everywhere are piles of dirt and sand and rock. stacks of brick defying the newspaper’s report that the economy is taking a downturn. along our street alone 5 buildings are under construction. 3 more over by the hostel. loans are not very common, so people only build as they have money. and they are building here.
kites dancing in the sky marking the changing season. sounds of children screaming ‘ohpahh‘ as another kite is cut from it’s lofty place. they love to fight with their kites.
my legs crossed as i took my place on the floor in front of 70+ women and their curious children. i shared the story of Jarius daughter and the woman with the issue of blood from Matthew 9:18-26
i sat, looking at their faces, and was overwhelmed with love for them. these precious ladies trying to make some money of their own. what money they are able to make is theirs to do with as they see fit. there are no ‘joint accounts’ in this culture. so when a woman is able to make her own money she can choose where it goes. food for the family, clothes for the children, new fabric for herself.
they are hungry for the Word of Jesus. i asked them what they would do if they heard a man was walking down their street who could heal people. they started to chatter. what would people do? what would they do? one lady nodded understandingly throughout my talk. i shared with them about boldy going to Jesus with their requests and having faith that He could do whatever they ask. in these stories faith is what made them whole.
at the end i gave them the opportunity to ask the group to pray for specific things and to my surprise, many of them did. usually they look quietly around the room and do not dare to speak, but this night was different. several women brought their children either verbally or physically to us for prayer. one little girl has headaches and stomach issues. one little boy had a fever. one mother just wanted us to pray blessing over her child. others asked for healing for a father with paralysis. a spouse. a friend. it was incredible. so, my friend and i prayed. we prayed specifically and generally over that sea of beauty. deep brown eyes, sleek black hair and cocoa colored skin. oh, how my heart bleeds for these women and their precious children. That each of them would come to know Christ and Him alone, crucified and risen again.
for them to accept Jesus is not the difficulty. they are quick to add any and everyone to their pantheon. but to forsake all others for One…unheard of. they cannot even begin to wrap their minds around this thought. that is what makes the work here so tedious. to break through the hundreds, no, thousands of years of pantheistic thinking. to crush the lies of the enemy that run rampant in this place.
i sit perched in a jeep. bumping and jolting our way back home. we pass a gypsy camp. a market. a tent city. rows and rows of trucks, sitting waiting for goods to carry to the next stop. nested here outside of the city limits so as not to collect fines. they are only allowed to cross in after dark. curious…but it works for them.
and as we rumble along, i wonder…
who will come after me?
who shares the fierce love i feel for these people apart from their Savior? who is bold? who will step out in faith and trust Him to lead them? who will carry this torch i have until He sees fit to bring me back?
there is much to be done. oh, there are people doing the work, make no mistake about that. but how much more could we accomplish if we were willing to stand shoulder to shoulder? to not be satisfied with a facebook update. not willing to simply skim through a set of pictures. but to be co-laborers, truly.
until they not only hear
until they know