One afternoon when I got home from work I started practicing some songs that I was going to be singing for the VA Hospital to entertain the patients on “Because We Care Day”. After I finished practicing I started to watch television. I also started talking to the Lord. I often talk to the Lord on and off during the day no matter where I am or what I may be doing. It is not unusual for me to do that. This particular day I just happen to be flipping through the channels on the television when I ask the Lord what he wanted me to do for him. I was led (by the Holy Spirit) to stop on a channel that was showing this big brick building. The man was saying how they didn’t have any heat and they were praying and depending on the Lord to help them. I continued to watch this program as they told how it was the dead of winter but the next day it was so beautiful and the sun was shinning so brightly that they were able to let all of the children in the orphanage go outside and play. At that moment, I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to call an orphanage and make an appointment to go and see them.
As I said my prayers that night, I told the Lord that I would call information in the morning and inquire as to where I could locate an orphanage. The next morning I did just that and the operator told me that there were two orphanages in the area located in a little town approximately an hour or so away from where I lived. The Holy Spirit led me to call The Central Children’s Home. I called them and made an appointment with the director. I told him I would like to come and talk with him.
I arranged to get off work early the day of my appointment. I headed to that Orphanage. As I entered the outskirts of the town I started looking for the name of the street where he told me to turn, and, sure enough there it was and as soon as I turned I saw the sign for The Central Children’s Home. I pulled into the parking lot and I noticed quite a few people standing outside and realized that this was an African American Orphanage. I walked into the building, as everyone appeared to be watching me. The Director greeted me with a firm handshake. He grinned as if to say, “What in the world can this white woman do for my orphanage?” You can just imagine, I stood out like a sore thumb — white girl, blonde hair, blue eyes — well, you get the picture! We entered his office and he said, “Well, Ellen, what can I do for you?” I said, “First of all I must be honest with you, I really do not know why I am here. I only know that the Lord has led me here. I don’t know what, or if, I can help here in any way.”
The director proceeded to share with me quite a bit of history on the Orphanage and told me about several of the many children who lived there. He also gave me a book about the Orphanage. It was a good experience for me. Finally, he said, “Ellen, we only have one position open here at the school and we have offered it to a young lady from whom we are now awaiting her answer as to whether she is going to except the offer”. He then said, “I’m not sure that you would have any experience or interest in this area, but the opening is for a Music Director.” I started grinning! I reached into my purse and pulled out one of my demo tapes and handed it to him. He started grinning. He told me that if the lady whom they had made the offer to did not except, then he would definitely give me a call.
Although, in the end, the orphanage never did call me back, it was such a wonderful visit and was very educational. I left that orphanage that day and cried tears of joy all the way home. As I drove home, I was thanking and praising the Lord for leading me there when, all of a sudden, I heard these words: “Sometimes the Holy Spirit will lead us to do things that appear for nothing just because the Lord wants to see if we will be obedient.” Until that moment, I had never thought so deeply about things that I’ve been led to do in the past. I know now that when I am being led to do something, I am much more attentive and aware to the presence of the Holy Spirit.
“Like the nations the LORD destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the LORD your God.” (Deuteronomy 8:20)
“But Samuel replied: ‘Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.'” (1 Samuel 15:22)