Saturday, August 17, 2013

Remember This!

"Remember this! He led His people out singing for joy...."

Sometimes it's not easy to remember. When it's "half-past dark thirty" (4:30 AM) and the rude rooster outside the window begins his morning salutations, it's not easy. And it's not easy to be joyful when shortly after the crowing, the low wailing call to pray of the nearby mosque penetrates the peaceful sounds of rural village life.

But

I sat up, untangled the mosquito net, and smiled remembering!

"His chosen people marched, singing their hearts out!" Psalm 105:42-43 The Message

The closing ceremony for the Women's Conference was a time to remember in every sense of the phrase; there was singing, there was encouragement given and received and oh, the joy of the Lord was our strength!

As we set out for the conference in the morning two of the women were walking up the road toward the church (it was still about two miles away) and greeted us. I've thought before, I'm not sure I would WALK (or run) two miles (or 5 or 10) to see ANYBODY! It continues to humble me that these women EAGERLY do so. We gave them lift as their diligence lifted us.

The "homework" assignment from the day before had been to come with a question. While we waited for participants to arrive, the women began to ask very thoughtful inquiries. "What if something terrible has happened to a child... What if your daughter hates you.... What if a parent shows no love toward a child... What.....

if?"

It was somber and serious.

"Pushed to the wall, I called to God; from the wide open spaces, He answered." Psalm 118:5 The Message

The Spirit of the Lord is faithful. He brought responses and encouragement to these wondering women in the midst of life's crisis's and questions. They were assured of God's love, His faithfulness and His provision through the Word and the  community of faith.

They enjoyed us, they enjoyed each other, and the Name above all names was praised. At the close of the day, Certificates of Achievement were awarded and the women waved them proudly as though they had received a degree from an Ivy League school! The newly elected officers and advisers of the Handeni Women's Union were brought up and recognized with special gifts; the Chairwoman was blessed and acknowledged for her commitment to undertake such a project as well.

Before we said our goodbyes, the women asked the three of us to be seated. They began singing and dancing a hymn of thanksgiving. They encircled us and draped traditional African cloth over our shoulders. We were hugged, kissed and graciously thanked for our coming, we shed tears of joy, and I remembered -

"I'll bring you back home- a great family gathering! You'll be famous and honored all over the world. You'll see it with your own eyes- ALL THOSE PAINFUL PARTINGS turned into reunions!" God's Promise" Zephaniah 3:18-20 The Message

Remember this

YOU will be part of that reunion. YOUR prayers and financial support funded this conference. Your continued commitment to prayer for Sunshine After Rain Ministries is resulting in many thanksgivings to the Father!

"You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they'll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, His gift. No language can praise it near enough! 2 Corinthians 9: 13-15 The Message

Grateful, remembering YOU!

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