Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Joy Mixed In

"All journeys that really matter start deep inside us."
-Michele Perry, Love Has A Face-

I'm learning to live as one who is loved by God. It isn't easy sometimes to stop and receive when the needs of so many press down on you. But it's the only way to live, its the only way to keep loving and giving out. Yesterday I prayed a new prayer inspired by my friend Michele who lives in Sudan: "Lord, where are you going today? I want to go there." Instead of my usual prayer, "Lord what do you want me to do today?"

And as usual my day was full of little interruptions. "Please pray for my daughter, she is sick." And I stopped the things I was doing. Sometimes they get healed, sometimes they don't, but ultimately its about love--so I gave her the boda fare to get to the hospital. I am learning it is not a disappointment not to see a miracle. Because what Jesus is asking is for me to love the person in front of me, no matter if they get healed or not. Healing is His job. Loving is mine. I am on a journey of learning these things.

People ask me how I can handle all the suffering. Suffering with these women is about loving like Jesus which is about "embracing his cup of suffering as well as His joy. It's about paying the price to have eyes to see even when its easier to turn away."(Perry, you have to read this book!)
I think the answer is that it is always mixed with joy. When we were worshiping with the mother of Abetty, God's love and presence moved some very hardened hearts. One woman who I first met 2 years ago, Salome, who has been on my heart and who has been involved in prostitution and is pregnant with another child, she gave her life to Jesus. One soul, I've been contending for.

Another, Elizabeth, who has been attending my counseling classes which have really turned into discipleship classes :) When I first met her I was kind of afraid of her. She was harsh and barked at the other women. I could not get a smile out of her. Now, she is the first person to run up to me and hug me with a big toothy grin. And she gave her life to Jesus as well. God is so good. That He wants the ones who push Him away, that He wants the ones you think will never change. His love is so rich that is melts the hardest of hearts. I am often utterly amazed.

So the joy is mixed with suffering there in the dirt, in the middle of women singing, in the middle of a community exchanging death for life.
  • Please pray for our counseling class today and tomorrow--we are leading women through deliverance into freedom. It's the last part of our seminar. Pray many women would be released
  • Pray that strongholds in the Congolese community would be torn down and these women would become strong ambassadors and leaders for the Kingdom
  • Pray protection over me and the women--the enemy has been sending some darts my way, because he is threatened, but greater is He who is in us

Thank you for the words of encouragement. I definitely needed them. God has been gracious in healing me up. Love you guys!

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