Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Divine Appointments posted by andrew
Today was definitely a work day. We started out by heading out to the Chief administrator’s office in Waterloo. While we were there we had a formal meeting with him, the tribal chief, and some counsel members. It was really awesome to be a part of such a formal and polite meeting. We spent some time getting to know each other and they made us feel extremely welcome. We then headed out to the 1st of 3 pieces of property. It was a great piece of land that was relatively flat which is a little hard to find over here. We had too hike out through the African bush to get to it, but it was a great experience getting to see that side of the land and get out of the city for a change. I was just thinking while I was hiking that a few months ago I would not have ever dreamed that I would be hiking through the bush in Sierra Leone with a tribal chief talking to him about wells and property. It was a pretty cool experience. We then returned to the hotel to report how we liked it to the Chief Administrator’s office. God then orchestrated a little surprise for us. The Secretary of Parliament for the entire country was visiting the Chief and we were offered a chance to meet him and tell him about our interest in the land. While we were all a little uncomfortable meeting someone of his stature in our dirty clothes he then dropped a bomb on us. He said the President of Sierra Leone, the head honcho of the whole country(think Obama with a Kreol accent), is coming to Freetown on Friday to give a talk and he invited our group to attend with the possibility of meeting the president. We are all worried that we don’t have nice enough clothes here, but we are going to give it a shot. We just hope the container getting released doesn’t affect that meeting because it would be a great step for the raining season. It is amazing what God will do if you just obey and trust him.
After that meeting we ate some J1 bread at the Chiefs office for lunch and headed out to visit 2 more pieces of land; both involving some hiking in some beautiful country and handing out a lot of suckers to a bunch of kids. We also got a chance to look at a house TRS is looking at renting for future teams and some long term guests.
We got a chance to drive through Grafton Refugee camp where our kids grew up. This was an extremely poor place. I thought what I saw yesterday was bad. Almost all the homes are just sheet metal roofs with cardboard walls and dirt floors. The sadness you feel when driving there is overwhelming. Something we have noticed while being here is that no matter how dire the situation these are people who are filled with joy and light up with a smile when you wave to them. They just need a hand up.
After we visited this area we went to a hospital to check on a staff member of TRS that was hit by a taxi. After she was hit she was in bed for 2 weeks before they found out how much money it would be to get the surgery. Can you imagine laying there for 2 weeks with a broken ankle, leg, and hip waiting on the money coming to come in so you won’t die? God moved some money around on that one and prompted someone in the US to give the exact amount needed without them even knowing about her. It was sobering to spend some time praying with her and hearing her sobbing to Tina saying, “Thank you for saving my life.” Jason said seeing things like that and how well the kids are doing makes the fights they have gone through all worth it.
We got to hug on some kids today that were in really bad shape. God convicted me today. When I saw them running up to me my first thoughts were that they probably have a lot of diseases, they are filthy, they smell bad, and they are going to get me filthy. After that brief second God just exploded in my mind the story of Jesus healing the lepers. He TOUCHED them. These lepers were the outcasts and the undesireables and he knew how much they needed someone to just touch them. He made sure that was part of the healing even though it wasn’t necessary to get the job done. The kids were a little standoffish at first but once you walked up to them and touched their shoulder or rubbed their head the barriers came crashing down. Then all of the sudden they are grabbing your arms and putting them around their shoulders because they are in such deep desire for a hug. Once those barriers came crashing down for us it was so precious for that dirty little hand to be squeezing yours so tight because they don’t want you to let go. They aren’t going to remember me giving them a sucker; they are going to remember our team hugging them, tickling them, laughing with them even though they smell bad, have little clothing, are diseased. They are just kids who want to be loved, not treated like inventory, dogs, or worse. I can’t help but see Levi and Ivey when I see these kids. I think about how hard that would be for them to have people not hug them when they are sick or tuck them in at night or give them a blanket when they are cold or treat them like a piece of property. These kids didn’t choose this.
After a long hard tough day we swung by the Covering to spend a few minutes with the kids. It was so refreshing to get there after seeing some of the sights we saw today and hear them singing and laughing upstairs. I know there are a lot of things to get done on the trip, but I could spend all day with those kids. After we get cleaned up at the end of the day we all meet in 1 room and have a little time to share what God has shown us that day. Those have been some amazing times learning how God is moving in this and believe me he is moving. Meeting those important men today were not accidents or coincidence; they were divine appointments set up so that God can work for the good of those who love him. Tomorrow we are going to go give picture albums and letters to the Covering kids. I am really looking forward to that because it is going to be more of a 1 on 1 time with each kid. I really want to know each of their names but I have such a hard time understanding them. I am getting better and better at understanding and speaking Kreol though. Thank you again for all your prayers and support. It is around midnight here and I need to get some rest and spend some time listening to God.
Prov. 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Thanks Jeff.