We are making our way back to the city from the desert today. Our time in the desert was filled with so many emotions. Our hearts are burdened for the people there. The imagery from the mountains, rocks, night sky, homes, livestock and people reminded us of God’s unfailing faithfulness to His people. The promises we have through the Father offer hope and life.
On our journey back to the city we felt the protection from the Lord. Going through the check points were uneventful (for the most part) and those that needed much needed rest were able to sleep somewhat. It was also a blessing the van never had to pull over for sickly situations!! The Lord placed people within our path that offered protection for this entire trip and the trip back to the city was no exception! A passage I read continually while away was Psalm 115. The passage begins with “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.” Ps. 115:1 Everywhere we went, I was reminded of God’s unfailing love for His people. We also saw how people have ears but are unable to hear, hands but are unable to feel, and hearts that have not yet been softened. My prayer is that the seeds of truth that were laid will grow for the glory of our God.
Once we arrived to the city a shower was the first thing on our minds! We were so thankful for running water, a warm shower, trash cans, soap to wash our hands and a time of rest. Even though we were hungry, “lunch” was not an easy task! The Lord provided a restaurant that was not even ‘open’ for us to eat. A sweet man who worked in a bakery said they had a sister restaurant where he could offer us a couple of sandwiches, salads and a place to sit inside even though they were not open. We were so thankful to sit in chairs, in air condition, at a table, with cold water. It was comical to see the waiter pour a glass of water only to have it empty by the time he made his way around the table. Needless to say he left the water at the table for us.
The setting of the meal was restful and calming. We found joy in sitting in chairs, not swatting flies from our food and visiting about our time in the desert. The Lord provided us rest before we head out tomorrow to visit with Joshua and Kayla. Our bodies are weary, tired and hurting. As we head back to the hotel, most everyone goes down for a rest. We were so thankful to have dinner at the hotel that evening. One of our team members was not able to join us because of sickness. We were all beginning to feel the effects of some food we had eaten in the desert and hoping it passed soon. I personally was thankful for rice! I have an autoimmune issue that causes problems when I eat gluten. The Lord protected my body from a gluten reaction this trip and provided nutrition for my body…so thankful!
As the evening approached we were thankful for a bed to sleep in. Some of us even enjoyed another shower that evening! The things we see as necessities or normal were made valuable. The culture of the B People we embraced for three days’ was very different than ours, but they are just like us at the same time. They are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of the creator and loved just as much. They are in need of a savior just like us and when they hear about the goodness of God they want to know more. That night I prayed for Mr. R and Mr. M that both of these men would know the Father. I praised the Lord for the work He has done with in this region through Mr. J. I prayed that He would sustain Mr. J and bless the work for the kingdom. I did not understand how instrumental Mr. R and Mr. J were to the work among the people until now. I was also brought to tears at how the Lord is using Mr. R who does not know the Father. “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.” PS 115:1
Please continue to pray with us that the Spirit moves in a big way among these people. Please continue to pray for Mr. R and Mr. M specifically that they will know the Father. Please praise the Father for the work He has begun and will finish among these people.
Written by Casey Rainer