Mark Bocinsky

The Sidewalk Missionary: My Divine Appointment from Finland

It was a scorching hot summer day. We left the shade of the high Barcelona city buildings and crossed over a plaza on our way to the pier. It was while we were joking around, probably complaining about the heat and our naive decision not to bring water bottles that God provided a divine appointment.

Defining “Divine Appointment”

What is a divine appointment?

Divine: Proceeding directly from God (Webster)

Appointment: An arrangement for a meeting (Webster)

So, a divine appointment is a meeting arranged by God! When I googled “divine appointment” I found the following quote in a blog:

“A divine appointment is a meeting with another person that has been specifically and unmistakably ordered by God.”

The Encounter

While touring Barcelona that day, a woman called out from behind us,

“Excuse me.” I turned to see her and she continued, “Are you some kind of evangelistic team?”

She was from Finland. She had her hair up in some kind of bun. She was wearing sunglasses. For a lack of better words, she looked normal.

We probably stood out to her. While a group of young people isn’t rare to find in popular cities these days, I imagine that the crosses and Summer Missionary shirts caught her attention.

We explained that we were missionaries spending a month in Europe working with teenagers.

She went on to explain that she was from Finland. She grew up as an Evangelical Christian and still has a very charismatic personality. Spain had been on her heart and she decided to take a vacation to Spain to talk to people on the streets about Jesus. Then, she ran into us.

The Opportunity

After talking for a bit, I mentioned that we were Catholic. We could see an obvious change in her demeanor. It’s like she went from being with friends to potential enemies in seconds. Recognizing this, I waited for the current conversation to close and I posed a question.

“Ma’am, do you have any issues or concerns about the Catholic faith?”

In honesty, she said, “Well, I haven’t really spent much time studying your faith. I know I disagree with some stuff but I guess I don’t know a lot.”

She continued, “But I suppose you could tell me something. I’m always open to learning more.”

An open door. For a missionary, this is like a sign that says, “Free Chinese Buffet.” You just can’t pass it up.

I went on to explain our belief in the Eucharist. After all, this is the source and summit of our faith (CCC 1324).

The Fruit

After a very open conversation about the Eucharist she seemed to let down her guard a little and she knew that we meant no harm.

We asked if we could pray with her and we circled up, right there in the plaza. After praying with us, she went on to say,

“This has been the highlight of my day! I always thought Catholics just stayed in the Church and never went out to share Jesus or pray with others. God meant for this to happen!”

A divine appointment.

Always Be Ready to Be Fearless!

That blog that I quoted earlier goes on:

“A divine appointment is a meeting with another person that has been specifically and unmistakably ordered by God. Yet I sometimes wonder how many of these supernaturally scheduled meetings I’ve missed because I didn’t have my spiritual radar turned on.

That day, I was ready. Even though we were receiving a tour of the beautiful city of Barcelona, I knew I was there on mission and I was prepared to speak when Jesus gave me the opportunity.

Today we celebrate World Missions Sunday and I want to challenge you to spend this week with your spiritual radar on and ask the Holy Spirit to give you a divine appointment. Then, when He does, get to know the person and fearlessly share your experience with the love of Jesus. Also, I want to encourage you to say a prayer for all those who have accepted the call to actively work in the mission field, both in their own countries and internationally.

Mark Bocinsky

About the Author

I'm a former Life Teen Missionary who graduated from the University of Florida with intentions of becoming a teacher. I currently reside in Denver, Colorado and am discerning the Priesthood with the Servants of Christ Jesus.