In prayer time this morning with our boys at home (we have three young men that live with us besides our kids), we read Romans 8, the magnificent chapter that Paul lays out the whole foundation for our hope and salvation, the anticipation of deliverance on the day that God's glory will be reveal. He asks a fundamental question of our faith, "What then shall we say about these wonderful things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can accuse us? Who can condemn us?" And then shares the most beautiful answer: No one! Nothing, not anything can separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus! This is a marvelous promise!
I am constantly encouraged and challenged by the Haitians' faith, simple faith. Their utter depence on God flows from their undeniable recognition that they really can do nothing apart from God. He is their daily bread, their excellent doctor, their companion and protection. He is this for me too, as I live and work alongside the Haitians. God is doing something extraordinary in the midst of our church and, because I have close interaction with the women, I would say He is especially moving among them. We meet every Monday afternoon to pray, to share, to learn and to encourage one another. It is so rewarding that the women are taking initiative to reach out to one another, to be vulnerable and open and to truly seek the Lord with a fresh touch of His Holy Spirit. Last night our meeting lasted into the dark, which is not always good cause the women have to walk home, but they just did not want to leave. Neither did I. It was beautiful. We worshipped and prayed for one another. Then we began to encourage and exhort one another. One older woman's husband recently passed away, so the others were consoling her with the comforting words that Jesus is her companion, provider, protector and everything. Another young woman recently lost her first baby, which has caused a sadness in her, but a deeper desire to seek the Lord. The ladies gathered around her with words of life and nourishment, sharing testimonies of their own struggles and challenges with miscarriages, handicapped and sick children and how God has faithfully provided for them and strengthened their faith through it all. Another woman just found out her daughter has severe scoliosis, yet she is not discouraged or faint-hearted. These women amaze me. Actually, all women, world-wide, amaze me with their tenacity, resilience and will to overcome and survive, especially those who live in such harsh or primitive conditions as in third-world or war-torn countries, or in places of oppression. It brings to light even greater those beautiful verses in Romans 8. Nothing can separate us, not life or death, nor angels or demons, nor persecution... from the love of Christ.
Our meeting then took a fun turn, considering that today is Valentine's Day, a day of love, and the women were eager to talk about how they could better serve, or surprise their husbands with a little lovin'! They were giddy and joyful as they shared together, the older, wiser ones giving insightful counsel to the younger. Then we began to share how we feel God is changing our church, our hearts, growing us as a family and revealing Himself in powerful ways. One woman shared a vision God had given her of the church being full of angels and thick with God's presence. Another women shared how God has been speaking to her and she challenged the other ladies to be obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit by sharing of how God used her to bless a man by faith who was ill and a week later he came back to her to testify of how her gesture brought God's complete healing in his body! We ended with a thrill of planning for some outreach and events, since Mardi Gras is coming up. This time of year is full of all kinds of carnality and we want to gather the young people especially into the church and out of the streets, to be drawn closer to Heaven and further from Hell. We are planning for three days of services and activities for the church and youth that I anticipate to be even more inspiring yet.
Friends, God is amazing, at work and ever drawing us closer to that Heavenly glory that awaits us, the promise of our inheritance and rights as His dearly beloved children. I am blessed to be serving such an amazing, loving God... and to be surrounded by such incredible women of faith.
Happy Valentines Day. Take the opportunity to show this amazing love of Christ with others today.