Today started cold and tired, yet filled with excitement. My first challenge came in the guise of kitchen duty. My team was responsible for helping with the food today. Making the breakfast tested my resolve. I was now 4 meals in and rather hungry. The rest of the day was spent on the road visiting all the sites we would be responsible for during our stay.
At the first site, outside of my expectation, we were sent out to go minister. At the fist dwelling, we engaged with the inhabitants via a translator. I took a back seat in intercession. We prayed for the woman who was suffering from TB and chest pains. She felt better. During this process, a man had passed and stopped in his tracks from the commotion. He decided to sit down and spectate. (Mission work does not allow for spectators. ;)) Turns out this man has an alcohol problem; something we realised was all too common in these parts, especially among the men. We ministered to him for a short while and he decided to accept Christ as His Saviour. The teacher in me was distressed by this. I want to speak into the lives of people from a place of intimacy. My heart is not to ‘shotgun’ and see how many conversions I can gain in the short space of time, only to have those converts die as soon as we leave? (Maybe I need to bear in mind; “One plants, another waters, but only God makes it grow.”?)
Back at the site, I was wrestling in my spirit about the experience I had. During that entire interaction, I had made no contribution, given no word or prayer. While in my bubble a little girl passed by, probably 7 years old. She was carrying a 10 kg bag of flour on her head. One of my fellow ‘missionaries’ and I decided to help her, without a translator, to carry this load to wherever she was taking it. Turned out to be quite far! Easily another kilometre from where we found her. When we got to her hut her mother, fortunately speaking English was so appreciative she packed out chairs for us. We had no idea what we were doing there, so we figured the good Christian thing to do would be to fill the awkwardness with prayer. They took up the offer enthusiastically, fetching grandma and the kids to come sit on the mat before us. The request was simple, pray for blessing and favour, and prayer for the grandma’s asthma. Suddenly I went from being all back of the bus to needing to take authority and leadership in the situation. So much for just working and leaving the ‘spiritual stuff’ to the more experienced among us. It was an amazing moment that was so well received. Fascinating how quickly God sometimes answers prayer, reflecting back to the conflict I was attempting to resolve just 1km earlier.
Afterwards, we went to the home of our (soon to be dear friend) translator, Abraham, to pray for his mother as a group. (There were a lot of kids, but I did not feel to interact or pray).
Site 2 had a lot of kids!! Fortunately here I felt prompted to engage and play with them. (I started playing with them on the see-saw. This seemed to break the ice.) While many of us were ministering and praying I engaged with the kids and gave them some love. They respond so well to love! Albeit overwhelming. But let me tell you, once they grow attached, they don’t let go!
Thereafter we visited another empty site which was used for ministry on Sunday’s. We never got to the building site, or maybe we did and I just couldn’t remember. My senses were pretty numb by this stage.
We got back to base pretty late. I was still on kitchen duty, but the local staff did not want help with dinner service. So thankful, I was pretty hungry!! I helped with the dishes afterwards. The night would be formally ended with some ministry time. As we had become accustomed to, we made a tunnel that each of us walks through and receives from each person whatever they feel God has on His heart for them. This was a stretch for me cause we were a team of about 30 odd people. I was delighted to receive something for every person. Granted, I probably missed quite of few of them, but that’s not the point.
I got some cool revelation. One person told me that God likes to ‘reason’ with me. He likes to have conversations with me and values my opinion. Mind Shifted! I had a chat to one of my good friends afterwards and saw a woman from my small group waiting for me. I had given her a word about a Ferris wheel. This ‘happened’ to be her desktop background. At least I know one of the many words was accurate. 🙂 She wanted to chat to me regarding some matters of religion and family and the complexities of Christians in one home believing different things. (Yes, this happens…)
My pastor and mentor was also in my small group. Stretched! Since I need to facilitate for someone who knows so much more than I do. But then, you never go on an outreach expecting to stay in your comfort zone… or did I?
Now for a 2-3 am prayer session…
- No point in trying to write them down. There is so much going on in my mind. It seems that everything I thought I knew was disproved in an instant. I find myself trying to re-learn life… It seems what I knew before was a mere shadow.
- Think Plato
- Think ‘the Cave’
- I feel like I just came out of the cave and am experiencing life for the first time. It’s overwhelming and inconceivable. I need some serious down time to process, but I won’t have any of that for the next 8 days. I am still here to serve.