See, I am doing a new thing! ...I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
My heart overflows with thanksgiving, while my congested head tries to process recent travels. I can thank my 7 year grandson Isaiah for being too huggable and generous in sharing his cold. Two days ago my husband and I returned from visiting my daughter Kristen in North Africa. We went to celebrate her birthday, the first time in ten years we've been together on the day. With her husband and three growing children, she has spent the majority of her adult years in ministry to Muslims in North and West Africa. She describes their location as the place where the Sahara desert meets the
sea, a harsh environment, physically and spiritually in need of rain. Over the past seven years while on furlough they have reported in churches with a sense of discouragement over the seeming lack of fruit. Countless hours have been logged learning Arabic, immersing in the culture, sewing on-going seeds of grace, light and love. Many heartfelt connections have been made, great conversations have happened; but she confessed to disappointment in not having a spiritual breakthrough for the people they have grown to love. Two years ago while visiting an inland desert region, we were told that rain had not fallen for three years. I wondered how people could survive this hot dry climate. Many believers prayers have been lifted for this small region they live in. This year while visiting, we witnessed three days of record rains; flooding the streets, making roads impassable, and crumbling poorly constructed homes. The rains have begun, and it seems the kingdom seeds planted are also beginning to sprout.
|Camel trek in the desert|
|Flooding on the walk home from the local school.|
During this year's visit I joined my daughter and a team mate for a first time ever women's seeker group. I met “Rachel” who has been gobbling up the weekly lessons, keen to learn everything she can. Rachel speaks some English and we had a conversation before the video began. She told me that her and I first met last November at my granddaughter's 12thbirthday party where Kristen shared how God had given her this daughter, and a few other things that I could not understand as she testified in Arabic. Rachel understood ... and she told me these words spoken so moved her she wanted to know more about this Jesus. And so began an amazing journey of seeking Jesus. Tears welled in my eyes as Rachel told me how she had been in her kitchen one day, and felt a presence with her, she could feel God brushing up against her. She has made a commitment to Jesus, and is growing in her faith. Rachel's mother has seen changes in her daughter and had her own vision of Jesus. She has wondered why the people of the Messiah are there in times of trouble—“Where are the followers of Mohammed?” she asked. Over the years I've had many tears as I witnessed again and again the compassion, love and grace shining into the neighbourhood through Kristen and the co-workers. And this year it seems the rain has come. The spirit is on the move.
Kristen's house helper has told my daughter that she gave permission for Kristen to share stories of Jesus with her children. This is highly unusual. The neighbour boy has told my ten year old grandson that he sees Satan everywhere. My daughter wanted to have an opportunity to let the mother(FF) know what the son had said. The conversation that happened opened up new doors, as the mother shared that her family had been given the blessing/the curse to see into the spirit world. And when her sister visited, she saw angels over top my daughter's house. (Oh and this mother in Canada continues to pray that those angels provide spiritual protection for my daughter's family) As the conversation continued, the neighbour FF broke into tears, collapsed into my daughters arms. As Kristen prayed over her in Arabic .... there were more tears, and a long stillness after which FF lifted her head and asked, “Is there any hope?”
This is the God of Hope we serve, and my hope and prayer is for more opening up of hearts and minds toward the God of love, and his son.
|Mother and Daughter|
It has not been easy to have my only daughter on the planet live so far away, but it is times like this that I am truly grateful for the Kingdom work they are doing.
Kristen ended her recent supporter email with the words “This is our God, He will not stop pursuing, therefore we must not stop praying.”
And I do feel the call of God in different directions for myself, for my writing or lack thereof, and realize that for the time being, this will be my last regular post for Inscribe.
I am grateful to God for the opportunity to have been a part of this writing group, for the people I have met, and the encouragement received. May each of you receive the nourishing rain to support your writing. Blessings to all.