We arrived at the church on Friday around 9:00am. We were the first ones there for this event that began…. At 9:00. “Okay Lord, I submit to You my schedule, my time, may I remember it is only Your time I must keep”. Shortly the youth began setting up their sound system and key board. I prayed the power would go out. I love the pure voices of Africa. However, the crackling static of massive blown hand me down speakers, the use of every out of tune function on the keyboard, played by someone who has as no idea how the instrument was actually intended to sound…. Not so much. “Okay Lord, I submit the worship to YOU, it is only YOUR ears it must please, only to Your heart it must offered”.
One by one the women arrive on African time. The schedule was being shifted and I would now begin teaching at 10 instead of 11. The first speaker had been canceled. I slipped out the side door and found Randy, “I need you to pray for me”. He lifted every need from my heart to our Lord without me even needing to explain! And I slipped back in as worship continued.
I had been preparing something on “being a servant of God” as that was the theme. But as I stood in worship, fully submitted to HIM…. I knew they needed to hear something else. I knew God was redirecting.
I pulled out my Colossians study. I said, “okay Lord, you need to do this one too!” And, I got up before nearly 75 women by this time, and asked them…. “Who is your president? Is he married? Her name? Children? Where does he live? What tribe is he from?” I asked a few other questions and as with each one, nearly the entire room answered in unison. “Ahhh, you really know him…. Tell me, last time you spoke with him on the simu (phone), where was he headed? What did he do last night for dinner? Did his family get him something special for his birthday? Oh, I want to buy him a shirt, what’s his favorite color? ” they all laughed, “we do not know”. Ohhh, you don’t KNOW him…. You only know OF him.
I had their attention and I asked them… Wewe, kunajua Yesu? Applause broke out. Hootin and clapping… Yes, we know Jesus!
I asked them, consider deeply… Do you KNOW Jesus? Or do you just know ABOUT Him? I asked a series of questions hoping would stir them to look deeper.
It was very evident that God wanted them to consider WHO it was they wanted to serve.
I shared with them scripture after scripture, passages and stories, Truths of His Word, and it all flowed together as though it had been carefully prepared. Truth is – it HAD been, just not by me.
I knew God spoke both Friday and Saturday, and I knew I had had the honor of being used by Him, as I continued to submit myself to Him.
The lesson of submission continued yesterday. We walked to the school for Bible Study. Again, Africa time. It doesn’t help to go later; they just adjust and come even later. But today I had plans! I had invited 25 women in the village for tea!
Derrick told the story today and did a great job! Randy continued to teach in John 2 AND in addition to our normal crew… We had 4 visitors including two Leaders from the Seventh Day Adventist church! The Bible Study was good and Randy supported the answers to his questions with scripture that our visitors promptly looked up! Praise God! How exciting!
Oh, pray they return next week! Randy will be coming to John 3:16!
I got home and set the table with cookies, mandazi, sweet bananas, pineapples and apples! I served chocolate, jam, honey and powdered sugar for the mandazi. Chai and Cocoa! It looked great! I kept praying, “Lord, take this day! Accomplish YOUR desire!”
That pre-party anxiety began to rise as loads of kids showed up, peering in the windows and putting their hands and noses all over the glass I had cleaned earlier. I had an issue with the mandazi, Randy got into my food on the table and made a mess…. Uuuggghhh. “Lord, I submit this day to YOU, help me let go of my craziness! Help me to not get caught, as my sister Martha, and miss that One Necessary THING!”
My neighbors began to arrive, but only the non English speaking ones! I strained to keep conversation going with my limited Swahili, even though one thought took 5 minutes to explain, looking up words in my handy dandy pocket English-Swahili dictionary.
After most women had arrived, I prayed for the food and the women promptly moved everything to the coffee table…. Oh…. Oooookay. Immediately I saw coffee spilling on my rug and a glob of strawberry jam. “LORD, I submit this house, the rug, the now muddy floors… To YOU…. Fill this place with Your Spirit.”
The afternoon was wonderful and my sweet new friends ASKED for a regular time together!! So I suggest the Bible Study and then I was asked to “teach the men that they should NOT be drunkards”. Well, many of these men come to our Sunday Study! I asked them if they pray for them… “Lets get on our knees and ask God to move in their lives”. I reminded them that God wants their husbands to KNOW HIM!!!! So we prayed my favorite prayers… God, open the eyes of our understanding, of our husband’s understanding… Pour out YOUR wisdom and knowledge in the revelation of Your great love for us… For them!!!
God is working in this place! HE wants to make lives NEW, fulfilled and reconciled to Himself!
Please… Keep praying with us. Keep praying FOR us. God is every bit as much at work IN us as He is THROUGH us! Pray our hearts continue to submit to HIM.