by Dale Russell

“What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.”

Psalm 104:24-30

Don’t expect God to come to you only in a certain way. Lay aside any preconceived ideas of how He should show up.  He’s always at work in His surprise visits. He comes at His perfect timing. When He surprises you, will know you are in His presence.

In usual manner, each team member visiting Otino Waa is assigned a home to share lunch with.  It is a great time to become very engaged and attached.  Little did I know how important this assignment would be.  Life was about to take an interesting turn.

OTW house-lunch1

The first day at your assigned home there is a bit of awkward introductions and a lot of unknowns.  How are you going to remember these nine names?  No, make that 10 with the house mom.  Best write it all down or do some strange word association with facial ques. Mom quickly introduced herself as Anna, or at least that’s what I heard.

My house mom looked somewhat familiar, but not enough to raise flags.  Lunch was served, questions asked and then it was time for the kids to get back to school.  I had to get back to the video projects.

The next morning, Genn, one of our team, lead the first bible study for the moms.  They all showed up and started things off with worship songs.  No need for music – just dive into song with various women leading the charge.  The second song was instantly recognizable.  It was the same one the first Otino Waa kids used (see video in last post) in 2003 and the mom who lead was Anna, my house mom.

Mom Hannah3

I’m trying to take this all in, but the humidity must be messing with me.

Lunchtime brings us all together again and Mom Anna has a mischievous smile.  Before rust could lock down my mental sensors, I noticed a familiar facial feature.  Those great cheeks!  But who is this?  Mom spoke up and re-introduced herself as Hannah Alum.  I fell off my bench.  16 years later I am in the presence of one of the original Otino Waa kids!  I felt like shouting and crying for joy!  And God shows up with this amazing surprise!

Mom Hannah4

Now, there was much to be discussed.  How did she end up back here?  What has her life been like?  We agreed on a time for me to sit one-on-one and do an interview.  Later, I spent four hours asking all kinds of questions.  Her life has been very hard and that is another long story for another time.  What is most important is her attitude in spite of hardship.  Listen as she greets the women inmates.

Now Mom Hannah joins the world changers.  She encourages women on the other side of the world.  She is an example of how Otino Waa produces success.  She becomes a surprise from God.  Only He could have come up with such timing and connections.  And once again, I am changed.

God wants to surprise you. He wants you to be amazed. He enjoys surprising us with His goodness.  God can and will surprise us with His mercy, blessings and goodness; sometimes when we least expect it. Find comfort and joy in the gifts.


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