Samantha, it's time to get rid of this. It's time to give it up. It's time to get this mountain under your feet. It's time to take a step up in your confidence in hearing my voice. It's time to let your love for me overflow, unhindered. And let's start working on this, too, while we're at it.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
1. I didn't really feel as strong as that picture might lead you to believe. I'm pretty sure Caleb, the other short term American volunteer, was trying to see how much he could make us want to die.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I promised that I would write solely about God’s amazing works. So here we go.
Prayer of the Saints: Those of you who know me well know my heart for prayer. So when I came here, I discovered that the staff used to pray together regularly and then stopped after the schedule was complicated several weeks in a row. After talking with Susan Wadley (co-founder of Bridges of Hope ministry) about how I wished they all prayed together, she encouraged me that maybe I would be used by God to help start that up again. We prayed about it together, and then I continued praying. Praying that God would lay the same thing on the staffs’ hearts and would give me an opportunity to make the suggestion, if it was his will. Then one day, Jenni walked up to me and asked if Caleb and I would take all of the kids for devotions the next morning. Just the two of us? All of the kids? Well, if need be, then okay. She said that she decided that the staff needed to be praying together more, so they were going to do it every Wednesday morning, starting the next day. WHOA. Okay God, this is really cool that you laid it on her heart, too, but what about me? I wanted to be a part of it!!
Clearly not his will. Okay, God, now what? Now I have 25 girls, ages ranging from 10-20, English levels every place on the spectrum. What do you say to that range of girls? I prayed, nothing. I prayed more, nothing. I went to sleep. Woke up Wednesday morning at 6:15, praying. “Pray.” Um, yeah, God, I’m doing that. “Pray.”
So I arrived at the school at 7:25, had the girls divide themselves into tables 4-5 girls each, a youngest girl and an oldest girl at every table. Then we did 30 minutes of directed prayer. It was beautiful. Thanksgiving, Scripture reading, Intercessions, and Supplications.
I am going to continue to do that every week, and I pray that God would continue it even after I leave. I really do believe that this is his will. He took my heart for prayer, that I could play a role in allowing both the staff and all the girls to spend that time in corporate prayer.
Prayer Request: Pray for guidance in how to best use those 30 minutes every Wednesday morning. Pray for God’s mighty answers to those prayers, that the girls and staff may see prayer’s power.
God speaks: One of my favorite things about spending time with God is the fact that he talks back to me. So as I have been taking my 8/9 grade small group through Joshua, we discussed this last week (last night, actually) that we must learn to listen to what God has to say to us if we want to grow in our relationships with him. Additionally, my devotional group (8/9 and 2 10th grade girls) is going through Hebrews, so of course we must deal with “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” So I keep reminding them that God DOES talk to us – we just have to be listening and then pray for the ability to discern his voice from others.
So this morning, after devotional group, Mimitha came up to me with a huge smile on her face. She said that the other day she was praying and she thought she heard “Give us clean hands.” She said at first she just thought maybe the song was coming into her head, but then when she kept praying, she heard it several more times, repeated again and again. BEAMING, she said she’s pretty sure it was God.
I, now also beaming, told her to pray and ask God to tell her what it means.
You all, I cannot even tell you what a huge blessing this was for me. This is why I am here. I want to leave only the marks of hearts and lives more fully Christ’s. I want to leave and know that I am leaving behind more disciples of Christ, people who are more deeply rooted and established and more IN LOVE with their God. There are few things I would rather have heard.
Prayer Request: Pray for discernment and wisdom for us all as we seek the Lord’s voice to us. Pray for Mimitha as she is seeking with her whole heart. Pray that God would bless her desire to know him more completely and intimately. Pray for the rest of the girls, too, that a hunger would grow in them to know the Living God.
O I could just go on, but I know most of you don’t block out an hour just to sit and read my blog. J Rejoice and praise the Lord with me. He is filling me with his joy and patience and peace and endurance. I continue to ask him for just one piece of hope every day, no matter what else might happen. Please pray the same. Oh, how I pray he is delighting each one of you with such joy as you witness his power and glory all throughout the earth!
Monday, July 20, 2009
No, you can't. You just plant the seeds.I think it is just difficult at times to actually believe that I am making a difference, that I am not just reading them stories that mean the world to me-and very little to them.
Faith like a child, Samantha. You don't need to understand how it works.
If you were promised that during the entire extent of your ministry, every single word you spoke would fall on deaf ears, would you still go - just because the Lord told you to? Would you go solely out of obedience?
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
When was God born?Where are Cain and Abel now?How can some people say that God is here and everywhere and then other people say he is coming back later?Does God answer when everybody is praying?Did God wrote the Bible in his own hands?Was Satan God's son?What did Adam and eve do when God said they must not come back to the garden?When Adam and Even died, did God create two new people?Jesus wasn't alive the same time Cain and Abel were?Is Jesus coming back in 2010?When did the world start? (We just talked about that, remember? Genesis?) NO, I know that, but when did it start, like...1991?If you are hungry and in pain here on earth, when you go to heaven, will you still be hungry?If you go to heaven and then God says your name is not written down in the book and you have to go to hell, how do you get there?
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Women walked up and down the streets, blankets wrapped tightly around their torsos, a baby hidden somewhere in the midst of the bundle. Children ran up and down the streets, full of the same glee as every other child on the face of this planet.
As we were standing around in a medical clinic, I suddenly heard the bursts of uncontrollable joy, attempts at communication from a mentally retarded girl in a wheelchair. Immediately my heart was drawn to her. We had no time to talk with any of the patients -- this was strictly a tour of the facilities. Yet as I walked past her on the way in and out, I could not resist reaching out and stroking her back both times. "This is my beloved." O the beauty of God.
There is no difference between us and them. Money is just so meaningless. We are all in pain, though in very different ways. But what difference does it make really, whether you live in a beautiful mansion or in a one room shack? Is there food? Shelter? LOVE? HOPE?
Don't mistake, I am not meaning to downplay their hardships. They suffer in ways we will never understand. Many people intentionally get sick and keep themselves that way in order that they will receive money from the government to buy enough food. Young girls prostitute themselves for warm clothes for themselves or family. 13 year olds are heads over their younger siblings.
There is great hardship. But there is also great beauty -- because the Lord is just as much there as he is in America. His presence is just as pervasive. His existence undeniable. His image is in every face on earth.
For them: Please pray for hope, and hope realized. Pray in particular for the kids here at the Academy. Pray for a deeper understanding of the power of the reality of the gospel. They know the story, they know the facts. But there is something so different in experiencing its power. So pray that, through my own words and actions and those of the other staff, as well as through whatever means he so chooses, God would reveal his true self to these kids.
For me: Pray for my strength through the week, the first one where I will be working consistently. Pray for wisdom in the words in which I speak- that they might be his and not my own. And I just have this feeling that he is going to show me what it looks like for his power to be made perfect in my weaknesses. So pray that my heart is prepared for that.
And PRAISE him for providing me with deep conversations already, and a genuine, deep relationship already. Praise him for keeping me safe, for giving me rest, for waking me up every morning. Praise him for giving me love for his children. And Praise him for his beautiful vision for these students, and for allowing me to take a part in it.
Hallelujah and Amen.