by Aaron T. Murphy 

When you need it the most, encouragement can come from places you least expect it. As a child, I never really understood and fully believed in angels until a recent encounter with a complete stranger that has impacted my life forever. Last year, I tore my achilles while playing basketball and was unable to walk for 3 months. Once my doctor fully released me to return to the office on crutches, I struggled both physically and mentally for some time. I was at a point of deep depression and my wife, family and friends did their best to motivate me to keep moving forward in life while serving others. 

During one very difficult day while leaving the office on crutches, a homeless man (whom I’ve never seen before) comes out of nowhere and approaches me. He doesn’t ask for anything which is unusual in my line of work. Instead, he looks me in the face and says – “I know who you are… I know exactly who you are…” At this point, many thoughts are running across my mind and I wanted to find a way to escape. He pulls out a Bible from one of his bags and reads the story of the Good Samaritan (Matt. 10:25-37). The man stops and says – “That’s you… I see all the good work Good Sam does in the community for others.” “The city and my people thank you and the Lord is pleased with you…” “Keep up the good work and moving forward!” He then disappears while walking down the street never to be seen again.

Many times, we fail to realize who God may send our way to encourage us in times of need. The Bibles says – “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it”(Hebrews 13:2). Thank you Lord for sending encouragement when we needed it the most. You know how to give the right words at the right time to keep us moving forward in life and serving others. It is truly a blessing to be a part of God’s Kingdom and have opportunities to share the love of Jesus Christ with our neighbors in need. We serve an awesome God who loves us all unconditionally.

Thank you for trusting us to be your missionaries here in Upper East Tennessee.