This is the third in a 4-part series.
Eucalyptus and papyrus. Do we need those yet? Not yet, but soon.
Having been evicted on Sunday, the church elders met together on Tuesday. Pastor Sam informed us that he received a phone call from a landowner with whom we had been negotiating. While we were certainly interested in the property, we did not have sufficient funds to purchase it. But this time the phone call – which actually came immediately following the Sunday service in the sun – was to inform us that the owners of the land felt God telling them to allow us to use that land and pay for it later. They weren’t even members of our church, nor were they aware that we had just been evicted. But God knew – and He was the one to whom we had been directing our prayers.
“African Time” refers to how slowly things move here. Africa is simply on a different kind of timetable. “God’s Time” is at times a long wait and other times miraculously fast. With the offer of the land on the table, Pastor Sam was able to meet the landowners, the LC1 (local village leader, essential for all legal matters) and other witnesses that very same day when the elders approved the deal in principle. By the time the elders met again on Wednesday, the official papers had been signed and the land belonged to the church! No payment is due for one year and even then the church does not have to make full payment if we don’t have it. Glory to God! Answered prayers!
|A church brings new life to an old maize field.|
Next challenge: A scrubby field of maize occupied the one-acre land and there were only 3 days until Sunday. God brought the church body together. One person volunteered to oversee the building of a structure. A workday was organized for Saturday to clear the land and the village paths leading to it and to erect the structure. Several church members offered their papyrus mats which are commonly used for roofing and walls. The church had enough funds to purchase two large plastic tarps to make the structure more rainproof. Another member offered to make choir uniforms. A used signpost had even been given and a volunteer had painted it for the church – ready to use, but not yet planted in the ground. Pastor Sam told the elders, “The community has given everything we need. We are only lacking eucalyptus poles to construct the framework.” Well…
GSF has not recently planted churches, but we have been planting eucalyptus trees for several years. They grow fast and tall and straight. There are probably over 3,000 eucalyptuses of various sizes on the GSF campus. Given that GSF staff and children make up about one-third of the church, we also decided to give from our means. Not mzungu money or donor funds or American-style capital campaigns. We gave from what we had, just like the other church members were doing. Light of the World Church could take as many eucalyptus poles from our land as they needed.
|The first Sunday in our rustic new church structure.|
Within 3 days the land was cleared and the structure erected. We met together on Sunday in a brand new 30x80-foot structure, which is about 4 times the size of the rented schoolroom where we met the week before. Did God just answer our prayers, or did He go exceeding abundantly above all that we asked or even thought possible? Beyond answered prayers!
(To be Continued)
A Church Amazed - Part 4
A Church Amazed - Part 4