The past few days have been amazing. They have looked like this.
We go later in the evening after doing devotion with the children with Francis. We go to one of the surrounding villages with him to have a prayer meeting with the Christians in the village. We arrive, eat with them, play a few songs, share, pray then head out. A few hour process at minimum. We'll share with you Wednesday February 4th. This was a night to remember for all of us.We spend the day painting the IREF boy's hostel with a man who led us. We were informed by him that we would be traveling to his house later on for the prayer meeting that evening in very broken english. We had the honor of doing devotion with the boys before leaving. We headed over to the boys devotion where we were bombarded by excited adolescence who had an incessant need to beat my drum and try to carry andrew's and christian's guitars. During the Gospel conference we encountered a man who was known as tambourine man. He was known for his "world-sacking, superhit, powerful fire-songs of Jesus!" This was his album name. And so as we grew in our relationship with this tamborine player with his "Flock of Seagulls" haircut, red vest and polka dotted tie- we learned what an action song was. An action song is any song with dancing motions.
So after the boys were lined up and in order, we began the boys devotion with the classic "Waves of mercy, waves of grace..." action song. The boys loved it! They did all the dance moves as they followed along. It is so great to be in front of a crowd that will copy anything you do. So when you clap, they clap. When you point your finger, they point their fingers. So you could imagine how all the music went when we figured this out. After the message that Francis translated, we headed out to the prayer meeting. By now we have become good friends with Francis and since he has been to the USA before, we can joke with him and he gets it.
After a very interesting ride to the village, we met up with our painter boss (whose prediction about us coming to his home was correct). We began the night by sitting in three chairs provided for us by our host outside. We were entertaining the children while the adults set up the speakers for all to hear. We were amidst serious need. A boy came up slowly in his wheel chair. He handed me a piece of paper describing his medical condition with a photo attached. He had a muscular disease with a fading family. Simply because we are American, people assume we can give them money and provide for all their needs.
We are definitely there to care for them, but we are there to do what God has in store for us. So I am trying to explain that i was not going home soon and that I had no money. He was sitting there asking for help, and there wasn't anything I could do. A man with an infected eye was half-translating as a woman with a hunched back was trying to get my attention. As he was asking for 10 rupies, i was trying to explain that i had none. Realizing there was simply nothing we could do for him at that moment, we realized that we needed to turn him over to God and pray for him. We gathered around and gave his needs to God, who would be the only one who could provide for him. As children moved in, frustration grew as I was trying to talk to this boy that was unwell, to say the least. Andrew and Christian experienced frustration as well, which was unusual. A dog came out of no where and began to bark viciously at our group that had crowded around for the prayer meeting outside. Things felt much different, very hectic. We instantly realized that tonight was a spiritual battle considering all these feelings of frustration, and the immense amount of distraction that was taking our focus from the prayer meeting. We actually found out later on in the night that this was happening but felt this darkness individually even before talking.
We were expected to share so we all searched our bibles as they played telegu worship over the loud-speaker. Andrew and I were discussing possibilities, but nothing was coming together at all. After Christian gave the introduction, Andrew shared about how God actually has everything under control and he loves us. How God has tomorrow planned out, and we don't have to worry because He is God. The Spirit moved the sharing exactly how He planned. I then shared about God's love for His children that tied in with what Andrew was led to talk about. It was so powerful to tell these people with heavy burdens that they didn't have to be alone. Jesus' message was to bring Him our burdens. That no matter what these people were facing, no circumstance or person or demon could stand in the way of Gods love for them. And that God works everything out for us, directs our steps, and provides for us. That He is the good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep- not the hired hand that runs away when the wolves come. That no matter what circumstance they were going through, that God was involved and taking care of them- right there with them to pull them through so they would come closer to God and be more like Him.God was leading this night step by step. We knew that God wanted all of them to know how much He loves them. He worked everything out exactly to His will, and He did everything. It was amazing to watch as God took control of our night. We ended with a prayer of casting out all evil. Of casting out all fear, because Jesus' love expels all fear.
It was the most powerful and heavy thing to have Jesus' name and love proclaimed in such a dark place- over the loudspeaker over the village. How the whole time God had everything under control, and showed up. How we were just the empty body of believers, and God is alive; He came and brought peace to our souls. We were able to rest together, and even laugh later on over dinner. We arrived with tension, confusion and frustration. We didn't do anything, it was only God who came down on us, and His Spirit moved in an indescribable way that was transforming. God moved in all of us that night.
On Thursday the 5th, we tried to visit another boys' home (named Basha) down the road. A few days back Andrew and I had been on a walk around the block and ran into a boy on the street we recognized from the Gospel meeting. He invited us into his home where we looked forward to going in the next few days. Thursday was a very good day! We slipped in rather quietly. While Basha was speaking very quietly, he gave us refreshments. We found that his mother and father had died some years back, and that his grandmother looked after him somewhat. As we pulled out the guitar to sing, him and his grandma signaled not to very harshly. Something about the neighbor and that he was bad. That he had a problem with us playing the worship. Our impression was that he wasn't a believer, and since in this part of the world Jesus isn't accepted and his followers are heavily persecuted- we put the guitar away. So we prayed for his grandmother who had an extremely fast heart rate and a running-low supply of medicine. We prayed for him as well. We left through the shortcut which was safer. We look forward to continuing our friendship with Basha and praying for him and his brother, sister, and grandma. Please pray for Basha and his family.
Please pray for Gods continued intervention in their lives.
Please pray for the people who we had the prayer meeting with. We prayed that night individually with a lot of people for physical healing. Please pray they would be healed and God would move in their lives.
Pray that they and the rest of their village receives eyes for Gods glory.
Pray for them to continue to come close to God, persevere, and have eyes to see all He will do around them.
Thank you so much!