Monday, October 19, 2009

Praising God

One of the guys on staff here at the Youth Center, Tolentino, came down with Yellow Fever about two weeks ago. It’s a pretty serious disease and when he was younger his older brother died from it. Yellow Fever, true to its name, turns your body yellow and gives you a super high fever, among other things. Tolentino’s fever was so high that for days he wrapped himself in a cloth and every 5 to 15 minutes poured a bucket of water over himself just to keep cool.

On Thursday he was sitting in front of his house with all of the people who had come to see him. They were all talking about how bad he looked and how serious the disease was. Tolentino listened until he couldn’t take it anymore. He asked everyone to leave him alone for half an hour. He went inside the house, shut the door and started singing praise to God. Tolentino has a big voice, so when he sings, you hear it. Everyone outside starting telling Tolentino’s family that the disease had affected his brain. After singing for about 10 minutes he started praying. He prayed for the rest of them time and then the fever left him. He stood up, went outside, and started eating for the first time in days.

Since then he’s been gaining strength. He was in staff meeting this morning giving praise to God for healing him. He said that as he was sitting there listening to everyone and thinking about how sick he was he remembered that God knows the number of our days. He could choose whether he was going to sit there and feel terrible before he died or if he was going to sing praise to God. He chose to praise God with everything he had left and leave it in His hands.

After hearing that testimony this morning I just had to share it with you. I don’t always choose to use the time that I have to worship God. When I’m faced with difficult situations many times I focus on the situations instead of taking time to push everything else aside and focus on God. I think it’s in those moments that true worship happens. When we say to God, I don’t know if I’m ever going to make it through this, but I know that my purpose here it to worship You, so I’m going to give you what I’ve got.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Parking triumph

The other day I parallel parked for the first time. I was with Katie going to the market to buy some baby clothes for a friend of ours (Jason was with us too, but he was headed to a different section to pick up some bike parts).

I know the picture makes it look like the car behind me was really far behind me, but hey, you've gotta start somewhere. I pulled up and then turned the wheels to get really close when I backed up and then straightened it out, not bad for a first-timer :-) hehe

This is Katie and I headed in.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Exciting News!!!!!!!!!!

One of the coolest things about being a Christian is seeing someone come to Christ! As a missionary I get to see it and hear about it often. I love it. There is nothing more exciting than celebrating along with the angels when someone lays down all of their own efforts and runs to Christ to save and be the Lord of their life!

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but about a month or so ago I was put in charge of our morning staff meetings at the Youth Center. We sing for about 10-15 minutes, have a time of prayer and then I give a little 5 minute devotion. It’s been really good for my Creole. Enough so that I have to prepare but not so much that it feels overwhelming. Apparently I’m a fairly entertaining speaker because more and more students have been coming each day to sit outside of our circle and listen to what I have to say. The past two weeks we’ve been talking about the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) – why we need it, what it is, what it symbolizes, how to use it, etc. I’ve really been enjoying it and I’ve been getting a lot of “amens” which always makes any teacher happy :-) hehe

Last week after I shared Pastor Ze Agusto (the director of YFC Bissau) felt compelled to say that he knows that a lot of people around the circle are not Christians or are baby Christians and if they ever want to know more about anything that we talk about there are lots of people at the Youth Center who would love to take time to talk to about it. He asked three guys who are in the seminary here to stand up and said that any of them would love to chat about God anytime.

Right after that one of our students, Sabino, who had been coming to listen approached one of those guys. He said that as I was sharing about the armor of God everyday he was starting to really understand that Jesus is powerful. He realized that he needed Jesus in his life and he wanted to become a Christian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He had wanted to talk to me but he’s terrified of white people so he’d been hanging back (a lot of the tribes around here discipline their children by telling them that if they’re not good a white person will come and kill them – nice huh?). When pastor said that other people would love to share more too, that was exactly the invitation he’s been looking for.

Moses shared with him about what becoming a Christian means and Sabino said he was ready he prayed with Moses and Moses asked him to go and tell his family and then to come back the next day for discipleship if he was really serious. When he came back the next day he wanted to know if Jesus is more powerful than the witch doctors. When Moses asked why Sabino showed him an idol that he was wearing around his waist. Sabino said that his brother had lots of money so he went to the witch doctor a while ago and had him do a special thing to this idol so that his brother would favor him and give him money. Moses explained to him that yes, Jesus is more powerful, but the real heart of the problem is that money that you gain deceitfully will never satisfy. This opened the door to talk about the way a Christian lives and by the end Sabino decided on his own that the idol was worthless and he threw it away.

Please pray with me for Sabino that God would continue to open his eyes and that he would continue to be open to change his life to glorify God. Isn’t God amazing?!?!?!