Strength Of His Presence

After I sent out my last update telling how sick I had been, so many emails came back pouring out huge love and encouragement.  I was so very encouraged.  After further medication and investigation it was deduced that I had Typhoid Fever and not Malaria.  This made me happy as it is my goal to get out of Africa without ever having contracted Malaria.  Not happy that I had Typhoid though.  My stomach and guts are back in correct order but my strength was still sapped until today, when I finally felt closer to the normal me.

Over these last few months I had been spiritually dry for the most part.  We all go through those seasons, some more than others.  I think being on the mission field where you are pouring out so much of yourself it is even more of an occurrence.  There are many places in the Bible telling of Elijah and David and others crying out to the Lord, “Lord where are You!  There is no one left but me and I am discouraged…..”.  Well I wasn’t crying that out but I was just walking around spiritually numb because I wasn’t spending enough time just soaking in His Presence.  I read my Bible every day.  I read spiritual books.  I do ministry and I pray.  But, I was leaving out the most important piece.  I wasn’t soaking like a sponge to fill up again.

Living in extreme close community, it is very difficult to do this.  There is a plywood ceiling that separates me from my neighbors.  Might as well be no ceiling at all.  I can hear every little noise so obviously they can hear me so no singing out loud which is near impossible for me.  My neighbor next dor always has some kind of generator going or saw or hammering or grinding, constant construction and about 6-10 boys on my front door step underfoot to help him.  ZERO downtime.

Anyway, here I was on Monday morning, after having a full day free of no diarrhea, only to find myself back to square one, running back and forth to the latrine again.  I almost cried because I have lost weight and strength and I just wanted to be well again.  So, I started on an antibiotic called Ciproflaxen, the missionary’s candy.  I rode my motorbike to town to get a 7-Up which almost became the end of me because I was so exhausted and so tender on my insides from my sickness.  I know, stupid thing to do still being sick and all.  When I returned I went down to our office and answered some emails.  I then did something I have never done here, at least by myself.

I took one of the woven mats and placed it on the floor in a corner of the office/director’s house, out of the way of people, I put on my headphones and cranked them loud and got on my face, not caring who came and went.  We are a Christian ministry and this is acceptable so I wasn’t being weird.  For the next hour I had such an amazing revival in my soul and spirit.  I experienced the amazing presence of My Lord as I worshipped Him.  I was so undone by His very Presence.  I started to get a real revelation of rejoicing in my sufferings and my weakness.

I thought Paul was crazy for saying this because I have never rejoiced in suffering.  I just couldn’t see it.  Today I heard from the heart of my Lord.  It is when we are in a place of suffering and weakness that we are beyond any control of helping ourselves anymore.  We are at our end.  We just want to escape to somewhere better.  When we get to that place and choose to escape to the Lord and worship the Lord just because we want to be with Him, away from our circumstance, He comes and brings revival.  It is then that He is strong.  Not strong in strength but His very Presence is strongest there in that place.  I really got it this time.  I rose up off of the floor when it was over and I felt new.  That very afternoon I was able to dig in my garden for just a bit!  That morning I couldn’t even ride my motorbike without pain and exhaustion and yet…

The very Presence of our Lord changes things and turns things around so fast that time is non-existent.  I felt amazing.  I am being careful not to overdo anything and am still resting.  Typhoid fever is serious stuff and not to be taken lightly so I am using wisdom.

Seems like the Lord is taking me back to a lot of basics this week.  Take my eyes off the big picture, stop for one at a time, soak in His Presence, be renewed.  The basics never get old and we will never grow out of them.  It just takes some of us longer to realize that than others.  Um, that would be me.  I need reminding sometimes.  My spiritual mom had something to do with this I bet.  She has always called me out on this.  I wonder if she was asking Jesus was I doing this.  LOL!

Over the last couple of weeks the Danish Demining Team has been in town going over areas that have already been demined.  During the wars, thousands and thousands of land mines and cluster bombs were used.  Even now, after at least seven years of no war in our area, they are still finding mines in many places.  The area that they are currently working on is the main city road just outside of the old Samaritan’s Purse compound where I used to work.  Just down the street from there is a very large school area, taking up both sides of the road.  Also the largest Episcopal Church in Yei is there.  So far they have found 8 unexploded mines and have exploded them.  I drive my motorbike down that very road at least five times a week.  So crazy to think how fragile our lives really are if Jesus didn’t protect us.