|A photo taken during orientation for the hospital. We spent a week learning, getting to know one another, and having fun!|
I'd like to meet the person who first said, "All we can do is pray" and smack him/her upside the head. I hear this phrase often and have very likely been guilty of saying it myself. It's usually said after doing through all of our human-derrived solutions for change or resolution and realizing they wouldn't work, or didn't work. As a last ditch effort we tag God on as our "P.S." at the end of the letter, just to remind people that we are Christians, and to show the Lord that we tried everything already.
Why do we do this?
The author of Hebrews said, "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
The Psalms remind us that "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth."
The Lord told Jeremiah, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."
The Creator of the Universe, the Creator of YOU, wants to interact with you, love on you, meet your needs, reveal things to you, encourage you, and most of all, make Himself known to you. If prayer is a time to experience these things, why is it so often our after-thought?
One thing I have noticed most of all here in Mango is to expect the unexpected. Each day I have a goal, or a list of things to accomplish during the day, but not once has my day gone as I expected.
"Get to the hospital early today to work on organize materials".......Flat bike tire on the way
"I can get everything done today, but I don't have a minute to spare"....as I finish this thought, my
phone rings. It's one of our nurses who's child is ill and is coming to my house so I can see them.
"I will reply to all my e-mails tomorrow".....Internet goes down for 4 straight days.
I've learned to laugh at plans, at my plans. What if I just started the day in prayer, asking the Lord to show me what he needed me to do today, instead of me telling him what I was going to do today?
What would that day look like for me, for you?
Would we take 5 extra minutes to help someone who needed us? Would we take 30 extra minutes to sit before God in stillness so He could fill us up for the day? Would we be willing to throw our plans out the window and surrender to whatever God's plan was?
I'm amazed that I could possibly think I have the best plans for my day, my week and my life. Especially when I cannot know what will come in the next moment. Yet the Lord who is not bound by knowledge, power, or time wants us to spend time with him so that he can reveal small parts of this plan, His plan, to us!
It's true that "All we can do"...is pray. I wish someone would have instead said, "We can all do prayer" or "We can do all with prayer". Then maybe it wouldn't be an afterthought at the point of our weakness, but instead a recognition of how we can join the Lord in what He wants to accomplish around the world.
I'm hoping you will join our team in Mango in fervently praying each day for the next 2 weeks as we count down to the opening of the Hospital of Hope. There is much to get done, things that can only be completed and ready with God's miraculous hands.
We are having a Grand Opening Celebration on February 26th where many government officials (possibly the president of Togo) and the entire community will be in attendance. Our doors will open to see our very first patients on March 2. There are a lot of emotions both good and bad that are affecting us all, so please pray for wisdom and peace. Pray that we will keep our focus on why we are here!
P.S. There are many things I cannot publish on a public blog about life in Mango. If you want to know more about how to be praying for us, I have set up a "secret" group on Facebook where I will be sharing more specific prayer requests. If you want to be a part of this group, please message me through Facebook or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org