Today as I try to write what is in my heart, I find myself at a loss for words and as one singer said “It comes out I love you”. It means so much more and no matter what, it comes out I love you. Have you ever been in love? Have you ever felt the kind of love that makes you feel like a part of you is missing when that person isn’t around? Have you ever been that in love with someone that you’ve never met, someone that you don’t even know their name or what they look like?
When Denver and I heard God’s call for us to go to South Sudan, we were very excited to “look after orphans” – James 1:27. We tried to plan the time that we would go to be when the kids would not be in school so that we could love on them as much as we possibly could. At the same time, we both felt God was calling Denver back into the ministry and we tried to figure out how all this fit together. As plans began to come together, we learned that we would be going during a time the kids would be in school and although we will still get lots of time with them, it would not be our primary focus.
Currently, all of our communication is done through a gentleman in Texas who contacts South Sudan to determine what our mission will involve on this trip. One of the primary objectives is to spend some time with Pastor Dennis and Mama Lilly, who started Harvesters; this will help us in determining Gods call for us to long term missionaries in Africa. In addition to that, Denver will be working with the Pastors in Yei and have some teaching opportunities with the older boys at the chapel there. He will also be preaching while we are in Terakeka (Both are orphanages run by Harvesters; we are spending time at both locations). When he is not preaching / teaching there is plenty of construction work and other things to be done. (Maybe one of these days he can write a blog explain more in detail about the ministry work that he will be doing there. It is very exciting)
After it was determined what Denver would be doing, the question came from Harvesters of “what are your wife’s gifts and what are some of the things she would like to do”? At first the question seamed so simple: work with the children of course. Why else would I go to an orphanage? So I began to pray about what exactly to say and what were my gifts? It didn’t take long before I heard God say that I should work with the widows at the orphanage (the orphanage hires widows to help care for the children, to do laundry, cooking, etc.). Hmmm…..there is the rest of the verse “to look after orphans and widows in there distress”. I continued to pray and Gods voice was so clear that I began to get very excited – it’s always much more exciting when you walk in total faith than when you are doubting what you’ve heard. In the same way that I will never forget the exact moment and details of hearing Gods call to South Sudan, I will never forget any detail to God’s call to work with the widows. He gave me the message that I was to share with them in a bible study and also a quilting project that I was to do that would illustrate the message.
I contact the gentleman in Texas with what God had directed me to do and he passed that information on to the orphanage in Yei and I was left to wait for the response. I would need them to be in agreement with what God had directed me to do. I waited, and waited, and waited. I prayed that God would reveal this to Mama Lilly, because I did not doubt what He had called me to do. I even thought, well if Mama Lilly doesn’t agree then I’m going to go with my message in hand because I know that is what God is saying to do – not that I intended to go against her but just to be prepared for when the door opened because I knew that it would. Finally after 5 weeks, I received an email and at the very end it said something to the effect of: Oh and I can’t remember if I told you or not but mama Lilly said she thought that was a great idea. One of those moments when you feel that the answer was there all along and that your faith was being tested as you waited for the answers. My excitement grew even more!!
There is so much to explain and so much that I probably can’t find the words for, but don’t get confused into thinking that I was excited because I just love the heart pounding effects of sitting with a group of woman that I don’t know and that really I know nothing about and delivering a message to them from God. It isn’t that I just love that leadership role and thrive for those very moments. No, I would rather find myself listening quietly in a corner; listening and learning from someone else, but God’s call that day was so clear that the excitement and joy inside was His; and the love inside is His as well. At the same moment that I heard His message about what I would be doing with these amazing women in South Sudan, I instantly and completely fell in love with them.
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? – 1 Corinthians 3:16For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ – 1 Corinthians 12:12
And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Ephesians 2:22
God’s Holy Spirit dwells in me; that same Spirit dwells in each of those woman in South Sudan. Together we are members of Christ body. God so loved the world (every person) that He sent His son.
That same spirit that dwells in me and loves me dwells in them and loves them. At that moment that God spoke to me about another part of the body of Christ and what they needed, I felt a deep love for a part of this spiritual body that I’ve never met, that until that moment, I had never even thought about; it flooded in my like a powerful tsunami and now no matter how I try to explain it, it just comes out
I love you