace one that stopped working on the day our Semester Program commenced in July.  In the case of the printer, amazingly I was able to find an exact version of the one I had, just by asking an unlikely person whether they might have that actual model.  To me this was like finding a needle in a haystack, as I know of no one else in the entire country, who uses this kind of printer!

However, the most incredible thing that’s taken place this year involved witnessing 69 baptisms on the 2nd of October.  This occurred on the last day of the inter-district youth convention in Maravari, where I was the main speaker and had the chance to issue such a call to commitment for the many young people gathered for this event.

Of course, much prayer on the part of many led up to this.  But it surprised me to see how God worked, even with my poor Pijin language skills.

But this outcome at Maravari followed on from what had already been happening at Noro, where in taking students out to share the Gospel, we’d seen more than a dozen local people come to Christ.  Some of these have now integrated into the life of my local church, as we’ve continued discipling these same ones.

In sharing all this, I’m not sure I have the faith to believe that any year in my life will top this one!  Can God repeat or build on what he’s already done?

Still, without wanting to limit God in any way, I’m grateful that amid the trying times in which we find ourselves in this pandemic that he has nevertheless done such amazing things and I’ve had the privilege to witness all this.  To him be the glory for ever and ever!

David Collins

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