Monday, January 13, 2014

70 Kilos of meat - power = eternal life

For Christmas every year the men on the farm slaughter a cow.  They usually do it early so all 92 staff members can take some home.  The rest is left in a freezer for Christmas eve and Christmas day dinners.  Our staff party was on the 20th so the cow was slaughtered that day.  The remaining 70 Kg (150lbs) was put in the freezer at the central kitchen. This would all be fine but our power had been out for most of December.  Check out this blog post to see the details.   As our power, thus the freezer, is only on 8 hours in a 24 hour period, the meat never completely froze.

So, on Sunday morning (a couple of days after the staff party), one of the house moms came to me in a frenzy to tell me that the meat was going bad.  It wasn't bad yet but it was on its way.  Which meant we had to go to village life mode or what we would call colonial life mode.  Roasting and salting the meat every day until Christmas.  The moms all had to go down to the kitchen and work together to save 150 lbs of beef!  This meant none of the moms would be able to help with junior church.  So  I grabbed "What God wants for Christmas" box and walked up to the house where all the kids were gathering.  One of the older girls was there to help with crowd control.  I began the story but before I got to box #1, all the boxes had been opened and overturned by one of the boys.  I had to pray, clean up and begin again.
So we went through the Christmas story and God's plan and desire for us to give our life to Him.  We discussed and I invited any and all to pray if they wanted to give their lives to Him.  Many acted willing and excited to do so until I told them the alternative was to go to the playground.  All choose the alternative and ran down to the playground except these two little guys:

Festo, age 7 and Matthew age 8 live in the same house and were both obviously ready to ask forgiveness of sin.  They both readily told me that they had sinned and gave an example.  Now, Matthew has cerebral palsy and has a difficult time communicating but it was obvious he was confessing and wanting to repent of his sin.

Praise God with us for these two guys! Pray that we would disciple them well.  Pray that they will be young men who will change their world for Christ.  We are grateful that because of a bunch of rotting meat, God brought about a life changing day for these guys!

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. John 6:27

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Finding my way in the dark

We live in a dark place and as of recent it has gotten darker.  It is a dark place both literally and figuratively.
In the last 4 or 5 months, the power lines in our area have been cut 4 times.  And when the power lines are cut, we are without electricity until the company can come out and repair the lines.  The first two times weren't a huge deal, the company came out within the first few days put up new poles and cable and our power was restored.  In fact the 2nd time, the poles were on our property so Mark and 20 other men helped put them back up.  The 3rd time was 3 weeks ago.  About a week ago, after the power had still not been restored, they informed us that they didn't have enough cable and didn't know when they would.  A couple of days ago, we got word that MORE poles were cut and cables stolen.  We have been told that our district has a real problem with power pole vandalism.  So literally, we live in a dark place.

As it has been 3 weeks since we had no power, we have learned some coping skills.  We do have a generator so it is turned on at 2-3 hour intervals during the day; so we have electricity for 8 hours in a 24 hour period.  The power goes off at 10 pm for the night, so we have learned to get everything done by then.  We have flashlights by our beds and candles posted all around the house.  The refrigerator doesn't stay cold enough but the freezer is still staying strong, so I put a bottle of water in the freezer during the day and put in the refrigerator to help keep things cool during the long night of no power.  We are learning to cope but we also hope and pray for power and light soon!  

It is also a very dark place figuratively,   We get word often of  curses, witchcraft and demons.  We deal on a regular basis with cases of child abuse, neglect, abandonment and incest.  We get overwhelmed at times by the news that comes in from the villages surrounding us.  Overwhelmed with a desire to make things right, overwhelmed with "I wish it wasn't this way", overwhelmed with hopelessness.  We figuratively live in a very dark place.  

So do we learn to just cope in this dark place?  Learn to become apathetic to the tragedy all around us and do nothing?  Oh it is so tempting!  But just like having flashlights and candles around, we need to have the Word of God--the truth planted firmly in our hearts.  I am grateful I have the Word of God and His Spirit to guide and comfort me in the darkness.  However, I must also share that light with others.  

We ask you to pray for us in this dark place.  Pray for wisdom in loving those in darkness and sharing His light to them.   Pray as we teach others to share their light as well.  We ask specific prayer for the local pastors and church leaders that they will know the truth and share it with others.  Mark has the opportunity to train local pastors how to truly study their Bible and to disciple others in the Word of God.  We ask that you pray for that training.  

Overall, we ask for prayer for the light to shine brightly here in our district both literally and figuratively.