Our access to the internet is limited so these stories cover several days.
I Live In A Sewer
In every place, there are forgotten people, those that most people never see, even when they walk by them. Today, we were with a group of people who are rarely noticed, except when someone wants them to disappear.
One young woman invites the homeless of this city into her apartment. Every 3 or 4 months, she must move because people don’t want those kind of people around them. She loves Jesus and seeks to show and tell them about God’s love. We were given the very special privilege of sharing with them today. It gave us joy that I cannot describe. We told them about the one true God who can and will solve all problems.
Many were orphans who were forced to leave the orphanage at 16 and had no place to go. Some struggle with alcoholism. They live in sewers. One lady among them came to faith, stopped drinking, joined the church, and now helps our friend with the work.
Most were young adults, but some were children. One man walked with a cane because frostbite forced doctors to amputate his toes. One lady had eyes full of pain. Another homeless young man had painted beautiful pictures for the apartment. We stayed twice as long as we had planned because they wanted to hear more. They even asked us to teach them to tie balloons.
1 Please pray for this ministry. Wednesday, tomorrow, we will return to this place and work with deaf friends.
2 Please pray for the training sessions that we are having each morning from 8 to 12:00.
3 In the afternoons, we will be working at orphanages. Pray that we have no problems.
4 In the evenings, we are meeting with individuals or smaller groups for more training. They are hungry to learn! Pray for strength and wisdom and P***l endurance as he translates.
It is Sunday morning and after 2 days of traveling and a good nights sleep (3hours), we are in a worship service. Strangely, our exhaustion is overwhelmed by our joy.
Last night at the airport, we saw God do something wonderful. The customs officials searched everyone’s luggage. They x-rayed everything. Yet, when it was our turn, they told us to go on. They did not open a single bag. This is the result of your faithful prayers.
Consider that we had with us 6 very large bags, weighing 420 pounds. Also, we had 4 carry ons and 3 shopping bags. Yet, no one asked to examine anything. More, one of the customs officials saw that i was struggling to push my cartand he asked if we had someone waiting for us. Then he sent for our friend P***l who had traveled from a nearby country. His kindness touched my heart. Again, people prayed.
We are in a country that is under persecution. Life is difficult here and the church must walk very wisely to share. Still, they began their worship service by singing a very old hymn, Showers of Blessing. They are so grateful for all that God has done for them. We are so grateful to have the privilege of worshiping with them!
With all that is happening around them, the church is strong here. There was standing room only. How different from the churches in our homes, in America and Ireland.
When a person comes to faith, the act of baptism is a very public announcement of an inner change. It was the sweetest joy to see 5 women and 2 men publically profess their new faith by being baptised. The baptismal was decorated with big garlands of ferns with red and white roses. Each person was presented with a big bouquet of flowers as they stepped out of the water. The Pastor said that Jesus had given them new lives. The Pastor said, Though they were dressed in white, they were truly clothed with Jesus righteousness.
A near-by country is totally closed to the Gospel. They have evicted all missionaries and made life very difficult for Christians. If a national is stopped by the police and found to be in possession of a Bible, he immediately goes to jail.
In these places, the word of God is very precious. People pay for it with their lives. Where we are, it is wrong to lay the Bible on the floor. This is a sign of disrespect.
I want to tell you a wonderful story about a young man that sat beside me on the plane. He is from a country where they torture and kill people who love Jesus. In his country, it would have been difficult to talk as we did. He told me that he had rejected his parents faith and had nothing. Moustapha said, If the plane crashes, it would be good for me. I very lovingly explained how this act would be good for me as I would walk into heaven, but he would not know such joy or peace.
His response amazed me. He said, I have no hope. Maybe, if I make a lot of money, I will get a good wife, someone to love me. His eyes begged me to answer his real unspoken question. What is the purpose of life?
Over the next 30 minutes, I shared with him my own testimony with many scriptures. I told him how he could have a great love story, but only if that love was rooted in true faith. I spoke to him about Mike, my sons and their wives, my grandchildren, trying to give him a vision for a life that he had never known.
Finally, because his English was perfect, I asked him if he would like my Bible. I knew that even if he wanted it, he probably cound not risk taking it to his home, but I wanted to see if God had used our conversation to make him hungry for the Word. Indeed, the Father had planted a hunger in his soul. He could not take the scriptures with him, but I gave him my email address. He returns to the states for school at some point.
More, he told me that he had once tried to read God’s word, but did not understand it. As he spoke , I realised that he had started reading in Leviticus, a difficult book. On a piece of paper, I wrote down the name of a good translation and suggested he read the book of John. He promised me that he would. Please pray for Moustapha to keep this promise! Please pray for this young man to meet Jesus!
Sunday afternoon we met with the leaders of the group. They have a wonderful vision and a clear plan for reaching children for Christ. To our delight we will be going into orphanages and sharing with the children!
Pray as you have never prayed before!
Linda, Sam and P***l