Friday, February 20, 2009

18th February 2009, Mgona

Today was one of those, dare I sound like a little girl?...’magical days! In adult words I guess we would call it, anointed, blessed but for me the day happened around me in an awesome grace. We were in Mgona, except it is not the Mgona I have become accustomed to with ministry. Gone are the days of waiting for an hour for people to show up and ministering to 4 or 5 people. One year later and we arrive amidst worship. Soon, and it was soon, we were 95 people, flooding the shed with praise and worship; the grannies (WOW ladies), the pastors, the young men and the women. What a sight it was and how powerful the praise was. I felt like things were happening around me and I was an observer, even of me. Perhaps it was our Father who wanted me to see the expectation and desperation in all those around me to truly appreciate what was happening. I felt small and large all at once. It never gets tired…the Presence of God, I mean, it never gets tired. We end on a note with a granny singing a song “fight for me Jesus, the enemy is too strong for me to overcome on my own”. It was beautiful. In their voices you hear the struggles and the battles lost and won. There is a wealth of wisdom in the shed and I take in all the sights and sounds as the Holy Spirit shows me all that He is doing.

My grandfather is there…aMbewe. The bible tells us that we have this great cloud of witnesses, my grandfather feels like that…a veteran of the faith coming together with the little ones to bless the Lord. Our subject of a continuation from born again…eternal life. We talk about the gift that cost Christ’s life and what it is for it cost His life for us to have it. The gist of our message; a relationship with Jesus…a true, authentic, sweet relationship that transcends religiosity and hypocrisy. Amidst all this God talks to us about harbouring anger in our hearts and unforgiveness and yet…playing church. We make a call for all those who want to freed from the pain of hating and hurting. 7 people come forward and give their heavy burdens over to Christ. 3 others come forward to accept Christ, one to rededicate his life to Christ again, tired of living the Christian yo-yo lifestyle.

In the end, my grandfather comes up to share. He tells us how he is 79 years old and how he has been saved since the age of 17 (he has been a Christian for over 50 years)! When I was 3 years old, he had been saved 30 years already! That blew my mind. Here I was, a baby ‘teaching’ this seasoned man. He told us about how someone tried to kill him by poisoning his food and God made him feel full and so he refused the food that day. They gave the food to the dog and within an hour the dog was dead.
“I knew who had done it and I was very hateful but God told me to forgive. I chose to listen to Him, he was the same God that had saved me from the poison. Some years later the responsible person came forward in a powerful prayer meeting and repented and confessed his sin. This is what this is all about. We need to let God be God. My brothers and sisters, listen to the word our sister has brought. Heed this word. Be transformed, that this community may also be transformed.”

That was when I told him I was his granddaughter and that I always wanted a grandfather in the faith. He smiled. I smiled.

A lady rose to testify that even though she had been born again for some time, she did not know that God spoke and that she could talk to Him and also hear FROM Him in a real way. It was beautiful.

After the meeting was over, most stayed as there was to be a prayer walk that afternoon with a mission team from Canada, claiming Mgona for Jesus. I met with a lady who was brought by Catherine; she needed marriage counseling. It is always funny when I have to counsel someone about their marriage, seeing as I have never been married and the closest I have come was over 10 years ago. Nevertheless, it is not my experience they seek but wisdom from God. Mgona experiences many marital issues as most of the residents are factory workers and they work in shifts. This produces many indiscretions within marriages. She told me that her husband sometimes does not speak to her for months on end. She was hurting. We agreed to meet once a week. I know that the road would be painful but I also know that God is more than able. We talked about changing the prayer from, “God change my husband” to “Father, change my heart.” We talked about forgiving her husband and remembering what it was about him that first touched her heart. Catherine (one of the most amazing women I have ever known) sealed it with this;

“When I first went to Keta, my husband had married second woman and I was devastated, broken. She told me to pray. I told her that every time I wanted to, I would just cry. She said ‘good, crying with God is praying’. That is how my journey began and today I can tell you that God has been good. My husband died a month and a half ago but he died in Christ and now is with Him. He died knowing Jesus. It is about you and how you need to change, to believe, to trust God.”

Looking at Catherine, I realize that all around me the truth of the power of God at work and once again, I am blessed to be that person that gets to experience it through the lives of such amazing people, like Catherine and my new granddaddy. All around me, God is making known His infinite power and abundant grace!

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