Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!!! Oh, me too 😀 Happy Mother’s Day to those with children and to those with spiritual children. Jesus says over us – Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her Husband boasts of and praises her. Proverbs 31:28
I am also choosing this opportunity to tell the world how much my spiritual mom means to me. It’s my newsletter and I can do what I want! (lol)
When I was a baby Christian, I found myself in her office at the church. I was looking for more with God and I didn’t know how to find it. I was so extremely hungry for the bigger and the more of God and I was desperate for wisdom. I made an appointment, not knowing who I would be seeing. I met her for the first time that day, nine years ago. She prayed for me and steered me in the right direction.
As the months passed by, she began to mentor me, not by my asking, not by her choosing. It just happened. This lady has shown me more about the character of God than any other person. This lady has shown me that I matter and that I am loved. She has walked with me through all my deliverance from a childhood of trauma and she never let me quit. She patiently taught me and stood by me when I went through the growing pains of maturing in my walk. I honor her because she never allowed me to be deceived or to deceive myself. She has such rich discernment and she never let me “get away” with sloppiness and half truths in my maturing as a Christian.
This lady has been more of a mother to me than my own and she has shown me my true worth in the Father’s eyes and has shown me unconditional love. There were so many times that I am sure I have irritated her to even the point of calling this mentoring thing quits. But she persevered with me and through the love of Christ has made me into who I am today. I would never, ever be the person I am today without her guidance and mentoring and friendship and love. I am strong in my walk and my faith because she spoke the Word of truth into my life and she poured her precious time and her self into my life in such rich measure. God will reward her I know.
I love you so much Lestra and I honor you for you are a true Proverbs 31 woman. I am proud to call you mom, friend, and teacher. I will stand before God in heaven and I will tell Him of your love for His child, me. I give you honor today and every day as a light that shines for the glory of the Lord. He is well pleased with you. Happy Mother’s Day.
Breaking news………… Luka Ngor Majok Akuot registers for school, plus two brothers! Wow, with a name like that he is going places! Little Ngor was so excited on Monday when it came time to register him for school. This was such a switch from a month ago when we first presented the idea to him. Back then his face turned very serious and you could see that he did not want to go. But today, he reminded me that today was the day! As we drove up to the school in the truck, his little chest was all puffed out because he arrived in his favorite thing. Two weeks ago I started letting him steer the wheel whenever I had to do something on the compound and he is a very good driver. He has become my little assistant. I also registered and paid for his two brothers while we were there. So now the entire family will be going. Yipee!
Then we went to his hut to gather his two brothers so that we could go to the market to get tailor fitted for their uniforms. That is how they do it here. Ngor’s mother was so happy. She just kept saying God bless you, God bless you. He has indeed. There is a man who lives with them, maybe an uncle, and he has one artificial leg that is missing the foot and whenever I go to visit, he hobbles over and says hi. When I came to get the children for measuring, he hobbled over and patted his chest over his heart and kept saying something to me. A man from our compound who came with me says he was saying that his heart is so moved that these boys will be going to school. He just kept shaking my hand.
It is so amazing what $35 American dollars can do for an entire family. That is a year’s wages for some and for others it is a month’s wages. School starts on Monday and I am going to walk to school with all three boys and take their picture and kiss their foreheads and pray over them, just like any mother would do. God has given me so many children to look after over the years and He keeps adding, and I am so blessed. My friend Viola had reminded me yesterday that I had a dream last year about having three African children, the same ages as Ngor and his brothers. I was amazed that she even remembered it because I hadn’t. Now I know the dream has come. These boys belong to their mother of course. But here in Africa, the saying goes, “It takes a whole village to raise a child” and I am now a part of this village. Makes me smile.
And now, a little bit about the animal life here. Every morning I am greeting the dawn with the incessant heehawing of the multitude of donkeys who roam free here. They are really quite cute. It is like having a bunch of Eeyores walking around. They heehaw pretty loud and it sounds as if they are in tremendous pain sometimes but they are just hungry I imagine. The cow and horses are skin and bones here but the donkeys are fat as ever. I really don’t understand it because they don’t get any special food.
