The weekend before Christmas Berna and I took 4 girls to Sisiyi Falls Garden to share with them the word of God. As I wrote a couple weeks ago in this blog, God gave me a picture of ravens (basically, stuck eating dead things) and then doves (flying high and free). As Berna and I were planning, there was really no other pictures or scriptures the Lord gave to us to share. The previous times when we were going we had it all planned out, just what scriptures we were going to read and just what questions to ask, but this time we didn't feel any leading toward any particular thing, only the promise of the ravens to doves that God wanted to do in these girls lives. On the day we were leaving, God did give me one scripture, from Zechariah 3:1-7ish. I shared this with Berna as we met to pray for our trip before going to pick up the girls. As I was explaining to her I still didn't feel confident about going with so little preparation, and would this somewhat obscure passage in Zechariah make sense to girls who, have never really read the bible before and were not yet born-again?? I was encouraged by Berna as we were discussing, she reminded me that God loves these girls even more than we do, and longs for them to come to Him even more than we do, and we just had to go and be open to how He would lead. He wanted all the glory for what would happen on this trip, and us going so "unprepared" would guarantee this.
So...we prayed and left to pick up the girls. Theres, Maggie (14), Beatrice (16), Goretty (18) and her baby beatu (1.5) and Alice Angela (18). When we arrived at Sisiyi Falls, and were eating a snack we asked who was born again, and Alice was the only one who was born-again. After our snack we went up to our tents, put our stuff down and explored the river at the base of the falls. We climbed over rocks and rapids, and we laughed and enjoyed ourselves seriously. normally we would not spend so much time exploring, but do a planned bible study, but this time we just enjoyed God's creation for a couple hours. After we explored we bathed and went down for supper. We chatted during supper and afterwards we wanted to have our first bible study session...but we had no idea what we were supposed to share. We sat around and it was a bit awkward because we just kinda looked at each other. Then I said to Berna let's sing. She laughed and said, I was just thinking that. So we sang a few songs and as we were singing, I felt God wanted me to ask what was preventing these girls from being saved, why didn't they want to become born again (I thought, well at least this way we'll know what we're up against). So when we finished singing, Berna asked me to share anything the Lord put on my heart, so I shared it with her and she said, we could ask them, so we did. Maggie said she had tried being "saved" once, but failed, so she gave up on trying to be saved. But she wanted us to pray with her to become born-again. Goretty said she didn't really know why she wasn't born-again, her mother was, but she was not. She said she wanted us to pray with her to become born again, then Beatrice...She said she also wanted to become born-again, but her father was threatening his children so they would not become saved, like he would chase them away if they did. But she said she had a grandmother who was born-again, but had died. Then she said that on the monday prior to coming on the trip her grandmother came to her in a dream and told her she should become born-again, so beatrice was planning to ask Jesus into her heart at the next sunday service she went to, so she too wanted us to pray with her to become born again. So all three were desiring to choose Jesus! We wanted to make sure they understood what it meant, and that's when I saw the verses from Zechariah 3 that God had given me should be shared. We talked about the enemy, Satan, standing accusing us, discouraging our hearts, because of our dirty clothes (our sin), but then how once we accept Christ and invite him into our hearts our dirty clothes are removed and we are given new, clean and pure garments, and authority and the evil one has no right to stand and accuse us, or take us away from God. We explained that nothing that they did could separate them from the love of God. All of them said they understood and wanted to be prayed for, so we went up by the camp fire we had started and each of the three girls knelt down one at a time and we prayed for with them, then they prayed, then we prayed for them. It was a beautiful time and I could see that God wanted to do more than we could ask or imagine. That he had transformed ravens to doves, he had replaced slavery with freedom, sadness with joy. I was so encouraged by this, and knowing it was nothing that I did, but follow the Holy Spirit's leading, helped me to give God all the glory for this transformation in these lives! I want to stop here, because it's already long, but before stopping, I want to share what we found out the next day. So the next day we climbed to the top of the falls and Berna felt we should both share our life stories, so I shared then she did and then each of the girls shared some about their lives and any prayer requests that they had. All of this was in kumam (except my life story) so I didn't get much of it. After we came back down from the top of the falls, Berna shared with me the information the girls had shared and this is what she shared: Maggie had been dedicated to the devil when she was just born, they took her to the swamp and "gave" her to the demons, so she's had bad dreams her whole life. Beatrice, a lot of witchcraft in her home, her brothers were dedicated to the devil, demons disturb her while she is sleeping. Her father was asking for prayers of deliverance from the church, but at the same time refusing his children to become saved. Goretty, lives with her aunt and uncle, who have shrines and buried witchcraft charms all over her compound. And Alice, her father is a witchdoctor in a village two hours away, he used to have 4 wives until her mother and another wife left him, after her mother moved herself and the children away alice used to have episodes where she would "run mad (crazy)" not eating for days and fearing to show up at school naked, etc...they discovered that the daughter of the other wife who had left would run mad at the same time as alice would. But, once alice became born-again a couple years ago she no longer runs mad, she's been free of that. So her prayer requests were for total deliverance and for her father to become saved. These girls had really come through some dark stuff, and had suffered much in their short lives, but they were now being set free! The rest of the weekend we explored more the river, we shared on forgiveness and living as a follower of Christ and prayed over them deliverance from the evil one. It was a great weekend, and I feel honored that God could use me, a weak clay vessel, to share His word and love with these ladies and that such transformation would occur. Thanks to every one for praying! Please continue to pray for these girls as they had to go back into their families who don't know Christ and could easily become discouraged. We gave them each a bible, so you can pray for truth from His word to penetrate their hearts. And beginning again on the 8th of January we'll continue our bible study with these girls and about 14 other youth. We're also going to begin showing dramas in the community to share the word of God. I think the first one will be shown on the 9th, Lord willing. here's a few pictures from the time at sisiyi:
Here we are on top of the falls:
And at the bottom:
Studying the Bible:
After going under the falls:
And little Beatu, so cute: