Bill Cowell, a member of Shepherd Church for four years, has been a resident of Los Angeles his entire life. Bill appreciates Pastor Dudley’s mission to Lift Up Jesus to the valley and the entire city of Los Angeles.
When the 30 cities initiative was introduced to Shepherd, Bill was excited. “The more I get older, the more I see that people need God in their lives,” he shares, “I was really hoping for a Los Angeles bracelet, the city I grew up in. With so many lost people here, I really long for them to know the gospel.”
Bill received a bracelet for Chongqing, China and immediately felt slightly discouraged.
He had wanted a city that he could identify with yet his random selection gave him a city that he couldn’t even pronounce correctly.
Bill accepted his bracelet and committed to his Christian duty to pray for his city but did so with no excitement. The bracelet however, struck a memory for Bill. His brother, who was an international missionary had wanted to visit China but was convinced by his wife to settle in Mongolia instead.
Bill’s brother and sister-in-law lived as missionaries in Mongolia for 8 years. Upon their return to the states, they decided to adopt a little girl from China who was left on the street. Bill remembered this while looking to his bracelet for connection.
Later, when Bill paid his brother and family a visit, he explained Shepherd’s 30 Cities Ministry and his prayer for his city in China.
“I asked if they were familiar with the city at all,” Bill shares, and my brother told me ‘yeah, that’s where we picked up our daughter’.”
Bill continued to share that at times he gets anxious or fixated on something, but over the course of his life he's trained himself to take a step back when this happens. "I really believe in Psalm 37:4, 'Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Bill shared, "Sometimes we think we know the desires of our heart, but then we're shown something that's even better than what we thought we needed."
Though Bill thought he needed to be praying for Los Angeles and had hoped to get the Los Angeles 30 Cities bracelet, the Lord would give him a city that turned out to be a bit closer to his heart than he knew.
Bill found the chance of his randomly selected city of Chongqing being the birth place of his adopted niece who was found on the street to be no coincidence at all but rather the tender mercies of the Lord.