I am just now remembering that it was just this time last year that I sold my house and moved in with my dear friends and started to see the reality that I was going to Africa full time. After all this time, one year, I can still say that the greatest truth I have learned is to walk in total faith. To do like Abraham and just go where the Lord says to go. I was running today and listening to Mercy Me’s song, “Where you lead me, I will follow” and that is the key, where He leads. God never says go without leading you there.
I am still teaching the Sudanese staff every morning and this week I have been talking to them about the testing of God and the perfection of God. In Mathew 5:48 Jesus told us to be perfect just as our Father in heaven is perfect. I used to think to myself, “Well I don’t know how I can do that! No matter how hard I try I cannot be perfect.”
Every test that I pass takes me closer and closer to His image, closer to being perfect, although we all have quite a long ways to go. I have to allow God to mold me, use me, fill me, test me, change me. I have to look at all of my life and realize when I am being tested and make the adjustment to learn and move on and up to the perfection He is calling me to. If we want to do amazing things in the Kingdom, if we want to see the power of God in our lives, we will always be tested, and our perseverance through it is what brings maturity (James 1). You can’t stay the same and expect a higher or deeper walk with God. We actually should be looking forward to the tests knowing that it is time to go higher.
Earlier in the week, as I was on my daily jog, I ran past an older woman who was talking to two younger girls and they were standing around a very large cooking cauldron. It was industrial size, big enough for me to sit comfortably inside cross legged. It had four handles and was made of steel I guess. I ran past, not taking a lot of notice, and all of a sudden I heard the Lord, “Go back and help that woman”. I turned around and the girls were gone, the woman was sitting on the side of the road mopping her forehead, all alone with this cauldron in the road.
So I go back and she can’t speak English and with my limited Arabic I told her I wanted to help her. We set off down the road, down a trail, through the village, down another road, up another trail through a village. It was a long way, maybe a mile. This thing was so heavy that I had to switch carrying hands about every 50 yards! I can’t even begin to wonder how this lady carried this thing on her head!!! I know she did because she had one of these round things that they put on their head to carry stuff so it balances better,
These women just amaze me with their quiet strength, never complaining, just doing what needs to get done. On the other hand, I get upset because of the culture that many people just walk by and don’t offer to help this woman, letting her struggle on her own. She was refusing my help at first and I had to insist that I wanted to help her. It is so hard for these women to accept help because they are so accustomed to doing for themselves.
In the book of Revelation 13:18 it talks about the mark of the beast being the number 666. In the Book of John in chapter 6, Jesus begins to tell the many disciples who were gathered about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. This offended many and upon hearing this teaching, John 6:66 says “After this, many of His disciples drew back and no longer followed Him.” Coincidence? Ummmmm, I think not.
Monday morning my friend who lives in the village came to work and told me that this lady in the village was crying and sobbing because her baby was swollen all over its body and she didn’t know what to do. She took her baby to the clinic and nothing was helping. And so I had to wait till the next morning early to go and pray for this baby. We prayed and the lady was so happy. She wanted us to also pray over her house because she said they have experienced so many bad things since living there. They are Christians and believe in Jesus. I told her I would come back to pray over the house on the weekend.
I saw her yesterday in the marketplace and the baby was with her looking much better. So today, I went to the village to her house and spent some time praying for her and the baby and over the land and the house. She was so grateful. She is so hungry to know more about God and the things He has for her. She doesn’t have a Bible, which is the case for many here. One of my readers of these updates has shipped a box of Bibles and I told this lady that she would be the first to get one when they get here. She was so grateful and is excited for that day to come.
Here in Sudan, it is an effort to go and minister many times. It is very hot outside, the streets are very dusty and dirty. The huts are small and hot and it would be so easy to just sit in front of a fan, drinking a bottle of water and enjoying my one day off. But when I go, I am so renewed and full of the freshness of heaven. It is like God opens the heavens and rains down on me and I am filled with life. I am reminded of the scripture in Isaiah 55:11 where God says, “As the rains come down from heaven and water the earth and make it sprout, so shall My Word…… it will not return without fulfilling the purpose for which I sent it.”
When we go in His Name and speak forth His Word and promise over a people or a place, He sends His rain to grow and refresh. He causes all things to become new. That’s how I felt upon leaving her house. I have been fasting all day and walking in the heat of the day down dusty roads yet I felt refreshed and not hungry. I can see how Jesus and His disciples did this. I used to wonder how they could walk all day and then minister for hours. It is only because of the rain of heaven that they are refreshed.
Also today I finally got to go on my first “unsupervised” road trip. I drove 30 miles north to Goli, Sudan and it took me exactly one hour and fifteen minutes to get there! The roads, as you can probably imagine, are just filled with holes and bumps and dips. It’s practically 4-wheel all the way. Then when you get there you are drenched in sweat and have turned the color of the dirt because you have to drive with the windows open to get some kind of air moving. It was actually fun! We had to drop a couple of friends off at another complex belonging to another organization where they train pastors and pastor’s wives. And then we turned around and came right back.
One of the girls at our Sunday afternoon Bible study group told us that in the Hebrew, when it says in the Bible that the Israelites applied the blood to their doorposts and the enemy passed over their house, it looks like this:
The devil and the Lord are both going for the same house, the same doorway, at the same time. The Lord gets there first and stands in the doorway sort of spread eagle, arms on the posts, feet planted firmly on the threshold, bracing Himself to stand in His power, blocking anything that would try to pass through Him. Picture Jesus on the cross, arms outstretched, taking every demon in hell on His back to keep them off of us, being Himself the Passover Lamb, standing in the doorway to our hearts and the enemy cannot break through. Now that’s a cool picture of the Lord protecting our hearts with His sacrifice because we applied His blood!
Judges 6:16 The Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you…”
Exodus 3:12 God said, “I will surely be with you…”
Joshua 1:9 Do not fear or be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you…”
Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.”
The Lord never tires in telling us that He will never leave us. Look to your left, look to your right, there He is right beside you all the time. Surely means for sure and never means never!