And then there are the not so cute animals. There are these hawks here that have large talons. They are many in number. There is one who has claimed our compound as his hunting territory and in the morning when we go to get our biscuits and tea, he snatches it from your hand and even your very mouth if you are not alert! It happened to me! I was holding my bread and walking along, not paying much attention, and so fast that I literally did not “see” it until it had already happened, my bread had been snatched and there was a scratch on my finger, which started bleeding where his talon had caught me. Another guy was putting bread to his mouth and the same thing happened, leaving a scratch on his face. And so now I walk aware and protect my bread!
Every single night now I am killing a scorpion. I remember that just a year ago, if I saw a scorpion I would run the other way and get someone else to kill it. And when I fist arrived here in Akuem, if I saw one, I would throw a brick at it or something. Now I just walk right up with my flip flopped foot and squash it! I hate them. There is one type that you cannot squash with your flip flop. It is called an Imperial Scorpion. If you can open the attachment, there is a picture of just how big they are.
On one of my trips to market this week, I passed and a group of people walking to the city. This is unusual to see such a large group walking together. There were about 15 of them. There was an old man literally tied in to a makeshift seat on a bicycle and another guy pushing it along. I continued to drive on as we are not allowed to pick up passengers. The further I went the more my heart convicted me to turn around and go back. On our trucks there is a sign that says “Samaritan’s Purse” and I thought about all the people passing that hurt guy in the Bible. I had to turn around. And so I did. I always take someone with me who can speak the language here and so my friend found out the story.
This old man was sick and the entire family was taking him to the city hospital, which was a good six hour walk my friend tells me. And so we offer to take him and two others. So they climb aboard and we are off again. As we are going I am praying for him out loud. We get to the hospital and drop them there and they are so grateful. I told my friend to tell the old man that I prayed for him. He thought I said I wanted to pray for him and he told my friend no because he isn’t a believer. Too late, I already did. Guess it was a God thing.
This week I have been thinking about prayer. We gather every morning for devotions and we always have a time of praying for requests. We always ask someone to pray in Dinka and someone to pray in English. Ninety percent of the time I am the English prayer because no one else offers to pray, although there are many more who speak good English. And I think about how I am always happy to pray. It is such a privilege to be able to talk to the Almighty God, to know He listens to us, to know that He is alive and wants to hear our voice. I wish more people would not fear praying out loud or look at it as a chore or burden or something to be avoided.
I did a short teaching on this and coming to Jesus as a child, not worrying about fancy words or quoting the right scripture. He just wants to hear our voice and know our hearts. He wants us to look forward to talking with Him. It should be the same as talking with our closest friends, looking forward to hearing what they have to say and sharing our day and pieces of our lives with them. Jesus is no different. He is friend to all. And so I encourage those who fear praying out loud for any reason, just present your offering as a little child. Just be you. He loves the “you” that He created. That’s who he wants to hear from, not a carbon copy of someone else.
I dreamt the other night that I showed up early to a very nice banquet. Only one other person was there at the table that I was going to sit at and I didn’t know this person. I set my keys down and took a seat to wait for others. Then I thought I’d better go and put something nicer on as I was still wearing my “field” dress, a plain but cute dress that I wear here in Sudan. I went upstairs to a very nice hotel room and came back down in the same dress. When I got to my table, all my friends were there and enjoying themselves. They were excited to see me and welcomed me but I no longer had a place at this table. My place was taken by another.
I wasn’t offended in the dream and I still laughed and enjoyed my visit with them as I stood there. Then I woke up. I asked the Lord about it over these last few days and I am pretty sure He is telling me that the life I used to live is a thing of my past. I can revisit it and enjoy it for a short time, but I won’t sit there and get comfortable. My place is here in the field. I want to encourage you today, even if you are in a hard and uncomfortable place, if it is of the Lord, don’t yearn for your “old” life, no matter how wonderful it was. Enjoy your visit but stay focused on the place He has you in and the place He wants to take you to. If you keep looking back, you can never move forward. When the days get hard, because they will, keep your gaze on Jesus, the One Who gazes at you.
I can picture us sometimes holding His hand like a child as we walk along. And we see something that we want that we walked past and we tug on His hand to go back. And I see Jesus trying to gently tug us on yet allowing us to go back to the thing we want. He never lets go of our hand even though He is looking down the road at our future. He is patient with us as we linger there, speaking gently that is time to move on. It is up to us to leave that thing which holds us back and move forward with Him.
Let us walk together with the One Who has prepared the way for US.