Friday we opened House 3! Highlight of my year? Um, I think so. I spent the day before making 2 cakes for the celebration. It doesn’t matter what culture you are in, they celebrate with food. We had goat, chicken, rice, potatoes, and cake. What a feast it was.
To back up a year and 4 months seems like a couple of life times ago. It was my first week at Mattaw, and my heart was wrecked. I remember Kimberly saying that they (Kim, Bud, and Humphrey) were going to visit some potential children that were in a pretty horrible situation and that I shouldn’t be surprised if she came back with 3 little new ones. They returned from the visit with 3 little faces hanging out the rear window. These kids were dirty, hungry, and broken. I remember the transformation of Angeline, Peter, and Dan just as they had a bath and put new clothes on. Mattaw got them enrolled in school where they were guarnteed 3 meals a day and a uniform. The third time I saw these kids I had to take a second look. Little Angeline had plumped up and was barely recognizable! Fast forward to Friday. Angeline has been living out at Mattaw for 6 months already. We arrived to pick up her brother Peter, and cousin Dan. They were so excited to see our car pull up, and did not hesitate to sit in my lap, while right next to me their great-uncle signed over guardianship. We prayed with the family, took a few photos, and were on our way. It was such an amazing experience to finally see these three special lives reunited and welcomed home. It really was a full circle moment.
These are just 3 lives of many, but what a perfect prophetic picture of salvation.
We were once all in poverty, despair, and darkness. We have an encounter with Jesus and He rescues us. He takes us into our new home and family. We are stripped of our filthy rags, and made clean. He gives us new garments. Then there is the celebration.
The last few days have been a big blur. Looking back it kind of seems like a dream. On Wednesday Kimberly, Humphrey (Mattaw’s social worker), and I went out visiting a few prospective kids for House 3 and 4. The funny thing about my life is that I am sitting here writing a blog about my needs while this afternoon I was standing in a mud hut. This is a strange and wonderful life I live. The other funny, and yet sad, thing is that Wednesday I left a 73 year old widow’s mud home, turned to Kimberly and said that the woman had a nice house. The home was sticks and cow dung, and I was saying it was nice? Compared to the first house we visited it was amazing. The woman takes excellent care of her land, but what has happened to my perspective? God has taken it and destroyed it. My needs seem so meaningless when I look at the needs of these children and the women caring for them. Some of these women are aunts, grandmothers, and sisters. They are lonely, tired, and confused. The beautiful thing is that God has chosen me to be a part of their story.
Today we went to pick up one of the children we met Wednesday, Dominique. We went as a group and prepared to preach salvation to a lost and dying group of people. 2 men and 1 woman were saved! One of the men was delivered from years of torment to his mind, and the woman was healed of an ailment the doctors had no solution for. The kingdom of God is at hand!!! The bible says that when the kingdom of God is present you will see signs, miracles, and wonders. That we did!! We believe that by keeping in contact with these people the whole area will be changed. There is so much I want to say about what has been happening in this ‘hostel’. If you read the blog I wrote about Mary than you may have an idea of what this place feels like. It is actually the same place. I guess Dominique’s aunt heard about us, possibly through Mary’s family, and came to Mattaw. Humphrey ended up leading her to Jesus and she was saved! We know that Jesus has His sights on this area, and we are seeing lives redeemed, the power of God released, and families restored. What an amazing few days we have had. I will try to write more about Dominique soon. I am also excited to see House 3 finally be filled with children by the end of the month.
And now the bad news…
It is finally official. My computer is dunzo. I don’t know what happened, but the screen gave out. So, as little as I did actually blog, it may be even longer between posts. Not so great for sharing about life and keeping people interested in what I am doing. Luckily, I have my iphone. I did try typing this post on my little tiny keypad, but then it mysteriously erased. Aly and I just welcomed a new visitor into our home. Elizabeth will be the nurse out at Mattaw for the next few months (maybe longer). She is now staying with us and is hitting the ground running! She is also kind enough to lend me her computer. God says, you have not because you ask not. So this is me asking. If you would like to help donate to my computer fund please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t punch a clock. I don’t have an office. I am a missionary (that still sounds weird when I say it) and I live by God’s provision. I am so blessed to have people in my life that support me and bless me. After the last few days my needs seem so silly. The fact is, my job requires that I have a computer.