TARA : 1st mission : September 9, 2012 The kids are in their pajamas…running wildly outside. Expectation. Hope. Longing for their Daddy. Me too. I feel anticipation, like that day 12 years ago, when I walked down the long aisle, looking into his gentle, captivated eyes. I saw this look and the giddy, boy-like joy in him last week when he came through the door… “Jewels, you’re not going to believe this…” He shared with unhindered delight what God was doing in the South…what God was doing in his own heart…how He was breaking him and calling him. The prayer I had prayed raw before the Lord only 2 months ago was being answered. The profession, the doctor skill –had been laid on the altar. The profession was handed up, poured out, as an offering to the Giver of all those precious gifts…those gifts that can help to heal, the heart that can share His compassion…those hands that can pray and hold and give.
As Dave was away on this trip, I walked through my days prayerful…a deep sense of awe was over me. But, I was unsure. I was flailing. How do I truly connect my heart to these people? How do I show my children the passion and call to pray, when I don’t even know how to do this? How do I lead all these little hearts…wouldn’t it be easier to just go with Dave? Wouldn’t it be more effective to be ‘doing’ the work alongside him? God stopped me in this thinking…He showed me a higher way. I called the kids around the table, still unsure of what or how I should show them. I looked at a printed list of scriptures…scriptures on Salvation. “Let’s read these,” I said…. “Let’s read these, and see what God tells us to pray for…” Their eyes were searching mine. Could they see my weakness, my uncertainty? Did they know I had never done this before either…never entrusted so much for something so much higher? We began reading together. I felt it. I saw it happen. Very slowly. God engaged all of our hearts. Through HIS Word. Through the Lamp. Through the Life-giving…he SPEAKS and it happens, Word. My heart comprehended something in a new way…and God ignited a passion. We read together, “If you believe, then you will be saved, you and your household.” Suddenly it was as if the Holy Spirit turned on a light to aid my eyes…to help me see. I spoke to my children, now with excitement and newfound JOY. We don’t maybe understand this verse in the United States as well, but HERE…HERE…if a daddy or a chief of a village decided to follow Jesus…they follow–all of them. Their whole family decides as a unit–as a body. Maija looked up at me, precious blue eyes, still murky with confusion. So I explained it again… So… “Who could we pray for?” She looked longingly, “Maybe for the Daddies??” And her grin widened as mine did! She got it! We bowed and prayed for the daddies of the tribe. Afterwards I sat, so humbled and so grateful. Though I am so weak in my devotion and so weak in my own skills of leading this small band of warriors here..God is always enough. The WORD is true and is our guide. The Holy Spirit leads us…He does shines that Light of Truth, of direction and prompting. I just need to rely not on my own knowledge or heart. Press in more to the Word and to His Spirit. God showed me this is the true work. Prayer–it places all back into the Hands that are strong enough and wise enough and can stretch across miles, and villages, and oceans, and languages….and He hears. And He longs for those He loves to cry out. To ask. To not forget…and to ask HIM what His heart is for His children.
When Dave hopped out of that big white car–exhaustion and joy covered him…and hugs and kisses from all of us. Oh, why is it the most complete feeling when we are all circled around him? I could breathe again. We greeted the others and Maija excitedly wanted to share with Mr. Ben what she had prayed….so she did. Then we heard his deep, slow voice in words I don’t think Maija or I will ever forget… “Well, Little Sister, God surely answered your prayer.” He went on to tell of the young boy whose life was saved, by our God whose love was extravagant enough to reach down into this village and lift him out…give him surgery and save his life. This boy, who was a follower experienced a deep suffering…a deep trial. Why? We wondered and prayed during the uncertain hours. This boy’s father and family members were not believers….yet. As the boy flew in fear and illness over miles away from his father, did he know what God was doing? Could he know that in all things, even in this, God was working for good? Could he know what conversations were happening far below him?
As the helicopter took the boys miles away for surgery–with no promises…and with deep pain and fear, Ben sat with the father….sharing again the Good News. This father was only filled with fear, desperation and…he was lacking. He could not save his son. He said to Ben, “I know that selling my cattle will not save my son….if Your God saves him, then I will believe. My family and I will believe.” Maija’s eyes grew bigger and bigger as Ben spoke directly to her precious little soul. My heart swelled and my eyes spilled over…I looked at my little one–so full of life and now her faith overflowed and burst out of her…she began jumping up and down and hugging her daddy! The prayers of this child…prayed in joy, prayed in purity and sincerity had been answered. She prayed in HOPE…that is the name we knew God desired her to have, “The One of Great HOPE…” and she is. She believed and she prayed. Dave’s eyes filled. Her faith was being strengthened and deepened…rooted in God. In a God who spoke through His Word…and then was faithful–as He always is–to His Word. He led our hearts and then gave us this precious, eternal gift…one that will never fade…He taught this heart, it is often in the ‘going’, but it is also in listening…in the praying, in the releasing of all to His strong hands. What will it be like one day, when Maija comes face to face with this man in heaven? Will they know the eternal impact they were graced to give one another? Oh, this gift! How immeasurable and vast is His love for us!