And… I did it! I talked about the verses in Jeremiah 17, about rooting ourselves deep in the Lord so we’re connected with our source, then our lives won’t be shaken by whatever outside circumstances come. It was fairly simple, and not super long, but I was happy when I finished. I sat down and it was like a runner’s high, only it was an Arabic high. Ok…maybe it was just a feeling of relief. Felt good all the same.
It’s not really difficult to elicit praise from this group (not that I’m complaining!), so their kind words were nice but I didn’t really take them as objective critics really. But British director lady is a little more difficult to please, and she was really impressed. It was great encouragement.
Right after we went into a time of prayer. It makes my heart heavy. There is so much going on in this country. The ch is under pressure on every side. There is fighting even within the church. Some of the properties where the centers are want them to move. There isn’t enough money for next years budget. There is continuing fighting in different parts of the country. Yellow fever outbreak. Persecution. Public transport is an increasing difficulty. International schools are under pressure and some are being forced to close. There was a failed attempt at a coup recently. Some foreigner friends and acquaintances are being very closely watched by gov officials. Some are being questioned, a few imprisoned. Visas are being denied. There are new littlies at the center (Which is great!) but their stories break my heart. This week in class we talked about female circumcision–a horrible, dangerous, mutilating practice that is still very present here. And the consequences of it. Wedding traditions which are, thankfully, starting to die out. Like marrying girls of at 10, 11, 12 years old. Gah! It hurts my heart and it makes me sad and even angry in some cases. How?! Why?? How do I have it so good in my life? Why was I given this cakewalk of a life? I mourn for the stolen childhoods and joy. I’m here and so close to many of these things that have moved and ached my heart for many years. Even being next-door to these things I still feel helpless sometimes. But the Lord is moving. Where there are hard times, where the enemy is persecuting, the Spirit of God is at work. It’s a paradox that has been true since the First Century. Grant me courage, Lord. And the presence of mind to speak and act.
These last few days have been really full, as I am anticipating this whole month to be. But good. Really good. I get to love my days here. I’m just smitten with the boys I get to work with. It’s so amazing. Sometimes there are periods where it feels like a struggle or a sacrifice. But really, overwhelmingly, I am happy–I am thankful. He is so good.