It’s been an incredible week and I am just so overwhelmed by the goodness and kindness of God. I am sitting on my front porch while seven little boys are being like little puppies, lazily frolicking and rolling over each other and laying on the cool concrete in the shade, oblivious to the rest of the world. My Christmas lights are up and we even have a little tree with ornaments and lights! There is a shop in the market that sells these things and they fit nicely with my limited solar power. The children and mamas love sitting on their veranda at night, looking at the lights, as they talk and laugh, reminiscing of Christmas’ past and dreaming of our Christmas to come.
Monday we loaded up our team as we were to go on outreach to the Army camp. I and my pastor and three of the team went ahead while the other team members took care of some outstanding immigration issues. We met with the Colonel who is now in charge, a different man than the General we had built a relationship with last year. He said that there were some problems that they had to see to for the next two days but after that we were welcome to come. We would receive a call. The Chaplain had just come in from spending the night roaming the bush looking for rebel troops who were rumored to be close about. The Colonel told us that there was insecurity and we should wait.
So we went home to wait. On Monday one of our missionaries and some of the children intercede at regular intervals throughout the day. On Thursday we decided that we would go to the marketplace on the main road about a stone’s throw from the Army headquarters compound. It is a public place and the only permission we needed was from the village chief. He said yes. We came early and decided to do some open air preaching. Four of us were able to share and encourage. Then we started the Jesus Film and hadn’t even got to the Passover Supper when the local police, a really nice army guy who was helping us, and our pastor had a side meeting at about 8:00 p.m. We were told that due to insecurity again, we would have to shut it down, that we were a very large target, 500 people in attendance, and it was too risky.
I was given ten minutes to encourage all to come on Saturday for a day of discipleship teaching under the mango tree. I want to say that I have seen or shown the Jesus Film more than 50 times and I have never felt such peace in such a large crowd. There was not one drunkard. THAT alone is very unusual. Everyone was fully engaged and the peace that surrounded us was incredible. At one point I was walking by myself all around the crowd interceding and not a single person bothered me. The Presence of the Lord was really in that place. I believe that this was a result of our children interceding on our compound on Monday. Prayer is the front line battering ram to open up a place. I told the children in church today that they were responsible for bringing the peace of God to that place. They were greatly encouraged. I feel like so much seed has been sown there so we keep watering.
On Friday morning I met for the last time this year (2015) with our Women’s Fellowship Group. There were over fifty in attendance. We had tea and biscuits and sand and danced and some came to give testimony. One lady was a refugee who was staying with her sister near us. She said that the rebels came to her village and everyone ran in all directions. When the bullets stopped flying she went in search of her children, all under the age of ten. She found the youngest first. She then spent all night searching and even fell to her knees crying to God for help. She found the other two, all unharmed. She told us that she prayed that wherever they had to run to, let the word of God be there. She was near to tears when she told of how she was so grateful to have found us and that the word of God is here.
Another lady stood up, the one whom was going to commit suicide earlier this year whom we came to encourage that very day. She said that more than anything, love has come to their village. She said many people preach the word of God but she doesn’t see love there. She kept saying over and over that love is truly in this place, love has come to them, and light has come to this village. My team of mamas spent the week preparing our gift to these ladies, which was a food basket of sorts for each, containing a 10 Kg bag of maize flour, beans, salt, sugar, chicken stock, and laundry soap and a skirt for each. Some of our older girls were serving the tea and the women and they joined my team and I as we laid hands on this gift and asked God to multiply to the ladies, He being their provider. My heart was filled to overflowing seeing the joy on their faces.
Economic times here are critical right now. The bank of South Sudan officially declared that the exchange rate would be at the mercy of the current market rate, black market, so there is no set rate. This is creating havoc in the marketplace and at fuel stations. People are crying out because prices are floating all over the place, nothing being stable. I spoke the Aaronic blessing in Numbers over our women’s group, and encouraged them to remain in the peace that only God can give. Our hope is only in Him.
We went back to the army marketplace on Saturday morning, my pastor going ahead of us to prepare the way. As we were going I received a call from my pastor. We were shut down once again. I actually got excited. I have never run into so much resistance on an outreach so I know that WHEN breakthrough comes it is going to be huge. God always reminds me how Daniel prayed and it took Gabriel and the archangel Michael twenty-one days to get through because the Prince of Persia resisted them. On Friday night I saw a very, very large cloud in the sky over our compound. There were no other clouds in the sky, just a clear sky and beautiful white moon. This cloud was in the very shape of an angel. I told the kids and my team to look because it was such an amazing thing to see. I refuse to be deterred in this. We press on. We are going to try again next Saturday.
Last night we had a big bonfire with the children and all the team and visiting team from Mozambique. The children ate s’mores for the very first time and were beside themselves with joy. We had a sweet time of acoustic guitar worship and prayer before the dust started flying with all the children dancing under the stars in praise to our great God. Tonight we will sit under the stars and watch The Nativity movie as a family, a very large family. Be encouraged and blessed this week and keep going to those places of resistance. God will surely give you the victory if you persevere!