Friday, September 23, 2011

How old is Hellen?

Everyday that my house helper Hellen comes I ask her if she has found out her birthday yet. I make some smart aleck comment along the lines of, "Hellen! today could be your birthday, what if it's today and I haven't even gotten anything for you?" Then she proceeds to try to call her sister who stays with her mother to find out when her birthday is. Usually the cell network is down so she's not able to reach, then if she gets through to someone either they are out of the house or the mother is. Hellen knows she was born in 1979. But that is all. She doesn't know the month or day, but thinks her mother does. Earlier this week her uncle called me looking for Hellen, after telling him she had already gone back to her home, I asked him if he had found out when her birthday was. He said it was February 2. I began rejoicing that we finally solved the mystery, but then he added, 1975. I remember that Hellen knew clearly that she was born in 1979, so I asked him if he was very sure, he said yes, that that was the correct date. I hung up not super convinced now that the mystery had been solved. I called Hellen and asked her, she stood firm on the year of her birth being 1979, as she said, her older sister, the one that had died already was born in '75. now is the day right and just not the year? or is the year and day right and hellen just always knew wrong? It would be quite the shocker to think you're 32 only to find out you're really 36. So now, I think we have to communicate directly to the mother and see if we can't solve this mystery yet...until then, I'll just keep giving Hellen a present everyday I see her, just in case (I know she's missed out on at least 32 celebrations...and maybe even 36). If anyone wants to guess the correct date, i can give a prize to the closest's a photo of her to help you in your guessing...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bible Study Development

So, officially we've started bible studies with three of the five areas that I'm working in with children who have been affected by armed forces. They have been good. We had some 35 at one (Lotuke and Abim were combined in this one) and about 25 at the other (Omoro). But I feel like there is a problem b/c these areas are big and the youth are scattered throughout and some came walking to the meeting place and it took them over two hours to get there. Ideally we would break the groups into smaller groups, one in each parish (there are 4-5 parishes in a sub-county). But who will lead these groups then? We've sent multiple potential leaders through the Father-Heart encounter, but very few seem very interested in the children and youth's spiritual growth. Right now these bible studies are not self-sustainable. Please pray with me that God would reveal the next steps for creating smaller groups in each area. Or do I just work with one smaller group and try to get them started and then go from there? I need wisdom and discernment. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few, pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send out more workers! For Him to bring forth the ones that are interested in serving these youth.
Below Pastor James is sharing from the Word of God at the Lotuke/Abim bible study, with a local pastor, Pastor David translating for him.
Here Berna is sharing a Word she felt the Lord put on her heart to encourage the youth.

I know God is able to do beyond what we ask or imagine, so ask and imagine with me with Him and see what He shows us and what He wants to do and what He's doing. thanks.

Monday, September 12, 2011

God answers prayers

So, today I was headed into town on my bicycle to drop some things off to a friend, when I spotted one of my neighbors also headed toward town. I stopped and greeted her and asked her where she was going. she said to market. I asked her if she wanted a ride, and she agreed. So she sat on the bicycle rack and we began moving toward town. I said, "I thought that you quit that job of running the shop and started selling cassava chips by the road side instead." she said "Thank you for your prayers, God answered our prayers and the lady who owns the shop came to me at home, after one week and told me she would increase my wages and provide lunch for me if I would come back." A couple months ago, I had visited her in the clothing shop in market. She was complaining that the owner lady was paying her little and not even providing her with money for lunch which she really wanted because she brings her baby with her to work. I explained to her that her heavenly Father cares for her and is the One who can provide, and I offered to pray for her right there from the store. Normally I'll just say, I'll pray for you and I do it from the privacy of my room, but that time I felt I should pray right then and there. So we prayed for the owner and for the increase in wages and the lunch money and now the lady has given it to her. She kept saying God answered your prayers the whole way into town. and she added that she's reading her bible now. It made me happy to hear this testimony of God's goodness. So many times lately I've had the opportunity to share with people about God as their Good Father who wants to provide for them and then I will pray for them. I felt this was a good reminder that my prayers are not in vain, that they are indeed reaching the ears of a loving Father, who wants to provide for His children.
I'm now remembering also, that this morning I was praying that I would be walking so well in my identity as the daughter of the King that anything that was not of Him would become so obvious to me. Now by this evening He's pointed out to me three distinct things that need to be taken care of in my life: my pride, my competitive spirit and my fear of close relationships. It wasn't until just now (at the end of the day) that I realized it was another prayer that God answered. And though it hurt my heart to realize those ugly things are still within me, I'm so thankful that He answered that prayer and that He's working on those things. And that I cannot remain the same. He is faithful to complete the work that He has began in me. He is bringing me from one degree of glory to another, changing me into the image of Christ. And for that I am eternally grateful. He's a faithful Father who takes good care of His children.