It is 4:30 am here and I lay awake in my bed. My head is too full to sleep. Waking and praying is part of the sleep routine here. My heart is heavy for the pastor's wives. I am looking forward to spending time with them today and pray that I will be less hesitant to attempt to communicate with them. My heart is there, but the ME gets in the way.
One young wife, is small, has darker skin, is a tribal minister's wife, and her husband was an orphan. She is heavy on my heart. I hope to give her a gift today as a promise that I will be praying for her. She is one of those I wish to bring home and lavish her with love and the wealth of the states. I noticed her searching through her Bible and tried to help her. I then realized she can not read. I have multiple Bibles-my study Bible, a Bible in our children's classroom and I even have a bathroom Bible! Those are only my Bibles not the other family membes. How often I take for the granted the gift I have to read them.
Yesterday, we attended a Pastor's Conference. Bob at http://www.answeringthecallfor4life.blogspot.com/ did a great job describing many details so I won't go there. I will say that my friend Karen back home did the conversations for the temperature and if it is 97-98 degrees outside, so it was over 100 in that building! The breakers continued to blow due to the fans that the pastors were aiming directly at us. Pete, our team leader carries a towel when he preaches to catch the sweat as it rolls off of his head.
It was completely humbling as they marched us, by name, to the front to give us flowers. Tears rolled down my face. The last time I felt a reception like that was high school homecoming and I was so vain. This time, I stood ashamed of my yucky heart. The yucky heart that was not looking forward to this day and wondered if our time would not be better used somewhere else. Yes, that yucky heart.
I met 2 students who were studying to be pastors. They are English students as well and wanted to practice the language. I so enjoyed talking with them. One of them reminded me of my friend Brian C. from high school. My Dear would have enjoyed these two and a chance to encourage them in their studies and their faith. I am missing my preaching boy today but am thankful for Skype and a friend to share her computer.
When I was leaving, I was introduced to a children's minister. Not sure how to spell his name but I say it, with my southern dialect, Hi. I gave him a cheer when I learned of his heart and he said we would talk today. Children's ministers in Vnam........Yeah God!!!
One of our team members, got sick yesterday. She believes it is from some undercooked meat that she noticed too late. As you can imagine the temperature in the small building did not blend well with her stomach. We had to push Fay out the door to come back to the hotel to rest. She was caught between want and need and so wanted to share with those pastor's wife. She has encouraged me again and again in the role and I knew she would bless those women too.
Amy, the blessing that I have mentioned before, came back to the hotel with Fay. Amy talked with the taxi driver on the way back to the hotel. Although Fay could not understand what they were saying, she knew what they were talking about. Amy shared the news of Jesus Christ with the father of 3. He had NEVER heard about Jesus. He accepted Christ in the taxi with a sick Fay praying in the backseat!!! HALLELUJAH!!! Fay shared that she began to feel better after he prayed! DELIGHT!
Amy had gotten Fay medicine and attempted to fill her with coconut juice-as Amy's Vnam aunt suggested. Amy sat with Fay all day in her hotel room. I ran up the steps (7 flights!) to check on Fay and was surprised to see Amy. I asked what she had done just sitting in the hotel room. She answered so sweetly and matter of factly, "pray." Amy is such a blessing!
When Fay awoke, she asked if I heard about the taxi ride and I smiled and said I did. She was thankful that she got sick so someone could hear about Jesus and accept Him as their Lord-that's my Fay! If anyone but Amy had come back, this would have never happened due to the language barrier. I love my God of details!
Vnam lesson of the day.....
The shower knobs are colored blue and red.
Blue means cold.
Hot means maybe.
Heading to the orphanage for children who are HIV positive, I am already mourning over leaving and have not even gotten there. Tear filled for the pastors and their wives who are trying to provide for their families and share the gospel-we will leave them today. I used to use the word "sacrifice" in the states but am pretty sure that word has been redefined for me. Already in tears in this morning.
I (heart) Vnam.