Sunday, August 18, 2013

Small Beginnings

"Does anyone dare despise this day of small beginnings? They'll change their tune when they see..." Zechariah 4:10

It's our last night in Handeni before we hit the road for Korogwe (we've been told there actually IS a road). I was about to go to sleep with a tad bit of disappointment until I thought of  the verse in Zechariah on "small beginnings."

In the economy of God, there is no "small" beginning; everything is magnified by His purpose and plan. He reminds us with the acorn and the oak and in so many other ways, I just needed to remember. Perhaps that is just a "small" reason one of the Books in Heaven is The Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16) because we quickly forget all He HAS done!

During the months prior to our arrival, dates and details, times and turnouts, etc, etc, etc, were discussed, debated, and deliberated over. I ask a considerable number of questions of my African counterpart in an effort to "be prepared," and to be able to prepare the other questioning American presenter. Fortunately, we are good traveling companions, her expectations are low (having been to Africa four previous times with Sunshine After Rain), AND she trusts me. When we arrive at a hotel to find our bathroom floor covered in buckets we will be showering out of, as well as flushing the toilets with, she shrugs, laughs and says, "Thank God for baby wipes."

We both remember being in another village where we didn't even have THAT (due to the contamination level of the water supply). We work well together when our planned timetable gets tossed and we have to modify our "lesson" down from two hours to twenty minutes (due to the fact we didn't start on time). We KNOW we will NEVER start on time!

If you can't find the humor in a situation here in the Third World, you are up the proverbial creek without a paddle or a pot to ____ in! And trust me there already ARE very few pots!

We worshiped at the local church at the first service which began at 7:30. We brought greetings from YOU to them, and they returned the expression with thanksgiving and praise to the Father for bringing us here. Our Sunday School Teacher Seminar was to follow in the afternoon, and we were informed there would likely be a big turnout since people were off their regular jobs, probably up to 100!

Wow! We were scrambling last night to get gift bags made, certificates counted, lessons gone over, and discussing how this increase would impact our supplies for Korogwe. We assured each other (laughing) "God knows what's happening." Ask anyone in Children's Ministry and they'll let you know the feeling when you're "one goody bag short."

We arrived on time as scheduled. There was no one else there, except for the 50 people who were having a meeting in OUR rented meeting hall??!! After an hour, the meeting was still going on and only 8 people were there for us?! My Director of Operations (my friend's new title) took matters into her own hands and said, "let's go meet under that tree." When the staff saw we were no longer okay with just sitting, they looked for a room we could meet in; of course with only 8 people it wasn't all that hard.

We got started, presented our material (albeit a shortened version) just as enthusiastically as if we were presenting it to the WOW number! As the Lord would have it, the Pastor brought his son with him to the seminar. As I was presenting my portion, I realized we had a perfect opportunity to illustrate MANY of the concepts for teaching with HIM! Perfect, small but perfect. And tonight, I recalled a quote I took note of before I left Dallas, posted by one of my friends.

"You make speak but a word to a child, and in that child there may be slumbering a noble heart which shall stir the Church in years to come." Charles Spurgeon

Perhaps, our Sunday School Teachers Seminar was not for the teachers at all - but for the potential "slumbering heart" who happened to accompany his father one afternoon?

Just the thought awakens my spirit, I hope you see the "small" beginnings of yours in a new way!

Sowing in the morning
Watching for the rejoicing
And the sheaves (whatever they are) make me smile,