Tonight at The Mission Society's Global Gathering, we prayed for specific needs in each country of service. Since I serve in Ghana, I was in the group that included the continent of Africa. When we were asked for specific prayer requests, the people serving in Africa all mentioned situations in which the power of darkness was very evident. One of my colleagues spoke up and pointed this out. And, continued with the fact that there is power in the name of Jesus. When we don't know how to pray in a situation, pray, "Jesus." The devil and his minions MUST flee at the mention of His name. Oh, if we would only remember that; if only that were our first response. The above picture is of Albert (L) and Hassan (R). Hassan is pointing to a picture and telling Albert, "Jesus!" I have a lot to learn from this two year old great grandson of mine...no hesitation, no complicated explanation, just, JESUS!"
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Saturday, January 18, 2014
OK, I have to admit, so many times and in so many ways, I feel like I am all alone in Lawra. Sure, there are friends (live, in person!), there is connecting to family and friends by phone or Internet, but, sometimes I wonder, "Does anyone REALLY know and understand how I live? What I do? And, even, how hard it can be at times?"
Well, I have left my home in Lawra early Monday morning to arrive at The Mission Society's Global Gathering in Florida on Thursday afternoon. I registered, moved in, rested, ate supper. Then, the most amazing thing happened to me. A person who I have met through Facebook, came up to me and introduced himself. He is here accompanying his mother. The family has been part of The Mission Society since the beginning. They stopped me to tell me that they pray for me daily. Enrique follows my comings and goings on Facebook and prays specifically for things I am doing/things that have happened. And, the words of encouragement...what can I say?
Then, Friday, Carol spoke to me. I met her overseas several years ago. We spoke for awhile and the love and encouragement I received from her... Friday night, I watched a video from the Christian Hospitality Network Getaway that I attended. I was in it - reading the letter that Jim (from The Mission Society) wrote to me. And, it was the same thing...and I knew, as I always did deep down, The Mission Society is more than just a mission sending organization. It is family...a laughing, loving, encouraging, praying, playing, training, worshipping, hoping, helping, rejoicing kind of family. And, when I am 5079.07 miles away from blood family, I KNOW I am blessed to be part of a much bigger global family, united by the same loving Father. I am so grateful!
Monday, January 13, 2014
"Yuoŋ Pala" is the Dagaare New Year's greeting. It literally means, "new year." New Year's is not that much different here, in some ways. People get together with family and friends. They eat special foods (sometimes, too much.) They drink (sometimes too much.) There is one thing that is very different. Many churches have a "Watch Night" or "Cross Over" service, beginning around 8 or 9 pm and lasting throughout the night, into the morning. They pray the New Year in, thanking God for His blessings, mercy and grace and asking for blessings, mercy and grace in the coming year. Since this white woman does not drive her motorcycle at night, the Kalsagri church had their service at 9:30 in the morning. Many people give gifts for New Year's Day instead of Christmas. This grandmother from Kalsagri gave me a bag of shelled groundnuts.
How did I spend New Year's Eve and New Year's Day? Well, New Year's Eve, I went to visit my grandchildren and great grandchildren. Some are Ghanaian. Some are American. Some are even from the UK! We visited and ate. Habib tried to teach me to dance. He said , "OK. Maakum, you did fine!" That didn't last long! Then, I drove home and "watched" Mary Poppins. I think I fell asleep while they were laughing on the ceiling. New Year's Day didn't get any more exciting! Then, Sunday, I talked about John Wesley's Covenant Prayer. I love that prayer! I was given yams for a New Year's gift from Alex, one of the leader's of the church. All in all, this holiday was filled with love and laughter and gratefulness. What a blessing to have the opportunity to celebrate in Lawra/Kalsagri.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
The year 2013 is finished. It was a year of experiencing God's blessings and His mercy and grace. New experiences and some familiar ones were part of life. Unexpected opportunities were part of the year, too. I never thought I'd be preaching most Sundays or driving a motorcycle or have a chance to travel to Victoria Falls or be "Maakum" to so many people. This reinforces the fact that when I trust God with my life, He can open windows and doors that I never imagined. Thank You, Jesus! And, it reinforces my desire to pray:
I am no longer my own, but Thine.
Put me to what Thou wilt, rank me with whom Thou wilt.
Put me to doing. Put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for Thee or laid aside for Thee,
Exalted for Thee or brought low for Thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things
To Thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am Thine. So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
Let it be ratified in Heaven. Amen
~ John Wesley's Covenant Prayer