Every Friday night the youth of Iris want to start earlier and earlier for our Friday night prayers. They wait for me to take them to our church, eager to worship God. Tonight I watched one of our small girls remain on her knees, arms out, palms up, for half an hour, just immobile before the throne of heaven. Others were quietly weeping. At one point their voices were lifted in unison and the sound was so sweet, I know that angels were in that place singing with us in one accord. Even while I was on my face, arms outstretched, a tiny hand curled into mine and this child began to sing and pray over me. I realized later when I came to my senses that it was one of our girls from the streets of Juba who had run away just last month. She was so moved by the Father’s heart.
When I become overwhelmed with trying to meet the various needs of over 120 children and over 20 staff employees each day, I stop and remember these precious moments and I know why I am here. So many times I encounter situations where my love for the people I am here to serve could be shaken. I choose each time to see what Jesus sees. He is never shaken by the things we do and say. He chooses to see us as He created us to be. He looks through the eyes of love and understanding.
Many times in the third world culture, the people will do whatever it takes to ensure that their children get a better chance in life. Even if it means lying to your face, whatever it takes. A fellow missionary couldn’t understand how the local people couldn’t see that we have given up everything to be here for them and why they still lie to us and purposely deceive us. I told her this:
When the poor see us, they see us as having everything. We are here with our computers and our battery powered things and more than three sets of clothes and even me with my motorcycle. To their eyes, I have everything. They could never imagine how I lived in the USA. They have no clue, no basis for which to form their opinion as to what I gave up. They don’t understand a two story house, carpeting, AC, refrigeration, a closet full of clothes, real furniture and not plastic, paved roads, grocery stores with more than two aisles….. They cannot fathom this. They have never known this kind of life so there is no revelation of just how much it cost us to be here.
It is the same for us and what Jesus gave up for us. Can we really picture all that Jesus had in heaven? Can we really fathom all of the glory and riches He gave up to be with us for thirty years? I have given up what I think as most everything to be here for these precious people. Jesus gave up everything to be here for us. I cannot fathom that. I have never been to heaven. I don’t know what it is like to have that. I have no revelation of just how much it cost Jesus to be here. And in my ignorance, He still loves me and understands me and loves me. That is all I can do for those I am sent to here in Sudan. My focus remains on that fact that Jesus asked me to come and that is why I am here, because He asked me.