Can you say boot camp? Kinda what it’s been like around here this past week. Seems that the children have been little rascals, as they tend to be from time to time all over the world. I’ve narrowed the problem down to mostly having no after school structure. They come home and eat lunch and play. School is only half day for all below high school level, which is most of our rascals. Sooooo, I turned our kitchen wall and the house walls into a duty roster board. AMAZING what duty rosters can do to change the entire face of a thing!
Everyone knows what is expected of them, when it is expected, and where that expectation lies. It is spelled out and believe it or not, they love starting their day looking at the duty roster to see who is doing what today! Sounds crazy but it’s true. Now, every morning the beds are made, floors are swept, shoes are accounted for and on Saturday morning every house is mopping their floors and cleaning the compound grounds and singing while they do it, as a team. The goats are being cared for, the food is being stirred and served, plates are not left lying around and all is well again in camp land! Like a well oiled machine.
After spending four weeks putting out admin fires and chasing down the doctor daily and running after rascally kids, I can finally get back to evangelism and ministry! Oh wait, organizing and chasing after kids is a ministry! I am always aware of how much work it is to be a parent. Living with 123 children can keep one pretty aware. I lift you up to the Lord parents, for strength to do the right thing no matter how hard or how much they complain. Even here in the bush of South Sudan, I am seeing that ALL kids like structure. The same is true of our spiritual house. Clutter brings confusion and distraction. Structure and order keeps everything in alignment with the good purposes of God. His PLANS are good. In Jeremiah He says His PLANS are good for you. Plans require structure.
I am pretty sure that is why I find so much peace here, very little clutter. There is certainly a fair share of distractions but if I am walking WITH Jesus all day long, even distractions shouldn’t distract me from what I am asked to do. I can do ALL things through Christ…. Even making duty rosters and running after kids daily who don’t want to go to school. Every day I am chasing toddlers up the path with a small tree branch, all the way into their little school hut. I will never use it on them but they don’t know that and they run all the way back to school. It’s a sight to see. You only see Sudanese mamas chasing kids with tree branches! So when these kids see me chasing them, they know this kawaja means business. What a sight to see – haha! The teachers simply love it.
Saturday morning we gathered in mass to walk around the outside of our compound. Our compound is enclosed by fence poles and barbed wire. It is huge with lots of acres full of crops and buildings and such. I took my box of scented oil vials and prayed about what I should mix with a 2 liter bottle of cooking oil. I found in Song of Songs 5:13 where she says to the king, “His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh.” So I took my oils of Lily of The Valley and Myrrh and made the mix. We then oiled up our hands and touched every single fence post and prayed and decreed all things good for our land and our family.
We have a total of 675 poles which every kid and adult anointed with oil. Nice…. The distance between poles is an average of 8 feet. After all this walking, yes even the small 2 year olds walked it, we shared communion bread and juice as we worshipped and poured the cup of “the blood of Jesus” on our land to reconsecrate it to the Lord. Our young pastor and two of our male missionaries then anointed each child and said a Father’s blessing over each one. We finished the day playing games and fellowshipping. Not one child is sick today, the atmosphere has shifted, and our rascally little ones are settled into life as we love it again.
I spent the afternoon blazing a trail through the bush out to our new building project. We are preparing to build two dorm style bunkhouses for our upcoming School of Revival. We need to make a road leading to our new sight and I had to pull sorghum and elephant grass and weeds to make a small trail so I could hammer in bamboo markers to mark the road before our cutters come in on Monday. I had stickers all over my clothes, plant dye on my hands, and mud in my toes. A real bushwoman! It caused me to think that even a hundred years ago, there were many places in America, in the west, that this was a normal way of life, the life I am now living. Of course they didn’t have motorcycles or propane stoves back then…
God nugget for the week: As I was preparing for our Friday night prayer gathering I came across a scripture that opened my eyes on how to pray for government leaders. Every week we pray for righteousness and justice and that corruption and greed would be destroyed etc… I kept thinking about our authority as believers and I was stuck be this scripture,1 Timothy 6:17-18.
It says to “Command” those who are rich not to be arrogant or put their hope in wealth. “Command” them to do good, to be generous and willing to share. We have authority to command these things in Jesus Name and to affect the spiritual realm that breeds greed and corruption. People are suffering because of the greed of men’s hearts for wealth and privilege. It is the biggest problem in much of the world, this insatiable desire for wealth. It controls governments, people, even church leaders. I see it here all the time. There is so much compromise and moral failure in this pursuit of wealth and privilege. Even when we think we know a person, we find out the hidden truth of this. It happened to us this week and it is heartbreaking and destroys trust and fellowship that took years to build. One small itty bitty compromise…. And the entire wall is breached.
This is true in all our spiritual walk. It is a fine line, a narrow path to blaze toward righteousness. I thought of my bush trail blazing and how I had to remove obstacles in front of me to pave the road to where I wanted to go. I thought of how all those stickers clung to me and I had to pick each and every one off. At trails end, I want to be clean and free of all things that try to entangle me. When I look back I want to see a trail free of debris. At trails end I want to stand before my Lord and know that I did not compromise my integrity to pursue the things of this world over the pursuit of Him and His righteousness. True peace comes from walking the narrow path with Jesus.
Until next week I leave you with this. Mother Theresa once said that we cannot all do great things but we can all do one small thing with great love. This week I encourage you to do one small thing with great love. Share in the tears of a broken child. Break bread with someone who feels alone. Love greatly from your heart.