Well today has been a good day! We ate breakfast and then got ready to board the buses and go to camp. We got there and Phoeby greeted me. She is my cultural helper. She is amazing! She was very excited about today. We stood together on the field where we hold camp and prayed together for the children.
Then the children started coming, bus by bus….singing their hearts out! They unloaded from the buses and we took our small groups out to a little circle and gave them a banana for breakfast and played a few games. Then I shared about Jesus with them by using pipe cleaners. I made a stick person to represent people, a heart to represent how much God loves us and a cross to talk about Jesus dying on the cross, and shared my story with them through this. After that, I made a flower and talked about how we grow up as Christians by talking to God, reading his word and sharing Him with others. My girls were sooo into the story. They asked tons of questions. Some of them were very difficult questions. Sometimes I wished they hadn’t asked me a particular question, but I prayed for God to give me the answers to them that they needed. There were times I just said I didn’t know.
My girls in my group are 13 and 14 years old, and very intelligent. They speak English VERY well. They asked me questions such as this: “When I am a Christian and supposed to be good, and I’m little, and someone in my home is big, and they are a satanist and they ask me to go and get blood (for a satanic ritual) and I don’t want to. Will God be ok with it if I do it because I’m scared, and if I choose not to do it, will God protect me from harm from the satanist and would satan harm me if I did not do it?” Whew….how would you like to be asked that question at 9:30 AM in the morning by a 13 year old?
Later I was asked by one of my kids, “What about if you attend church and your father passes away, and none of the Christians come? This happened to me and this hurts me….what about that?”
Again, I just wake up each morning praying that God gives me words! Please pray for our entire team. These are the types of questions we are asked and a portion of what these little kids lives look like. It’s an amazing place to be, and a place where you have to completely trust in God to give you the words to speak.
On another note: Something I want to say about what Africa is teaching me. I began this trip certain that I wanted Africa to teach me something, the African people, my children, my interpreter, etc. I’ve been to Africa before, but wasn’t in this mind frame because I was in Sudan and most of my mind frame was survival…but now, I am looking for what this place and these people can teach me. I found one today.
I am on staff at an amazing church (many of you are reading this blog). We pray….a lot! I feel so blessed to be a part of a church that really emphasizes prayer. We work at our staff meeting making sure we pray at least as long as we talk! It has been a huge blessing in my life. Often, my pastor Mark, will ask us to begin prayer with praising and thanking God out loud….not giving requests, but just praising and thanking Him.
Something I’m learning from African Christians is…they certainly know how to Praise their Lord in prayer. They are passionate about it. The majority, if not all of their prayers are nothing but praise back to the Father. If there is anything I can learn from them, is how to praise my father back in prayer….telling him how wonderful He is. I am challenged to do more of this. God already knows He’s amazing, but I’m sure He’d like to hear His child tell Him that back more often than I do.
Thanks for keeping up in your prayers! Its wonderful to have a team at home that is praying for us….you are vital to what is happening over in Africa!
And for those of you who are still wondering where in the world is Mark Shook? Take a look at the Shiek Shook. We wondered if he could do anything with the cost of gas:
No, he’s not in the middle east, but he’s keeping himself from a serious sun and wind burn! LOL! I had to show you this!
Oh, yeah! I almost forgot something really important! Samantha and I got to go to a place tonight called, "The House of Moses." Its an orphanage for babies. Here is a photo!