I have been running in the mornings after my devotions and the children are all walking to our school at this time. I love smiling at them as I run by and their bright shiny faces smiling back. There was a woman who was squatting in her field with her head in her hands and I quietly asked her friend who was standing somewhat close if she was okay. Then I figured it out, she was praying before starting her work. I was so touched that it has not left my mind these last three days. I have seen Muslims praying in airports and marketplaces in the middle of their work and travel yet, this lady has so touched me, that she would ask God to bless the work of her hands before she begins weeding her garden…… I want to be like her.
I am reading Brother Lawrence’s small book written by a friend who knew him and he lived a life such as this lady, always in the Presence of our Lord in the midst of his mundane task of washing dishes. The Presence of God was so strong with him that people from every nation would come to watch him wash dishes so they could see God. Oh that we would be so infinitely aware of our Lord’s Presence each and every hour of the day….
Sunday I brought the message to our church and it was all about Psalm 23:6, how the goodness of God will follow us and chase us down all the days of our lives. God has surely been good to us. I always remind the children how they were handpicked by God to live here with us and receive the amazing reality of living in the kingdom of God and seeing Him manifested in their very lives. I tell them that there are many, many orphans in South Sudan alone and yet God chose them to be raised in the power and knowledge of Jesus Christ IN them. Surely God has an amazing destiny for each and every one.
As I sat in the London airport I checked my emails and again God’s goodness appeared. Beida, the girl who was denied a visa, is now going to be sponsored for nursing school!! I never asked anyone or told of this need. She has been working at a small clinic since August for $40 a month, walking an hour one way to work each day. This is such good news for her! God’s goodness and a faithful servant donor chased her down and overtook her! This morning in church, as always, we begin with testimonies. I told the children that my only testimony today is God is good, always.
I have three other girls who just graduated on Monday and arrived home from taking their exams in Uganda. Sunday I was thinking, “Where am I going to get money to fund their nursing school? What do we do with them in the meantime?” That very night I received an email from a doctor working at Harvester’s, the other orphanage here in Yei that has a hospital with doctors trained in the west, and this is where we take our kids when they are sick. She asked me if I had any older kids who could work as interpreters for a surgical team who would be here for the next two weeks. She needed three or four! They are being paid and they will be allowed to stay for the next two months for training by the best in Yei with a possibility for continued employment and even scholarships for school!! I am beside myself with joy at the goodness of God.
Our Indian friend has commanded his partners in business to bless us every two weeks. It was a nice command of course. So now four or five Ethiopians show up on hired motorcycles with a wagon motorbike following them loaded down with hundreds of packages of cookies and chips and juice and candy and bags of maize flour and rice and bathing soap. The children scream in delight when they come because these Ethiopians are extravagant in their giving. They give the children two or three packs of cookies, two bags of chips and a lollipop or two, the little ones walking away with packs of stuff crammed in their pockets and in their shirts! Again I told the children, goodness is chasing them down every day! Our friends give because they have received much from God and cannot keep it to themselves. They tell us that it is their pleasure to care for the orphans with their prosperity. I believe God blesses their business because of this mentality of giving back to God’s kingdom. We here at iris South Sudan know this to be so true as even we give extravagantly!
The other day as I was walking back from our office the small children were playing along the path. They are three and four years old and are not yet in school. They looked at Bill and I coming and they started speaking to us in tongues, imitating Bill exactly. Then we started talking back to them in like manner and soon we had this whole conversation going in tongues. It was hilarious but so amazing that our three and four year olds speak in tongues. You can tell they are allowing it to just come because they are not saying the same thing all the time. The Holy Spirit dwells and abides in these little ones!
Our fourteen and fifteen year old girls were telling me about an encounter they had with the living God while I was gone. They were praying in the Spirit with Danielle, our missionary. They wanted more of Holy Spirit after the regular worship session eneded so they stayed on. Soon Danielle had a very small dab of what appeared to be gold dust on her palms. Before their eyes it spread to her entire hand and when the girls looked at their own hands they were all covered in sparkling gold! Then within minutes it just disappeared, again, right before their eyes. This has caused such an enormous hunger in our girls to encounter the living God even more. Normally when I am beginning an encounter evening I play a couple of “warm up” songs while we wait for everyone to get there. These girls immediately lift their hands and enter in, not wanting to wait. I can’t keep up with their hunger, it is accelerating so quickly!
Yesterday afternoon I went up to our Prayer Hut for some quiet time and encountered a group of twenty of our little children, following a self-directed eleven year old practicing their dance and singing for today’s church. No adult tells these kids, “Alright, it’s time to have choir practice.” They take themselves to the Prayer Hut and organize their own practice and songs to sing and which dance to do. How can the Father keep away from these? Oh, He cannot, He simply cannot! I pray for every mother to have children like this, who hunger and thirst after the kingdom, kids who are relentless in their pursuit of the One who pursues them!
Last night we loaded up our tipper truck and hit the road with the Jesus Film and ten of our oldest kids to go and minister at the SPLA Army Barracks. The crowd was huge, over 200, and they were so attentive. I have been to so many Jesus Film outreaches and have never ever heard total silence after the salvation prayer. This is usually when people start leaving or the drunks start laughing and such. Our pastor said, “Let’s just be still and allow the Lord to touch us.” And the people remained still! It was incredible. Then we told all who were sick to come forward and we asked for especially the blind and deaf to come. One lady who was 50% deaf received full hearing! All who had pain and were prayed for left pain free, ALL!
It’s been an excellent week and I am tired but a good tired, a real good tired. Please keep Sebit in prayer, our young boy with the leg bone infection since we found him last year. It refuses to heal up and is always ulcerous. He has been on every antibiotic known to man and I now have him on my expensive organic multivitamins for 45 days to try and boost his immune system. There are some surgeons here from America that have seen him and they are conferring with the doctors in America to see if they can do anything with this bone ulcer. He has been diagnosed to forever have a seeping wound and we just can’t have that. Sebit has been so patient and it hurts me to see all the kids splashing in water on these hot days and him just sitting there. This has been his life for three years now. It just has to get better.
May God’s goodness chase you down this week as you abide in Him!!!