Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday school on Saturday

Here are a few pictures from last Saturday

The women are in the front of the picture: Eugenia, Carina and Veronica (nursing). The teen is Lidia, often involved and helpful. The children are seated around a bench at the back.

Here they are, busily copying the days of creation. They don't have much practice with crayons and pencils, so that makes it all the more special. Hopefully this will help some manual dexterity, too.

This is Andaiti (left) with his cousin Candido. Both have a strong motivation to hide God's word in their hearts. Keep them in your prayers. The next generation may be the one to bring lasting change to this country.

May God receive all the glory for their enthusiasm and hard work.

Monday, September 15, 2008

life: a multiple choice question

God is doing something in this world, and I am
a. just along for the ride
b. kicking and screaming that I want to get off
c. asking "are we almost there yet?"
d. looking for my part in His plan

it really isn't about me after all

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Andaiti and the Kingdom coming

Here he is, Andaiti, the boy with a smile.
He is twelve and comes from the island of Idugo which is about 60 kms from here. Last year his father moved the family to Quelimane to live in the house next to the church as a guard family. No building is safe without a 24 hour presence, so when the pastor's family moved away, Carlos' family was invited to move in.

Without invitation or enticement, Andaiti began to attend the women's chronological Bible story class. He sat in a corner and tried to be invisible. His mother, a non-churched alcoholic, attended intermittently. But Andaiti was faithful. When I realized he was learning all the stories, verses and songs, I told him he could earn the booklets by memorizing the Ten Commandments and Psalm 23. The next week he had learned both and earned both booklets.

Today when I arrived at 8 a.m., only Andaiti was present. The church had been swept, the benches arranged in a square, and a small chipped vase held some fresh flowers. He had done it all on his own initiative. He had also invited his cousin and a few other kids.

If that wasn't enough of a thrill, imagine this: I was able to tell the story (and I love to tell stories) of Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego in the fiery furnace to a first time audience! Not one of them had heard the story before. It was exhilarating. Many stories I tell they have heard bits and pieces of and confuse with one another. This was a special treat.

I can almost hear the soundless footfalls of the Kingdom treading alongside us, invisibly. Clouds of witnesses, seeing the effects of what we do where we cannot.

I hope it gets you excited about the small ways God calls to us and obedience brings results far outweighing the effort. To what? Obey.

Another great stanza from George Herbert:

"Sweet were the days, when thou didst lodge with Lot,
Struggle with Jacob, sit with Gideon,
Advise with Abraham, when thy power could not
Encounter Moses' strong complaints and moan:
Thy words were then, "Let me alone."

Yes, those days were sweet, but they are gone. Now we have much more to be responsible for. Let's cheer each other on. And thank God for each Andaiti He sends our ways.