In less than a month after opening our doors I find myself mama to 44 kids and 7 staff. A family of over 50. It is either totally Jesus, or complete insanity and possibly a bit of both.
So what does a day look like in revival when your youngest is 7 weeks, your oldest is 20 and you have 42 others in between with 2 schools in the works, outreach and church planting? I am SURE SOME of you are curious!
First for those of you who didn’t know MY plan—it was to only accept 10 kids for the first 3 months. Start slowly. Ooooops. God blows my plan up with looking in the eyes of the abandoned, broken little lives who are now becoming His object lessons grace and teachers of His Kingdom to this missionary mama in the dirt.
I want to build castles in the dirt seeing God’s beauty transform the brokenness around me. Diamond in the dust, miracles in the mud: welcome to my world. Kneeling in the mud here a few days ago praying for one grandma who came limping with severe knee pain and left leaping, leaving her cane with us completely healed!
What am I learning here? Well for one: God wants us to ENJOY HIM! To fall so in love with Him you aren’t just laid down in love, you ENJOY Him living all of life hidden IN Him. Rest doesn’t just look like laying down in love but like dancing in the arms of Jesus in the harvest. Enjoyment of God is laid-down love in motion. No matter what the question, love is the answer… We are called to live a life of Loves’ arrested gaze. Captured in the arms in the arms of Jesus and as we dance together with Him, the harvest will come in. It isn’t about writing a case study in missiology, but living a love story where heaven converges with earth.
Where revelation meets reality: Ready, set GO!
We started praying for food to multiply here—2 hours later in rolls a friend with a basin of carrots (total luxury item here) for ½ the price and have un police friends ask if having donated rice, beans and toys would help. Then my battery melted to my hard drive (but was healed after we prayed) we had 22 kids with colds, 4 with malaria, 1 who broke her wrist, three with measles. One of our short term volunteers and I were hemmed in by wild fire literally in the middle of the bush while looking for land: personally I had the privilege to be anointed with baby Tylenol,a conference we were invited to speak at that ended the day before we were invited to speak, oops. Yes all in a day in Sudan.
Bricks hurled at our walls, bullets flying outside our windows, all out demonic assault, someone ripping down our fence and stealing stuff from our compound, a measles outbreak among our family, chanting/wailing outside our window ALL night long: blah de blah de blah. The enemy totally is kicking his feet trying to make us go away.
In the midst of such, God is laughing and has set a table for us in the presence of our enemies. We were offered 50 acres of prime land along the Yei River. Meeting with paramount chief and the village chiefs of the payam took us back in time to the 1800s as tears filled their eyes saying they had been praying for 20+ years for someone to come and bring the light of Jesus to their people. The leaders were believers but no one has ever come to help them. Never have I seen such hunger. As we described the vision of Iris Sudan and shared our hearts beating in rhythm with His over their people and our adopted nation, in their responses they prophesied over us.
They told us: God has called you to be a key in the lock of our people’s hearts. God is calling you to this land to build a highway for Him in this nation and be a voice to the voiceless. All words we have been given verbatim from the Lord separately before.
Our family nights are so much fun as well. A friend of ours brought marshmallows for a roast. We talked about how when we embrace Jesus and His flame of love it makes our hearts soft. Taste and see the Lord is good! Everyone LOVED the marshmallows. No one had ever heard of such before. Our church services are more like object lessons in motion—from acting out the story of the good Samaritan to marching around our compound wall worshipping, well we certainly are not boring.
Most recently, as our food is getting a little tight I taught the kids yesterday about the rooms in heaven, specifically the storerooms of food in Father’s house. We technically have church in our “store” (uh maybe its prophetic) so I had three of the kids go run behind the curtain and get some rice and cups and onions.
How did that work? WOW– HOW did they GET those? Well they went to the store and just picked them up. Jesus is our Way. We can go to the store rooms in heaven through Him and get what we need. Was it hard? No. Did it take a lot of effort? NO! Then I asked how many of the kids and people there wanted to go see the store rooms and have access to them and join us in seeing “on earth as it is in heaven” happen.
EVERYONE of about 60 people rushed forward and mobbed me and we all asked to be taken up. Later yesterday when we had our family worship time I got hit hard with laughter which was contagious to all our kids practically were in fits of giggles. Especially when I told them Jesus likes laughing with us.
When revival doesn’t look QUITE like you expect: Kids who are brought to us have an average 3 day deliverance from the orphan spirit. It is almost instantaneous once on our compound. We are so amazed. Our kids go to sleep worshiping and wake up worshiping and wake US up at 3 am worshiping in the middle of the night. We are learning to play with Jesus in His Presence and are discovering our sanctified inner rascals. So many revivals have been all serious– I think Jesus wants to make this one FUN!
So there we are… having marshmallow roasts in the dirt, spinning around in the unseasonable rain showers at present. Teaching our kids ridiculously fun dances to worship songs— I’m trading my sorrows ala vaudeville—we are making a music video one of these days just for grins and giggles. What we do for fun in Sudan. We have decided too many missionaries are not only miserable but WAY too serious for us. It is somber serious stuff saving a nation. Urrrr—NOT. FUN. Let’s try that. God might enjoy it more too. Just maybe.
On a personal note, I feel like I need something of a magnitude of an encounter with Him that I have never seen or heard of for this largest nation in Africa. I am just hungry and my heart aches for more of Him. To live hidden in His heart. All I want is HIM. I want enough of Him to feed a nation and the 190 tribes within and then to give Him away extravagantly so they can go feed nations with the Bread of heaven and Life that He is.
Thank you for loving us and the peoples of Sudan.
Love in Jesus, Michele