Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ms. Bertha

Something about her front porch took me across the ocean to an African slum. Just like that, I was in Sierra Leone again, walking through Kroo Bay, looking into people’s tin and tarp patched homes, stopping to pray with a few.

As Kyle and I walked by this Atlanta home, I was struck by the random collection of items I saw around her porch – an old stroller, a couch whose insides were spilling out, a broken mirror. It drew me in.

We made it two steps past her house when we heard a loud, “Hey! … HEY! … HEY!!” We turned around to find a beautiful older woman coming off of her porch walking toward us. As we said “hello” and gave her hugs, she told us she had just gotten out of the hospital, and showed us her arm that was bruised from the elbow down.

The 61 year old woman explained to us that her arm was broken in a fight. And although it was 2:30 in the afternoon, she confessed that she was drunk. “That’s how I make the pain go away,” she added.

We told her we knew Someone who could make her pain go away. She seemed familiar with this Healer that we spoke of, and eagerly took our hands and held them tightly as we prayed healing over her.

I gently placed my hand on her bruised arm as I prayed. She later told us that as soon as I placed my hand on her arm, she felt the pain move down her arm and out of her body completely.

Jesus took her pain away. “By His wounds, we are healed.”

About 30 minutes later, we were walking back by her house, and we saw her on her porch, using both of her arms to shake out a blanket. We yelled out her name from across the street, and she blew us kisses as we passed by.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Joy in the Journey

Upon returning to the States back in September, I fully expected to be returning to Sierra Leone sometime at the beginning of this year.

Every time someone asked me if and when I was going back to Sierra Leone, I would get this uneasy feeling in my gut as I gave my response, “The plan is to go back in January.” After a couple months of telling people this, I started paying attention to that little feeling that came along with those words, and decided to pray with a couple of my mentors about it.

After a lot of prayer, I’ve decided that there’s no need to rush this thing. After ministering alone in a foreign country for three and a half months, I’ve concluded that I don’t want to be on the mission field by myself again. I think getting the right team together before going back is well worth the wait. And I’m willing to wait however long it takes in order to be with the right people.

And if I am going to be completely honest, I feel like the vision in my heart to see children become who they were created to be could happen anywhere, not just Sierra Leone. There are children all over the world that need the tender love and care, and good discipleship that I desire to offer. I do want to return to Sierra Leone at some point, but I am open to go other places before returning to Sierra Leone if the opportunity were to present itself.

For a while, I was asking the Lord, “Where do I go?” and “When do I go?” But these aren’t necessarily the right questions for me to be asking right now. I now am asking, “Who are the ones with whom I get to do life? Who are the people that want to go to the front lines of this spiritual battle with me? Who are the ones with whom I love to worship and pray?”

Kingdom Family is so valuable. Right now, I’ve got a pretty good community in Atlanta, and I don’t think it’s worth giving up. I don’t know a whole lot about what’s next, but I do think I’ll be here a little longer as long as my community is here.

As hard as it was at first for me to be still and to come to grips with the fact that I wasn’t going back overseas for a while, I’ve really come to a place where I crave the Lord more than I ever have. His presence is life to me. I long to be with Him, and to worship Him. 

I think it was God’s plan all along for me to have a season of just being with Him, so that everything I do flows out of my adoration for Him. And I have complete peace about where I’m at, and my heart is so very thankful.

Recently, I have been nannying during the week for two sweet girls, and on Sundays, I’ve been helping get a children’s ministry started at my church, Lifegate International. And I’m learning the value of living one day at a time, moment by moment, enjoying this journey with the Lord.