SOUNDS OF HOME
This week has been filled with the sound of children in the play yard and toddlers crying and babies laughing.The toddlers don’t do as well when the children are on holiday from school because there is so much activity on the compound.I think they get a bit overwhelmed sometimes.The babies are happy because there are so many here to carry them around.I went to the market and bought balls and cards and Lego blocks and cars.We have a new market here and they have toys!!! Yippee!
The older girls sit and do needlepoint from sun up to sun down when they aren’t doing chores. The custom here is to purchase a bed sheet and then draw a huge flower design in the middle. Then they fill in the design with all colors of thread. I had a man in Juba draw two for me, one with the Mundari cattle herder and his prize cow and another with a lion on it.The girls and women never seem to tire of sewing and they do this intricate work for other people, no charge.All that work and it doesn’t even belong to them! Theirs is such a spirit of helps and servant hood.All the women are this way.I learn everyday from them. They are always calling me, “Sudanese woman” because I do what they do. I walk bare foot more than I wear shoes these days. How freeing! I dig and plant and harvest and carry stuff on my head. Now I just need to learn the language!
Our bore hole is now fixed and we have water aplenty, praise God! We called the bore hole fixer people and they came out and pulled 80 meters of pipe from the depths of the earth and one of our pipes was cracked, hence the low water pressure and flow. Now the water practically pumps itself, there is such little effort required. All are happy and even the toddlers pump their own. And so the word of the Lord in Exodus 23 is fulfilled, that He shall bless our food and water.
AN ARMY FOR THE HARVEST
I was reading in 1 Samuel 13 this week and noticed that when the Israelites went to war against the Philistines, they didn’t even have weapons. Not a blacksmith could be found because the Philistines were afraid that the Israelites would make weapons against them.Instead the Israelites took their plow shears and sickles and axes and had the Philistines sharpen them.They took their harvest tools right to the enemy to be sharpened.
If we want to reap the harvest, we will have to go into the enemy’s territory. Preaching about the harvest in a nice cozy comfy church is like watching the corn grow but never picking it. When we go into enemy territory, our weapons become our harvest tools and they will be sharpened as we go. They remain dull as long as we don’t use them. I can just picture and army of harvesters standing at the edge of a field, weapons gleaming with sharpness as they ready themselves to plunge into the unknown, rows and rows of grain ripe in the field, as high as their heads, ready for the harvesting.
HEIRS WITH HIM
These last two weeks we have had a team from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) come and visit three times a week to play with the children.They are here for another two weeks and then they head back to Australia.They are all in their early twenties and all full time missionaries.How encouraging it is to see these young people so excited about missions and the nations of the world.They attended our church on Sunday and commented that they received more from the Lord listening to a 16 year old girl preach than sitting in some of the big churches in the West. They were amazed that children so young (7-8-9 years old) could worship the Lord with such passion.
I am reminded of the scripture in Romans 8:17.
We are heirs of God IF we share in Christ’s sufferings – only then can we share in His glory. Our present sufferings cannot compare with the glory that will be revealed in us. All creation waits to see this.
These children have suffered much. The glory being revealed in them is incomparable. Christ in us is this hope of glory. A friend of mine, who’s ministry has planted thousands of churches, raised the dead, brought sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and cripples to their feet through the love of Jesus says, “If you insist that the Christian life on earth shouldn’t involve suffering then you’ll deprive people of a lot of joy.”Jesus suffered the cross FOR the joy set before Him.We are His joy and He suffered for us.I see so much suffering and it grieves my heart but when I touch the people and am touched by their plight, I am filled with the joy of Jesus because I know how He loves us, even through our sufferings.
True joy is being able to comfort those who need comforting.True joy is being able to pray for someone and see them healed and set free.True joy is being able to offer a home to the homeless and then watch them be transformed only by the love of God.Here at Yei Children’s Village Iris, we don’t ever counsel children when they arrive. Many times we don’t even talk about what they’ve been through, unless they want to. The Presence of God and the love of the Father is so tangible here that these children are touched and changed by His love through all of us. We just love them through.
We don’t allow darkness to come into our home. Yes, our children are sheltered from the world but they are not oblivious to it. We go to public places and evangelize and pray for drunkards and prostitutes and we see demonic people and witch doctors. The children know about these things. But within the confines of our home here, we don’t allow it. The children sing only Christian songs and watch only family rated movies. There are no magazines or books which have questionable content. There is so much light here that when we go out to evangelize, it really is the overflow of their hearts. They carry living water with no stagnant pools to be found. Do we live in a perfect world? No, we still have our share of squabbles and misunderstandings and occasional disobedience. After all, they are children like anywhere else in the world.
Saturday evening, we took our big tipper truck and went to the biggest produce market in Yei and we brought our worship team, 30 children on fire for the Lord. They stood in the filth of that place, trash all around, with drunks coming near and dancing a little too close at times.There was no fear in them.I preached a message of salvation from the bed of the tipper truck and then I told of a dream that the Lord gave me the night before.I dreamt that I was standing next to a ditch that was being dug in the streets of Yei. In real life, there really are ditches being dug in Yei to make way for a water system finally. Anyway, in my dream, some of our older boys saw a snake in the grass and they began to beat it out.The snake slithered into the ditch filled with water. The snake was about 10 feet long and about 6 inches in diameter and was solid black.It began to swim toward the other end where men were working and the ditch was filled with water. I yelled at the men to get out because the snake was going to kill them.
I then told the crowd that the snake is the devil and he is going to kill them if they don’t choose life.The dream was sent to me as a warning to the people of Yei.You could literally see the faces of the people change.They believe in dreams and there is even said that Yei has water spirits. When the call for salvation came, ninety five percent of the hands shot up. Then we sent our young children into this crowd of about a hundred people, two by two, to lay hands on people and pray for healing. Everyone we prayed for was healed, glory to God! I t was so awesome.I was the only adult praying. The rest were our children.This is the joy set before us, to see people set free and darkness to flee. Perfect love casts out all fear. These children know the perfect love of the Father. They are not orphans.
PLEASE PRAY: TO TURALEI AND BEYOND
This week I am working on securing transportation to go north to visit Turalei, a small community near Abyei,which has grown overnight to over 40,000 refugees. The UN says they cannot possibly handle this surge of humanity because the gas shortage has all but stopped them in their tracks.The situation is desperate already. Please keep us lifted in prayer that we can go and be of some assistance. We also want to visit our pastors in Darfur. Both of these places are still considered not secure but we believe God is calling us to go and that He will make the way there and back for us.
Read more here about the situation in Turalei. Pray for these people. They are desperately in need of everything.