Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thy Will, Not Mine

"I asked the Father for just one thing in this life...His perfect will in our lives...not the easy road."~Adeye Salem, No Greater Joy Mom

As I was reading Adeye's blog post this morning, this statement resonated deeply in my spirit. Before God brought us to Africa, there was a particular day that I felt compelled to get down on my knees and pray. It was one of those moments where you know the Father has something to say and you need to listen! So I positioned myself to hear His voice, and He asked me a question:

"Do you want my will, even if it's hard?"

My immediate response, only by the grace of God and the help of the Holy Spirit:

"Yes, Lord! Only because I know that you will give me the grace and strength I need. You will help me!"

In my journey with Jesus, this has always been my desire~even though I haven't always been successful at it~to know and to do the will of God. Since we arrived in Africa, I have had my moments of struggling~desiring to go back to the "ease" of Western living. But then God gently reminds me of the above exchange and I say, "Oh yes, I signed up for this!" His grace truly is sufficient.

Yesterday I was talking with a dear friend who is going through one of those trying times. Though she desires a certain outcome, she shared that she was at peace with praying, "Your will be done." I had to smile, because she is exactly where she needs to be. She is acting just like Jesus! In the absolute most agonizing time of His life here on earth, He was crying out to the Father..."Get me out of this, if possible! Nevertheless, not my will, but YOUR will be done." How can we do any less as His disciples?

Thy Will Be Done by Derek Webb
Words by Charlotte Elliot, Music by Justin Smith ©2009 Justin Smith Music

1. My God and Father! while I stray,
Far from my home in life’s rough way,
Oh! teach me from my heart to say,
“Thy will be done!” “Thy will be done!”

2. If Thou shouldst call me to resign,
What most I prize, it ne’er was mine.
I only yield Thee what was Thine;
“Thy will be done!” “Thy will be done!”

3. If but my fainting heart be blest,
With Thy sweet Spirit for its guest,
My God! To Thee I leave the rest,
“Thy will be done!” “Thy will be done!”

4. Renew my will from day to day,
Blend it with Thine, and take away,
All now that makes it hard to say,
“Thy will be done!” “Thy will be done!”

5. Then when on earth I breathe no more,
The prayer oft mixed with tears before,
I’ll sing upon a happier shore,
“Thy will be done!” “Thy will be done!”

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I would gather children

Some would gather money
Along the path of life;
Some would gather roses,
And rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin;
I would seek a golden curl,
And a freckled, toothless grin.

For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day;
And roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.

But, oh, the laughing children,
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to heaven
I can take them in with me.

-Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Overseas Missions Q&A video

One of our brothers in Australia asked Sean to make a video answering various questions about Overseas Missions. There is a slideshow at the end!

Overseas Missions Wallacia from Missions Machine on Vimeo.

Friday, June 20, 2014

To our beloved followers

As you can imagine, most of our energy right now is taken up by simply trying to do daily life and the ministry that God puts before us. Because of this, for now we will be posting the majority of our updates on Facebook. Our ministry page is here: Living Isaiah 58

If you are not on Facebook, you can visit our website at: A People For His Name  and sign up to receive our newsletter (we plan to write the first newsletter this week!), or you can just bookmark the website and check there for updates.  Our Facebook  posts are automatically uploaded to our website, so you won't miss a thing!

We don't want to lose touch with anyone, so if neither of these options suit you please let us know and we will try to work something out.

Upendo na baraka kwenu! (Love and blessings to all!)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Update on Janet

In my last post I told you about Janet, the pastor's wife I prayed for who recently lost a baby. Yesterday, Janet and her husband came to visit us and I learned some very encouraging news. She had been having severe back pain for quite some time that hindered her from running the family business. When I prayed for her, I prayed for her back as well as her whole being~physically and spiritually. While my prayer was full of compassion and empathy, at the time it did not seem that she had even been a willing participant, let alone a recipient of any kind of answer.

Yesterday I learned that after that prayer, she had only a few twinges of back pain and had fully recovered and was able to do everything she needed to do to resume caring for her family. Basically before that she had been bedridden. She was very happy and thankful to feel well again. With her husband's help, I was able to share the Psalm that God had given to me for her (and myself) after our last meeting. We were both so thankful for God's goodness and faithfulness to us!

I share this because I hope to encourage you in the Lord~don't let anything stop you from reaching out to and praying for those who are suffering. It doesn't matter if you feel unqualified, or like a failure if you don't see the results you desire. God will take your obedience and do whatever He wants with it. Trust Him!

