The Lord reminded me last night, as I was thanking Him for things before going to sleep, that all of our children have been healthier than they ever have. We have only had two kids in hospital in months, one for an infected tooth because the Ugandan dentist is on an extended holiday and the other kid for a foot infected after stepping on a nail. We have had no malaria, no typhoid, no nothing! We have been a malaria free zone for about five months now! Malaria is still being treated at local hospitals, even our neighbor’s baby, yet not a single person on our compound has gotten malaria and we are all still getting bit by mosquitoes! The glory of God rests here for sure. No sickness can penetrate it we keep declaring. We still need a miracle for Sebit’s leg. We haven’t told him about the amputation decision for March as we are still praying for that miracle. We won’t tell him until/unless we have to.
On Monday two local pastors came to visit our office to request school fees for a girl whom they had delivered from many demons. She is now in her right mind and living with one of the church elders. Our lunch is brought to the office each day so we don’t have to wait in line at the kitchen with the children. I went to get my lunch and saw the two pastors talking with our pastor. I served them a plate and brought water and poured so they could wash their hands, things I normally do when we have guests. I then went to eat with our mamas. When these two pastors left they sought me out and wanted to tell me something.
They said that never has a foreigner served them and offered to wash their hands. They were deeply touched by what I did and wanted to tell me. I was very surprised and somewhat grieved as this is a natural thing to me because it is a natural thing in this culture. It is a basic gesture of hospitality that I learned when I first arrived here. Too many times when we as foreigners are invited somewhere we are treated like royalty. Many times it is because we are white/foreigners who have the appearance of money. I always try to squelch it wherever I go if I can. Basically I try to not be preferred but to just fit in like anyone else here. I came to serve and not to be served. Yesterday I reminded a visiting missionary to not let the children do their laundry, that we are here to serve. The people here are so gracious that they almost insist on doing these things for us and sometimes it is hard to resist. But I have had more doors opened to me because I serve than those that are opened to serve me.
Jesus told a houseful of people that no one bothered to wash His feet or greet Him with a kiss when He arrived at a house, as was the custom. Mary poured oil and kissed His feet, offending everyone. People were becoming too familiar with Him and not even bothering to honor those customs of normal hospitality anymore. I never want to become comfortable being preferred and forget to prefer another before me. Jesus tells us that He gives us eyes to see yet we do not see. When I went to get my lunch that day I almost blazed in there like I always do and serve myself and leave. I almost did it that day but thought, “How can I serve myself in front of these men, literally, as they were sitting around our table, and brush past them?” I could not. It isn’t right. So many offenses can be derailed if we just do what is right and good, whether we feel like it or not.
As you have been reading, most of our children have been fasting weekly since the new year began. Wednesday I told them about my visits to International House of Prayer every year and how I sit at the feet of the Lord for three and four days and how it really opens me up to hear from Him. They asked if we could do that here. Friday was our day. We have a generator and a nice sound system so we hauled it all up to our Prayer hut along with my ipod and an eight hour music set and the music began at 9:00 a.m. The children began coming. The staff began to come. The mamas began to come. Even some of our neighbor kids and mamas began to come! All of the music is in English and most of our mamas don’t speak it. These ladies remained with us for the next eight hours! No one went to eat lunch, they remained. All were engaged reading Bibles, praying quietly, worshipping, and meditating. I tell you tears come to my eyes. I never make this mandatory nor do we make anyone feel guilty for not coming. Our children are provoking a jealousy in others for the Presence of God.
A missionary just came up to me this morning and told me that she expected to come here and do ministry and instead she has been ministered to daily by the Presence of God and our kids. The majority of our visitors say that the atmosphere here is charged with Him, with His Spirit. Do we still have life’s everyday troubles, especially with 64 teenagers in the house? Yes, a resounding yes! The flesh is what it is and we all have the battle until we step into our glorified bodies in heaven. But I tell you, problems get solved quicker, children listen and understand better, our work becomes lighter, when we keep going to the place of His Presence. We have just taken it a step further and have decided that we don’t want to go somewhere to “get into” His Presence. We just want God all the time and well, we just have to keep running after Him until He finds His pleasure and rest here and He stays!
Our new Land Crusier is on the way and should be landing by ship in Mombasa, Kenya in the next couple of weeks. I called my friends at Samaritans Purse in Juba, our capital city, to get wisdom on handling all the customs paperwork which must be done before the vehicle is delivered. I was told that it takes about a month to process it. I was a bit worried because we would be charged daily for storage fees until the paperwork was finished. My Area Director left on Wednesday to start the process. Be fore he left we joined hands and laid them on the papers and prayed for favor. Yesterday as we were in the Prayer Hut he called me. He said that he started the process on Thursday morning and customs has cleared our vehicle! One day, it took one day! FAVOR!!!!! God is so chasing us down and running us over with His goodness!
On Tuesday I leave for the USA. I will be home in Texas for four days to visit my sister and brother-in-law. He was diagnosed with a cancer, sarcoma, on his lung. He has suffered from MS for years and has been wheelchair bound for the last two at least. My sister is his primary caregiver and is exhausted. He is on chemo and already the results are amazing. The doctors are optimistic and so am I! I am coming home to encourage her and pray with them. I will then leave for Tampico, Mexico to do a ten day outreach to David Hogan’s place in the jungle, in the midst of the drug cartel there. I am excited to see what the Lord will do in me and what I will learn there from his amazing team who has seen over 100 raised from the dead.
God bless you, each and every one. Be encouraged this week to stop and do those small things that matter most to others. Allow the doors of opportunity to be opened for bigger things in the kingdom through our servant hearts toward others. It really is the small things that matter.