Sunday, November 8, 2009

African Update # 3 2009

            Freedom and the Fight

Today was a good day and a great Gathering. We are laboring to teach our brothers and sisters here how to move from the “this is how we do it every week mindset” to the “let us find God’s Heart in the Gathering” mindset. We arrived about 15 minutes till 10 a.m. and people were still coming. When everyone finished packing in, there was no room for anyone else, not even to stand. George and I had determined to ask people to share before we launched into the regular way of doing things this Sunday. We started about 10:30 singing ( in our case humming) a few Swahili songs of praise and offering up prayers of thanksgiving, when George asked the people to speak of the things God had done in their lives that week. The sharing continued on for 45 minutes to an hour. Person after person stood and shared their experiences of God healing, blessing and comforting them all week long. There were even a few confessions of how God had shown them their selfish selves. After the sharing, George talked for another 40 or so minutes about the importance speaking the truth in love. It was good to be back among our family in Nakuru and to see the progress they had made in their walk. One dear lady shared about God healing a severe back injury through the prayers of the brethren. She mentioned that for a long time she could not sit for over 5 minutes without a lot of pain, which made it very difficult to come to meetings. She described how and when God touched her back and  then joyfully stated that from that time on she could sit for 4 hours comfortably. Now all of these dear folks had already been sitting for about 2 and ½ hours on some of the most uncomfortable benches imaginable. I knew George was going to ask me to speak and I was trying to think of how to keep it short. The temperature was about 90 degrees inside that very small room because of the sun beating down on the dark colored tin roof. It had begun to feel very stuffy when I noticed 20 or more children standing right at the door in the hot sun waiting to come in and show us all they had learned that morning. I realized they must have been standing there for  at least 15 minutes.
 I quickly asked George if they could come in and do their little performances before I spoke. He agreed and after about 20 to thirty minutes of delightful dances, bible quotes and songs, they returned outside to play. As I stood to speak, I realized that Amma was supposed to teach all the women right after the Gathering, so when I stood to speak, I first looked at the woman with the healed back and told her that I would try and not fully test her testimony of being able to sit comfortably for 4 hours. Although, when I sat down, George began to speak for 30 more minutes about the importance of taking care of one another. When we left the meeting place at about 2;00 p.m., the smile on the lady with the healed back proved her testimony was true.

Despite all the wonderful things happening here, there is definitely more spiritual opposition this time. George and I have had some strained conversations that came out well, but left us a little ragged. Sometimes the scope of the work and the incredible needs of so many people can tend to overwhelm us. There had been little news from home the past few days and the heaviness seemed to grow. Amma's computer went down and that is always depressing. She will try and send emails with mine. Last night I felt our adversary try every little trick he could think of to bring on me a heavy spirit. I woke in the middle of the night with feelings of condemnation and despair. Everything seemed bleak. What in the world were we doing here anyway? All I could do is to commit myself and the work here, over to the One who loves us and sent us here. Not able to get back to sleep, I spent much time asking God for direction and grace. An hour or so later I began to feel that strong comforting Word of the Rescuer who, throughout my life has always come to strengthen my heart when I felt down. I cannot tell you how real this battle is. I realized then, that people had been praying for us. I decided to take a shower and work on this update. When I returned to the computer and checked my inbox there were 9 letters of love and encouragement! Who is like our God ;whose mercies are renewed EVERY morning?

Please receive our thanks for all who pray and keep us before His throne. Continue to pray for us lifting the shield of faith to ward off the adversary’s fiery darts and allow the wisdom of the Lord to break through. Pray as well for us to go deeper with the people here. There are many barriers to hearing our hearts and understanding each other; like language and their culture. Despite the fight, the Life we live is now here, and we, by His grace are seeing it happen. Much Love …. Your sent ones      

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