While traveling back from  their transformative mission trip to LaVida Mission in New Mexico, 14 students and two sponsors from Maplewood Academy found themselves unexpectedly grounded overnight at the Denver airport due to a looming snowstorm. Little did they know this layover would become an opportunity for a divine encounter.

As a small group of five tired students roamed the airport around 10:30 pm, Maplewood Academy juniors Jude Bacon and Christian Valdez noticed a single stranger reading what appeared to be a Bible. Curiosity piqued, Jude approached him, initiating a conversation that would unfold into a profound exchange of faith.  Soon, the rest of the small group joined them, prompting a call to the remaining mission trip students, who swiftly joined them in this unexpected meeting.

The man, Devin, revealed himself as a Christian who had recently vowed to rekindle his relationship with scripture. Working at the airport, Devin’s break time had unexpectedly led him to this encounter with the Maplewood students.

What started as a casual inquiry quickly turned into a heartfelt discussion about their respective spiritual journeys. Devin shared that he did not belong to a church, but expressed his desire to comprehend the Bible before affiliating with a denomination.

Impressed by the students’ commitment to service, Devin listened as they recounted their recent mission trip experiences and the impact it had on their lives. Baptism, spiritual growth, and the importance of daily scripture reading were among the topics that bridged their conversation.

Samantha, one of the students, offered Devin a Bible study guide, that she happened to have with her.  For the next 30 minutes, amidst the hustle and bustle of the airport, this unlikely congregation delved into matters of faith and fellowship.

As Devin needed to return to work, the students asked if they could pray together. Carl led the prayer, sealing the bond forged in that fleeting yet profound moment. Devin expressed gratitude for the unexpected fellowship and finding joy in the company of these young people dedicated to their faith.

Minnesota Conference