Last Sunday we went to visit our children in boarding school at Nehemiah to see how they are getting on after a week away from home. They were really so happy to see us. They have been spending their every spare minute copying notes from last year’s classes so that they can catch up with this year. They are really behind but the headmaster feels they will catch up so he isn’t worried. The children are crying for iPods or MP3 players or something to block their ears from the music that their new schoolmates listen to. This made me feel so happy that they are repulsed by the music that today’s teens are listening to. They said it makes them feel bad and they really miss our music. This was music to my ears. We have decided that if they want to come home on Fridays to worship with us then we will make that happen.
Today, I went to visit them again and one of our girls literally threw herself into my arms. She heard my voice and came running outside. This is a girl who never, and I mean never, shows emotion. She has missed her family so much after just two weeks in school. The school is nice and they have youth night three nights a week with good spiritual food. But our kids realized how much they are loved and they want to come home for the weekend next weekend.
On Wednesday night we gathered the teens as usual for our youth night teaching. We talked about how the whole world is complaining these days. Complaining about money, politics, health, their neighbors, their jobs and schools, members of their family, what they have or don’t have, so many things. I shared the story of how the Israelites tested God ten times (Numbers 14:22), complained against Him, and how it never led to anywhere good. It actually destroyed them, cancelled their promise, and caused their sons and daughters to wander the desert for forty years. They refused to be thankful to God. We talked about our promise, our destiny, and was it really worth it to complain away our future for a pair of new shoes today or some meat tomorrow. Paul admonishes us to not test God, that all theses things that happened to the Israelites, God’s chosen people, they were an example for us, a warning, to not complain.
Philippians 2:14 tells us that we are not to complain SO THAT we can be pure and faultless before God. The Bible tells us many times that complaining brings division, disunity and this is what God hates, even detests (Proverbs 6:19). We became serious Wednesday night and we wrote all of the things we have been complaining about on paper and then we put them on the altar (a fire pit) and we asked for the fire of God to burn them off of us and we repented. I then took them to Proverbs 3:9 where we honored the Lord God with our wealth, all the things that we do have, and we gave thanks. We are committing to take what God has given us and find ways to bless others this week. I pray that our hearts remain ever thankful and uncomplaining before the Lord and before others.
On Friday morning eleven of us left our base with backpacks and tents and we headed off to Goja down a small bush dirt road, which eventually turned into a path. We walked for some hours, stopping all along the way to pray and minister to people. That night we had our Land Cruiser bring our sound equipment so that we could show the Jesus Film and pray for the sick and the oppressed. Saturday morning we had discipleship teaching all morning in the church. Throughout these two days many came to salvation and many were healed and set free from addictions. People who were seriously drunk the day before were sober and sitting in our discipleship teaching the next day. God touched many lives and we feel that He gained some good ground in Goja.
My favorite experience during this outreach was when we came to a compound and found an older gentleman sitting by himself. He was probably about 65 years old and his face just shone so brightly and his smile was like looking at a fresh new morning. He went inside his small hut and brought us all chairs to sit on and his son came from the next compound with his wife and small baby. The entire family was so bright and full of light. We felt as if we stepped into heaven there and we just enjoyed each others fellowship and lifted God up in the midst of our gathering. It was such an unexpected treat to find such a rich Presence of God in a simple little compound tucked in the African bush, no mega church around, no electricity or famous speakers. Just this sweet family and the sweetness of God.
We walked home and felt a lightness in our step and agreed that the next walk-a-bout should be a six day adventure where we would pack up each day and push further into the bush, just like the disciples did, gaining ground as we go. These walk-a-bouts have become our favorite and most powerful ministry. And all of this came about because there was no fuel in our country because of politics and money. There is always a way to get the gospel to the people. Are we really willing to suffer for the gospel, no matter what?