>Multiplying Mangoes

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This week I have been to the clinic every day but one, not for me, but for malaria and wound care for the kids. Malaria is a part of the daily life here in Sudan. For children it is critical and so we don’t delay in getting them treatment. Their little bodies can’t handle the fevers and dehydration and quick treatment is the order of the day. My spider bite wound is still healing slowly. Believe me, I don’t complain at all, even in my heart, because there are much worse things going on than this light affliction on me.

Jesus spoke to me this week about the things that belong to Him. If everything belongs to Jesus, then nothing belongs to me. If I truly gave Him everything, then nothing is mine to keep. Jesus even wants all these light afflictions from us. He wants everything we have to be His. He carries it all. All we have to carry is the cross. We take up the cross daily and carry it. We drink from the cup of suffering. We taste here and there, we carry here and there, but none of it belongs to us if we give Him everything. I can just picture the devil handing us sickness and immediately I turn to Jesus and quickly give it up, handing it over, letting it go. I certainly don’t want to hold onto it. Jesus “took up” all of our sickness and disease, all our infirmities. He is so wonderful and amazing to look down the line of time and see what lay ahead, and He took it up before it even came time to be. Deeeeeeep……

I was so excited this week to pick a package from the incoming MAF flight at our airstrip, which is about a 30 minute drive from here. Someone mailed me a package back in March containing much awaited balloons and marshmallows for the kids and I so wanted them to have it all. So, I took four of the older boys with me, as they just like to ride along. We got there and they unloaded the plane and there sat one small box, 12 X 12 inches, not for me. Awwwwwww……. So we drove back and laughed about how it took five big people to retrieve one small box.

We didn’t waste the trip. I took them to lunch at a small roadside stand and we ate our favorite meal ever, cassava posho and kabob. It is a sticky gummy maize dough with chunks of beef in a rich sauce, all eaten with our fingers of course. I had taken the girls earlier in the week to the same place. All were so happy and we were fat when we left J. Yes Jenny Joy, it is your favorite place! Sorey! Haha. I think I am going native as I am preferring to eat with my fingers more often than using a fork or spoon.

On Friday, I went to the local taxi park to pick up two very important packages from Juba City, the place where I did street ministry for a week in April. A teen girl and her younger brother came to live with us here in Yei. They lost their parents when they were young and have been living with their stepmother who abuses them. She was ready to take the girl to a village to marry her off to an old man. The stepmother told her to either marry or go live on the streets and to take her brother with her. She was prepared to live on the streets and so we have become their safe haven. The taxi guy said to meet him between 3-4 pm to pick her. We sat there for two solid hours, as he was very late.

The taxi park is a horrible place to be. The guys sit around and drink and chew this green grass stuff which is a type of speed/cocainish stuff that makes them nervous and edgy. There is always arguing and fighting and drunkenness. We watched this for two hours and it was like we were invisible because not a single person bothered us, which is highly unusual. Not a single drunk came near. Highly unusual. There was a small girl of about eight selling a huge sack of mangoes. She was selling them seven for one Sudanese pound (about 35 cents). I asked her if she would sell the entire bag for 10 pounds. She did. I figured there were only 70 or so mangoes inside.

This morning I washed them and counted them and I prayed that God would multiply them so that all 110 or so kids and the 10 mamas could enjoy. All the children came and all the mamas came and everyone had a mango and there were even five left over!! That is like 125 or so mangoes. I can’t prove or even say for sure that God multiplied them but I know these street kids. They know how much they have to sell and always get the best deal for produce. This little girl would not have sold me twice the amount of mangoes for that cheap price. But God! Haha! Makes me smile.

I found a really cool verse this week. In 1 Samuel 7:5, the prophet Samuel tells the Israelites this: “I will intercede WITH the Lord for you.” Jesus intercedes before the throne day and night for us. When we pray, we are not praying to Him, we are praying WITH Him to the Father, in Jesus Name. How way cool is that? We intercede WITH Jesus, right there alongside of Him. The scripture says that we are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. We are right there with Him when we pray. Samuel ministered before the Lord for hours every day. He got a revelation of true intercession. He knew it was a partnership with the Lord, a position of sitting with Him. There are so many sweet nuggets like this sprinkled all over the Old Testament, telling of things to come when Jesus got here. God is ALWAYS telling us before hand. We just have to listen better, me for sure J.

I had a soaking session with the teenagers on Friday morning and we prayed from this position. We waited on God to answer us, Jesus and us, and we received the same things to bring to prayer on Friday night at our Friday Night Furnace meeting. I am teaching them to wait on the Lord for His leading concerning prayer and what to pray WITH Him when we intercede on Friday nights. This is powerful because we are in agreement with Jesus. We intercede with Him. I really like that.

Today, Sunday, I presented the message to our church about Psalm 23. As we went through each verse, I had three little sheep (children) enacting the verses. Green pastures equaled one green sleeping bag. Rod and staff equaled a broomstick minus the broom. Banquet table equaled a mango, some bisquits (crackers) and lots of “laua” (candy). Boy did I have their attention.

As I talked about the table set before us in the presence of our enemies, I poured out the candy at the feet of the sheep and one of our toddlers, Patience, who just learned to walk, she yells out my name in excitement, “Owlina!!” and starts toddling over to the banqueting table and sits right down at the candy section for her share. Ahhhhhh it was so perfect. She didn’t care what the church crowd thought. She had a single eye for that table and she walked sweet as you please across the alter, her eyes on the prize. When we sit and feast with our Shepherd, people will see the wonderful pleasure and abundance that is to be found there and they will come to dine with Him. When we see the feast that He gives us, do we take notice and yell out His name in excitement and go single eyed to His table? Do we care that everyone is staring? Where is our focus? Oh the things that I learn from the mouths of babes……

As I was sitting with one of the older mamas this week, we call her Abuba, I asked her why she didn’t do needlepoint like the other mamas and all the older girls. She said, “I can’t see.” I never realized. She never complains or squints or acts like she has a hard time with small things. It’s just amazing how people really don’t complain about stuff here. They are happy, no matter what. Everyday I seek this kind of attitude, being satisfied with much and with little, just being thankful for the goodness of God, however He blesses me, just being thankful.

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