Yesterday I woke at my ordinary time, did my normal, everyday, ordinary first morning things, got my coffee, put on a load of laundry because, well, take advantage of the sunshine. It was predicted to be a hot day and it would help dry the clothes while I did the other ordinary things. But this day, was to be anything But ordinary.
Our expected guest arrived about 9:30ish and I had already had my devotions that morning and prepared. We were to have communion.
It’s customary here in the church we attend to have communion on the first Sunday of every month. Jeff had been sick Sunday- with allergies and headaches almost since coming here like he hasn’t had in a long – long time. But Sunday was worse. So we decided to stay in, he would sleep, since he didn’t sleep hardly at all the night before and I would have my own service by myself with an online message and worship.
When he said he didn’t sleep any- I wanted to say, “welcome to my world” but thought better of it when I saw his face. He really was a sick fella.
When our pastor arrived we talked a little before we prayed and he shared and we all three partook of communion together.
It was such a sweet and holy moment. It reminded me when our girls were young and we had a time where we were teaching them about communion and we shared communion once a month for a while. It was important for them to know and understand about the cross, the resurrection and the sacrifice that Christ gave so that we might have eternal life.
As we closed the special time together, our pastor asked if he could take us anywhere. He had a couple of hours to spare and we are still looking for a dependable and affordable vehicle. We needed to get the big containers of water and while we were out, we asked it it were possible to go visit a special young girl. This young girl is special to our team members from the 2013 construction team we brought to build a church near her house.
“Of course we can go!” he said without a single hesitation.
We set off for the area she lived, about 30 minutes or so from our apartment. Still in the same city, just rough roads and traffic makes it a bit tedious to get there. Just ask any of the team members from 2013. But it was worth every second we traveled from the hotel to the church everyday to see what God did for that village in just 4 days time.
When we got to Ruth’s house, she opened the gate timidly at first, but when she saw our faces, hers lit up like the sunshine. I really wish I could have taken her picture in that moment. But not to embarrass her, I did not.
We were the visitors that broke up her ordinary day. And when she hugged me tight, I wanted to cry. Her sister as well. She did tear up, just as she did 2 years ago when we visited and brought her a new walker. What was so incredible, her sister remembered the very day we visited them.
As we sat on their porch and talked (our pastor did most of the talking- I didn’t really want to blunder my way through a conversation) , I took in the surroundings, my heart broke at the condition of things. It wasn’t the poverty as much as it was the lack of care. I’ve seen very poor people try hard to keep things neat, because they had hope in their heart and life. This was clearly a sad family who had not seen hope in a long, long time.
Even without a camera in hand, I will never forget what my eyes captured that day.
We talked about school, church, and our pastor talked to them about forgiveness. I could tell by watching their faces that the words were falling on thirsty ground. They hungered. They lived within reach of the church yet something kept them back. The young girl and her little cousin attended, but the big need is for the mother and daughter. They need to hunger for God, to find the hope that is only found in Jesus Christ. The two young ones need the example of the mother and older sister. Not to be sent to church, but to go as a family.
He’s not going to come in and pour money into their lives, but He will cleanse (them) us from our sins and give (them) us a hope that will forever change (their) our lives.
That hope will change the ordinary life into an extraordinary one. He can open our eyes to things we never saw before and I believe He alone can help us see beyond our circumstances into what life in Christ will bring.
We know this family has had a rough time- we’ve ministered as best we could, our team bought the first new walker little Ruth had when she was about 10 years old, and have continued to buy her one every other year. They don’t last long in that terrain. But they need more than that. They need Jesus. Please help us Pray.
Next week, we will be going back to take her a new walker, and some school supplies and teaching tools for home schooling. It’s a long story and I won’t go into it here.
Before we left, we gathered around them and prayed for the family, there were tears coursing down Ruth’s mothers face when I hugged her tight and told her we loved them and would be praying. Please help us Pray.
A note to our team, this family was impacted in 2013 when we helped build the church, they are still impacted today by your memory and the love you shown them.
I’m thankful that every mission team we’ve ever led, was never a blow in and blow out kind of trip. It’s always been about building a relationship with the people. It’s still about that.
That’s why we are here. And with the help of the LORD and your faithful prayers, we will see many more ordinary days turn extraordinary.
Thank you for this opportunity. Thank you for praying, giving, and when possible for yourself, for going. You are making a difference.
We are grateful…. Extraordinarily so.