Cynthia Schnee with both Teresa’s
Cynthia Schnee is the youth leader from the Grace Brethren Church in Manheim, Pennsylvania. Cynthia took students from their youth group to Momentum Youth Conference. Here’s a story she posted on her Facebook page about the group’s experience on outreach.
The day was July 17th, 2015. I was spending the week at Momentum Youth Conference in Marion, Indiana. All week long, the students were listening to various speakers and learning how to share their faith. The following day, our group would be taking 9 students into the heart of Indianapolis to pass out backpacks full of toiletries to the homeless.
As I was pondering our impending trip the next day, I decided to cover the day in prayer. I started out praying, “Dear God, please let us have a divine app…TERESA…ointment with whomever you want us to meet tomorrow. TERESA? WHO IS TERESA? Weird, but okay God, if that was from you and you want me to meet TERESA tomorrow, then let me meet Teresa! Amen!” I kind of laughed to myself and went on with my day.
The next day, I found myself on the way to Indianapolis, and again I felt led to pray about our day. “Dear God, let us have a div…TERESA…ine appointment….TERESA again? Okay God, let me meet TERESA today if it be your will!” Now I was really chuckling to myself and felt a little silly, but I also had to wonder if God was going to introduce me to a TERESA or not. I almost said something to the gal sitting next to me in the van, but I feared that she would think I was a little nuts. I quietly unzipped my backpack to find something to write on. All I found was the cardboard wrapper to a pack of gum, so on it I wrote, “Divine Appt. w/Teresa today.” When I went to write TERESA, I said, “Okay God, how should I spell her name? With or without the ‘H’?” Something within me said to write it without the “H.” I placed the note back inside my backpack and thought to myself that if I would meet a TERESA, than people would at least believe me since I had written proof!
After a 90-minute ride to Indianapolis, TERESA was frankly the farthest thing from my mind when we arrived. We split our kids into two groups and began canvassing the area. One group went to the left and we went to the right. At each street corner, we scoped out the city and decided which way to proceed. We met a couple of nice ladies, walked a block or two and soon found a homeless man. We gave him a backpack and eventually made our way down the street towards a bus stop.
I stopped at the bus stop and explained why our group was in Indianapolis for the day, and that we had some backpacks to pass out. One lady said, “I’m homeless!”
Another lady exclaimed, “I’m homeless too. Can I have one of those bags?”
I smiled and said, “Sure!” We gave each lady a backpack and the one gal told us to follow her, because she would show us where more homeless people were hanging out. As we walked, I looked up at her and said, “By the way, I’m Cynthia. What’s your name?”
She nonchalantly replied, “I’m Teresa.”
Instantly, I screamed, “NO WAY!!!!!” In fact, I screamed so loud that she jumped a little, and I think I gave our whole group a little jolt with my enthusiasm. “Your name is really Teresa???”
Meanwhile, another lady was walking towards us and overhears our conversation. She exclaims, “That’s MY name!”
Again, I screamed, “NO WAY!!!! You ladies have to stop and talk to me. You are NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS!”
I fumbled open the zipper of my backpack and grabbed the small piece of cardboard that read “Divine Appt. w/Teresa today” on it. All the while, I am explaining to them about my prayers. Without even asking them, they both shoved forms of identification at me. Amazed and dumbfounded, I found myself talking to two women, both named TERESA. Neither one had an “H” in her name!
One Teresa was crashing at a friend’s apartment at night. One Teresa was literally living on the street. I got to pray with these precious women. I was humbled. I stood in awe that God not only provided me one TERESA on that day, but that He went above and beyond my wildest expectations and provided me two women named TERESA at the exact same time!
How easily our group could have wandered in a different direction… How easily a few minutes of timing could have caused us to never meet… How easily I could have not even prayed and totally missed this blessing altogether…
I gave the ladies my contact information and asked them to contact me when they each had their own address. I don’t know if I will ever see or hear from them again, but I do know that I will be praying for them. After all, I had a divine appointment to meet them!
Won’t you share my story and join me in praying for these two ladies?