And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God. 2 Cor. 3:4,5

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Healing the brokenhearted

Sunday we visited a new church and the pastor informed us that his wife was ill, so after the "session" (that is what they call it here) we walked to his house to pray for her. Once there we discovered that she had given birth 3 weeks previously and the baby had not survived. Having lost a daughter myself, my heart was immediately grieved and I felt such compassion for this poor mama. Her name is Janet.

I made my way through the cram packed sitting room to Janet's chair and my impulse was to hug her and cry with her, but it seems that Kenyans don't show much emotion at times like this, and they do not even greet one another with hugs as we are used to. She didn't even seem to be comfortable with me holding her hand as I prayed for her. I could barely choke the words out in the beginning, and a tear fell from my eye onto her hand, which was still open in my gentle grip. I prayed for her physical and emotional healing and with an awkward "amen", headed back to my seat. As we left, I assured her that I would be praying for her.

Her husband, Hudson, walked us back to his church. Along the way he confided in me with a pained look on his face, that his wife did not want to live in their home anymore. She was desperate to get out of there, and he was worried for her as she was not behaving normally. The Holy Spirit seemed to speak through me as I told him that she was trying to run from her grief, but there was no escaping it. She would have to go through it with Jesus, and He would carry her. I continued to pray for Janet throughout the afternoon and evening.

I haven't said anything, but I have been struggling to adjust here in Africa. It has only been 2 weeks and culture shock is a reality that cannot be ignored. I have shed many tears lately. I woke up the next morning sad and in despair...longing for home or at least another home of our own here in Africa where we can settle in. Immediately, the Lord brought to mind the words that I had spoken to Hudson the previous day and I realized that I, like Janet, could not run away from the assignment God has given me here. I must go through it with Jesus, and He will carry me. Then the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 139, which sums it up perfectly:

1 O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

Thank You, Father.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Our first week in Mombasa

We arrived in Mombasa at 3am last Wednesday after a very long 30+ hour journey. Getting through immigration was a breeze this time, but then we discovered that only 2 of our suitcases had made it to the airport. As you can imagine this was a bit distressing! One of the baggage men just so happened to be a Christian brother and he went above and beyond the call of duty to get our luggage to us 2 days later. He also invited Sean to go on an outreach with him in Samburu on Saturday. They distributed food and other items and preached the good news.

Do you remember Dennis? The motorbike driver that surrendered his life to Jesus during Sean's trip to Kenya last August? Sean was invited by his new pastor to preach on Sunday. I didn't get pictures, but the church was what we would call a "hole in the wall". There were about 25 of us crammed in there and it kept raining and soaking everyone in the back row. The hole in the wall next door was full of garbage and the flies were abundant. Welcome to Africa!

After church, we visited Dennis' cousin and his family. They lost a newborn baby recently, but were so gracious to invite us for lunch. We believe that God is working in their lives and they will play a big role in the kingdom when they are converted! Their home is the perfect setup for house church meetings.

There has been some opportunity for ministry here at the YWAM base as well. A young man came to the gate asking for 200 Kenyan shillings to start his own shoe repair business. He has a young wife and baby who are separated from him right now and he is homeless. After speaking to him and seeking God, we have given him some work to do here at the base. When he earns the money to buy his shoe repair equipment, Sean will go with him to make the purchase. Sean and some of the other men here have been discipling Willington, who wants to preach the gospel. We hope to reunite him with his family very soon. The neat thing is that Dennis took it upon himself to find a room for Willington to stay in until he can afford to rent a place of his own. We are so happy to see him growing in the grace and knowledge of God.

Tuesday we visited the Baby Life Rescue Center I posted a video about some time ago. We are looking forward to working with Peter and Selpher to rescue abandoned babies and care for them until the Father sets them in their families. They have many empty beds that they haven't been able to fill due to lack of finances (for food and supplies), so we are trusting God to provide that need.

Life at the base has been a blessing and a challenge. We are in a cabin (think family camp but a lot more rustic). The bathrooms are all outhouse style. We have all kinds of wildlife visiting us~geckos (and their poop), huge millipedes, poisonous centipedes, and most of all mosquitoes who have never met a repellent they couldn't beat. Basic tasks like laundry take forever for us greenhorns. And cold bucket showers...well you can figure that one out!

The children have been making the most of it~helping out with chores like cooking, cleaning and taking care of the shamba (garden).

We are thankful for the loving hospitality of our brothers and sisters here at the base and also for the time to acclimatize ourselves to life in Africa while we wait on God to provide a home for us. Sean has been looking and we do have some prospects. We want to be where the Lord wants us, so please pray for His open door to be obvious.

Words can't say how much we cherish the love and support that you have shown us~we love and miss you all!