I sat listening to the broken heart of a mother as she wept over her daughter’s issues. She was a woman who came to Danny’s Bible Class at the Africa School of Missions last year and we had run into her while grocery shopping one day. She began to talk with me about her experience. She said everyone is telling her what to do and she is confused so she asked me to come to her house and talk with her. She was sure our chance meeting was a sign from God to her.
I did meet with her and we talked and prayed and cried over all the issues with her daughter. It was hard for me to hear, but rewarding that God allowed me the privilege and opportunity to meet with her. We have been meeting regularly for prayer and encouragement because even her family members don’t agree with the boundaries she has put in place, and are giving her a very hard time. Many well-meaning people are judging and enabling her daughter to continue in sin and so prayer is much needed for this hurting mother.
Today, I sat down after church where I attended with a Zulu mother and introduced myself. When I asked this lady about herself and family, it was clear that she was distressed and began to tell me about the man she has had living with her for over a year. He has promised marriage but has not followed through. I was able to help this woman to see that God’s plan was for her to live as He says in His Word, and that what she was doing by allowing this was not God’s plan for her. She seemed relieved after having such a restless spirit the last two days. She wants to meet again in the next few days to talk more. Please pray as we minister to these hurting women.
Thoughts from Danny:
I drove into the village of Tshaballa following Pastor Israel. We slowly climbed the hill and turned from one dirt road to a simple dirt path. The grass growing in the middle of the path reached over the bumpers and scrubbed the bottom of the car. I remember coming to this simple village several years earlier. A church building is now in progress beside the shack I committed to memory from the past.
I greeted the pastor of this small church and warmed under his smile that I had seen before. I walked into the church with a concrete floor and gum poles for a frame. Thin pieces of wood made the walls with patchwork patterns depending on the type of wood. Each section seemed to have something different attached to the gum tree poles to complete an enclosure. A tin roof covered the building and provided shade from the sun. A string of single light bulbs hung from the rafters down the middle of the room. I sat down in a plastic chair and remembered the rooster who jumped on the open window to my left. When I preached earlier that rooster crowed for several minutes during the sermon. He burned a visual memory into my heart that day.
Here I am again to open God’s Word with a wonderful group of Christ followers. Their acceptance, love and attention encouraged my heart. We noted the brothers of Jesus who did not believe in him (John 7:5) until after he rose from the dead. But then we focused on Paul and his experience in Lystra, the home of Timothy (Acts 14). Tradition pushed the people of the town to call Paul a god. Despite his words the people were determined to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabus.
You could see nodding heads as I compared the experience in Lystra to the Sangomas (witch doctors) and Inyagas (medicine men) of the local villages. Was their faith truly in Christ or in traditions? I felt concern as I spoke the truth carefully and precisely. I cautiously wanted to shed light on the issues that plague their life but not condemn their internal struggle. I was deeply thankful when they spoke a chorus of amen. They did so repeatedly.
The people of Africa love the Word of God. You can hear the pages of their Zulu Bibles flipping as we move from one scripture to another. The interpreter speaks Zulu after each sentence I complete. I read the Bible in English and he reads in Zulu. It seems laborious. But the people stay fixed on the story being highlighted. Children sit in their laps and toddlers occasionally walk from one row to another. But it is amazing how connected they are to God’s Word and the message.
Cathy and I feel grateful for the opportunities that come our way. Continue to pray that we will listen well and speak the truth in love.
Cathy and Danny Sartin