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.