I decided to update you all, sorry it isn’t Bonnie this time. God has a purpose for us. God has a call for us; we are here exploring both of those on our lives. Not exploring our comfort with it, but getting clarification and focus on the calling on our lives. This internship came for many reasons: a dream I have always had, a school requirement, and to get out of our comfort zone. I have always wanted to do something BIG for God. He has done so much for us; I cannot help but to strive to tell others. But I haven’t. When in the states I find myself just going about life. Just going to work, just hanging out with friends, just “being a good person,” just blah. There can be exciting times and boring ones. There can be difficult times that lead us closer to God, and easy ones that deepen our thankfulness. But many times I feel as if that isn’t it. This isn’t what being Christian is. There has to be more.
I am in the states, know the culture, know people, know ministries, know the language, and know the gospel, but speak little of the great news. I travel across the world following God’s call, and find that I barely know the culture, don’t know many people, only touch the surface of ministries, only know enough of the language to make people think they can talk to me but after a few words I am done, I still know the Gospel, but now when the ABILITY to speak to others about it is stripped away I HATE IT. I hate not being able to say the simplest thing of God’s love. I hate not being able to speak the truth of God to people in need. I hate not being able to help everyone. I hate not being able to bring justice to a broken land and system. I feel paralyzed and useless. I cannot just go out and evangelize as I have envisioned (I have no idea why). The very purpose of this internship departs drastically from any short-term missions trip we have been on. We don’t come here and have this big list of ministries we are going to help, projects we are going to do, times we will preach, lessons we will give, people we will meet, and houses we will build. We are here to observe, serve and grow. We go and meet people on our own. We seek out ministries we might want to be involved in. We wait to be asked to preach. We wait on and follow God. It is hard. It is hard because the growth you have and the leading from God isn't a tangible thing. Any relationships we build now would seem minor in comparison to getting to aid in building a house. Any ministries we observe/help will be hardly changed by our help because of the enormity of the task at hand. So it can be very frustrating to look at this internship from even my own perspective, much less others.
But God shows his approval when a great man of God who knows little to no English toils with you for hours learning an instrument. He tries to understand you, he tries to communicate problems, he tries to make the same noise. Why? Why are we both sitting looking silly doing this? Because we serve the same God. He sees the use of something (however silly some might view it) I have to offer and its power in his culture. After what seems like no progress, this man’s love for God and music and the combining of the two becomes too powerful. He stops, looks, and mustering his English says, “I…Love… you.” Tears in his eyes, he continues, “We are Brothers.” Two dudes from totally different everything, drawn and joined by a Love for God.. When your culture is shown to have holes in it that blind you to awesome parts of God, it is aweing. When the depth of your marriage grows by leaps and bounds and God enters in a way not had before, it is powerful.
It is interesting to see the character and impact of a person. Throughout our whole lives we enter into and affect people. We do God’s work, we bless others, and follow our maker. In our deaths, all of these things are brought forward. This past Sunday morning Ed got a call that Wasso died. Wasso was the head of the house we were going to do our bonding with. He had 12 children and a full life. His diabetes nearly blinded him as of late and finally brought its last blow. He passed away on Saturday night when his blood pressure skyrocketed and his blood sugar plummeted. The law here says you have to bury a deceased within 24 hours of their death. So the funeral was on Sunday after church. This was the first time I saw mourning. Raw, unrestrained, unbidden mourning. Family members sprawled out during the service wailing for their father. A mother and wife who could not walk much less be silent or hold back tears. We went to the grave site, only to find we couldn’t get close at all because of the four to five hundred other people who were there as well. I thought of my parents, and understood everything.
There is a lady we are going to support here. We told you about here previously, she is from Rwanda. All her family and everyone she knew was killed in the genocide there, but she and her children escaped. She is thankful for so much when she has so little. She was told we are looking for a sponsor for her and she fell to her knees and praised God right there. Well she is in the hospital right now and is VERY sick. She couldn't make it to the hospital and we had to send a guy up there to get her to the hospital. Her oldest daughter is 14 and is now caring for all the younger children and bringing food daily for her as well. We would love to say “money money money will solve the problems,” but that isn’t true. Right now it is in God’s hands. They do not know what is wrong, and if they did they might not be able to help because of the situation. Please plead for her, Florence is her name and she is a dear woman of God. Don’t just think “OK, next time I pray, I will pray for her,” freakin stop reading this now and ask God for his healing hand. Ask God to bring wholeness to a very broken woman. Please.
With the great amount of joy we find, here we also find sorrow, please just pray. There is soooo much to write about and I am sorry if I didn’t communicate much (it seems the norm). Tomorrow we take the three hour drive to the orphanage to see yet another ministry in need.
Pray dearly for us brothers and sisters, we will need it.