I asked to write the blog today because it was the kind of day where I was left asking, “How can people deny the existence of God?” After yesterday’s amazing day we all woke up refreshed (and a little sore from shoveling 20 tons of sand) and ready to see what God had in store for today. And what a day it was!
After breakfast Mario & Dejanna invited us to do a prayer walk through the neighborhood. As we walked, they talked about various places along the way. It brought home the challenges that they face when they pointed out a village on the hill across from us that had nearly been wiped out during the war: men, women, and children. And it was done in “the name of Jesus.” The entire village is 100% Muslim. Can you imagine what they feel when they hear Mario and Dejanna talk about Jesus and his love? And yet, God’s love shines through so powerfully because Mario has been able to form a relationship with a survivor of that attack.
We prayed for the neighborhoods as we walked and stopped at the school to specifically pray for the students that enter their doors. In this town there are Mosques strategically placed right next to the schools to serve as a gateway to the Muslim religion. When Mario helps the students with their schoolwork he feels like he is reading from the Koran because their books are filled with Arabic and Muslim teachings.
As we walked we came across a woman who was a friend of Dejanna’s. She invited us into her home and we learned that she suffered a stroke two months ago, her husband is unemployed, and her son suffers from a bacterial infection that has required multiple surgeries to remove flesh from his legs. In short, her life is filled with hardship and pain- and she’s not a believer. After sampling her DELICIOUS homemade blueberry juice we asked if we could pray for her. As soon as our prayer started she began to sob. I held onto her small hands as we prayed and could feel her shaking. As if on cue her phone began to ring, over and over, trying to interrupt our prayer. But, we kept right on praying. NOTHING was going to stop that prayer. We left her with a smile on her face and she promised to come and visit us later this week. And here is where God’s timing is so perfect. What makes me believe with my heart and soul that he brings all things to fruition at just the right time. Little did we know, but that morning she had called Dejanna and shared that her life meant so little to her, she was contemplating suicide. And here we were, walking through her neighborhood, outside her home at the exact moment she came outside. God is so good!
After returning home and resting a bit we organized some games for the local neighborhood children and learned many things about them and our team. For example, did you know that even Duck, Duck, Goose can get lost in translation? We were surprised to learn that Dejanna is a hardcore Dodgeball player who takes no mercy on anyone. And both children and the team were in awe of Sarah’s athletic ability and prowess. Attention Cowlitz County, do NOT engage Sarah in a foot chase of any kind. She means business!
Our night ended with a time of fellowship and food with Mario & Dejanna’s home group. There, two members as well as Robbin and Wayne, shared their testimonies of how God has brought them to this point in their lives. As I said before, how can you deny the existence of God when he moves through people’s lives with such unfailing love, protection, grace, and mercy. Surely, this is a God that lives.
We thank you for your continued prayers and can’t to see what wonders God has in store for us tomorrow. God Bless, Becky