I will admit that sitting down to update anyone who reads this is often difficult. My mind races through all the events over the past month and the days often slip through my memories like sifted sand. The only thoughts left are the rocks that were too big to make it through the tiny holes. Unfortunately those rocks are often heavy losses and weighty decisions with poor outcomes—
The dad of the triplets arriving early in the morning to tell us that Baby B had a sudden seizure at home and died.
A seemingly normal delivery that ended with parents going home childless.
A toddler arriving urgently, still warm, but with no heart beat.
Life here takes an emotional toll and it often requires a conscious effort to push off the bottom of the pool and come up for air.
A few days ago I took a long, deep breath when I left the hospital work behind me to join three of our chaplains on a short trek to a rural village. For the first time in the history of our ministry, we were getting the chance to show the Jesus film in the village of a particular tribe I hold close to my heart. It seemed very surreal as our Land Rover bumped awkwardly over last years planting fields. The sunset view was speckled with lonely huts that seemed to only keep company for scattered cows and goats longing to find their shepherds. After arriving, I couldn’t imagine that we would get a crowd for the showing of the movie since, besides the 3 adults and 4 children already present, there wasn’t another soul in sight and no hope as to where they might come from.
But after sundown, little by little more men, women and children arrived. I started praying early that the generator would last long enough to finish the movie and not just leave Jesus dead on the cross! We prayed for calm winds (as our movie screen was not so sturdy and had to be tied to a tree with rope!), no rain, and open hearts. For some of the people there, it wasn’t the first time to see the story. We had arrived at this moment because a man in the village had watched the film while being treated at our hospital and wanted us to show it to the rest of his village. I couldn’t imagine what it was like to watch the book of Luke being played out for the first time ever; not knowing what was going to come next. How long I have taken the knowledge of the Bible for granted.
This people group is not one to react quickly. They are deep thinkers, internal processors, and slow to show emotion. It may be months to years before we know if there was an impact to our evening in the village, but that is not for us to decide.
We drove away in the dark in awe of the sovereignty of God. We did not go looking for this village. (Even if we had tried, we could not have succeeded). Six months ago we didn’t even know this family existed. But the Lord orchestrated a man to be sick, seek care at our hospital, and so the story unfolds……
I return to the hospital but go to hide for a few moments. Time to sit alone and rest. Cry. Reflect. Breathe.
A recurring theme and reminder for me this month is that God sees us. He knows each and every village, every person, every language. God is not aloof or far from us. There is no game of hide and seek—he is always able to be found and we can never hide from Him or His love. He hears us when we praise Him, and He bears our burdens when we don’t see His plan. I believe, help my unbelief.
A sudden wave of relief and peace. A faint smile and a weight lifted.
I am not here to save the world, Jesus already did.