I arrived back in South Sudan last Saturday to the usual singing and laughter and hugs welcoming me back. Not so at the airstrip. Apparently we got some new customs guys, don’t know what happened to the last ones who were so nice. They ripped apart all of my luggage, clothes and stuff all over the floor. They asked for my Iris ID card and my tax exemption paperwork???? What on earth? We don’t need these things for personal clothes and luggage. Then they told every single person who came off the plane to get in their vehicles and follow them to town to the customs office, a good half hour drive. I was fuming inside but ate a ton of humble pie on the way and did what they asked. We got to the customs office and they made us put our luggage in the dirt and open it all up again. Seriously? Unbelievable. We were finally released. THAT was THE worst customs experience I have ever had. So if you are one of those who complain because they want to do an extra peek at your carry on bag, well you should feel pretty blessed.
I preached last Sunday in our church and took one of our tent stakes that were anointed and prayed over by Iris Mozambique Harvest School students with me. I talked about the testimonies in Mexico and about the thunderings and lightnings of God and His power that we should release across the land. I told them that we planted a stake last year in January and look what God has done on our base this last year. Coincidence? I don’t think so. The children were so encouraged and were standing, literally standing in agreement and praising God. We all went outside and pounded that stake in the ground at the front steps of our church, our city on a hill. And we cheered and praised God for what He WILL do in this land, in this nation because we asked Him to and believe He will.
This week one of our mamas told me that our land is blessed by the Lord, even our animals. She said she has never seen a hen lay 25 eggs in four days like ours did, actually two of them laid that many each. She is almost 40 years old and has seen a lot. This is because of the Word we speak over our land and water and animals in Exodus 23:25 where God says if we worship Him with all our hearts then He WILL bless our land and our water and our food, there will be none barren among us (our goats are now having triplets on a regular basis) and He WILL cause all our enemies to turn their backs and flee from us. We have at least 30-40 people a day coming twice a day from our neighborhood to share our water hole, which has an abundance according to our borehole maintenance guy. God is so generous and His goodness chases us down wherever we go! The Bible says that He watches over His Word to perform it.
Friday night we took our sound system to our prayer hut and invited some neighbors and worshipped the Lord. During one of the songs about forgiveness a neighbor lady started crying out and wailing and was getting delivered from stuff. Our small kids surrounded her and laid hands on her and help to set her free. It was amazing. Another one of our older girls, the one who was healed of cancer last year, went to the hospital to visit one of our mama’s sisters. The lady was beaten by a madman with a hoe and he split open her head. She almost died three times on the table while getting stitched up. She lost part of her hearing. The mama and our girl and two missionaries and I set off to the hospital to pray for her. That was yesterday. Today the sister testified in church that her sister has received her hearing back and she feels really good, no pain! Halelujah! This mama and our older girl also went to pray for a dead man at the hospital who was beaten by the rebels. He had been dead for some time but they still wanted to pray. One day we will see the dead rise. Perseverance on our part will help to usher this in. I love their faith!!
Today so many neighborhood children came to our church and some of our neighbor ladies too. These children have been coming to play with ours, coming to get water and coming to be loved by us. We now have about 30 kids from the “hood” who come to worship with us on a regular basis. This week I also went around the neighborhood as it is the first week of school. I went to look for those who aren’t going because they have no money for school fees. They are all now enrolled or will be as I told them to go to school and we will care for the school fees. Many happy children all around us.
I have to keep saying to you our supporters, either by finances or by prayer, this is what you are helping to do to advance the kingdom of God. I do not do this alone. I cannot even think of trying this alone. I love the body of Christ and I love that we NEED each other. This way NO ONE person gets the glory. We all get to cast our crowns before the Lord for what we bring to His table. Thank YOU for praying. Thank YOU for giving. We love you and pray for you and yours, we surely do! God bless the work of your hands this week as you go for the Lord. Keep your light shining before men so that they may praise our Father in heaven!