What Africa is doing to us…

Maija’s PRAYER…She is SEEING. She’s getting it. “Jesus please bless all of us in this room tonight. Thank you for our warm house and warm, cozy beds…Please bless all the Ethiopian people just outside our gate. Please help them to have enough food and to have enough homes. Please help them to be happy. Please help them to open their hearts wide to Jesus.”

Evie asked me last night, “Mommy can you be in heaven with me?” YES. I promise.

Last night I shared with Evie of a little girl that is really sick and in the hospital…she quickly said, “Is her Momma with her?” Yes, I answered…”Does she like Bran Flakes?” (That is Evie’s favorite food!) Then, “Does she have a daddy?”

Reconciliation within… She’s been hurting and unkind for 3 days. She won’t say why. I see it on her when she wakes…as she walks, her eyes are down, her face does not light. She won’t laugh. Her voice is harsh and short. Why? My heart seeks…grieves, feels frustration. Finally on day 3 of this, I stop everything, clearly hearing the Spirit leading me, “Press in…seek out..love her…ask again.” So I do. I put down the spoon, I stop my cooking–press pause on my agenda. I look into her eyes…she looks down again and shrugs her shoulders, holding back tears…why? “Do you want me to guess?” I ask…she says, “no.” Tries to bravely look up at me, but she quivers and breaks. I hug her tight…wishing I just knew…knew what her pain was. Why her smile has been lost for 3 days. “Are you lonely, sweet heart?” “No.” She whispers again. Then she tells me how her brother has been acting…how he has hurt her. She tells me how he treats her in class…and I cry with her. I am so thankful that she is learning to share, learning to trust, learning to risk her emotions…I tell her all this and she looks stronger. I ask her if she’s able to tell her brother these things…she nods. We sit on the floor…cold and hard, just as our hearts can often be. I watch it melt though in tears and forgiveness. She tells him he’s been hurting her. His eyes now overflow. Mine too. We all sit in a tight circle, a family. We feel each other’s hurts…we grieve our sin together…around this small circle. He quickly apologizes, reaches to embrace. But then we dig deeper. Why? Why all this hurt and offense. Is there jealousy deep down…a bitter root? Is this why his stomach hurts each morning? Is the envy eating his insides? He admits. He says it with his own mouth. I am humbled at how this looks…this raw confession…this readiness to admit what is in the heart. The forgiveness flows. We pray. Together, we see Jesus stretching on the cross. Sense the power of His death…and the need..the very deep need for all of the washing…all of the transforming power to rest on each of us. We pray for newness…we ask for strength. We seek new hearts. This was one of the most precious moments sitting with my two oldest…watching them grow. Watching their hearts expand. Watching them see their need for a Savior…and then pour His forgiveness freely on each other…Seeing a depth and maturity begin to blossom in each of them…watching God breaking them and making them more like Jesus…I delight.

From the lips of Children, He has ordained praise…

Tonight Maija prayed, “Jesus thank you for all the people that sit outside along the road…thank you that they are your princes and princesses and you love them the most.”

Ella said, “Mommy…I think here, I am learning to be more grateful…we are so rich.”

Caleb, “Jesus is teaching me to love the poor…He reminds me that, ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’”