If you have spent any time around here at all, you know that we throw up some pretty bold prayers. Because, I truly believe that bold prayers honor a bold God and what you pray about reveals what you believe about God.
And, because you've spent some time around here, you also know that we have seen some moves of God. And I'm not just talking about, give us God our daily bread, though He is certainly does that, too. We have, literally, seen God do the seemingly impossible. Over and over again.
So, the truth is, the last month, I have been praying hard, my Sun Stand Still prayer (here and here). The Sun Stand Still prayer that started it all. Thrown up, for the first time, from a nasty motel room in Gisenyi, Rwanda, what seems like a million years ago. I wanted to get some things down in writing that I believe to be true, whether the sun sets or not. I want to tell you some of the story, so that when He shows up, like I know He will, you know where all the glory goes.
When I came on that Visiting Orphans trip, almost 2 and a half years ago, I had no idea what God would do. I, honestly, don't remember where my heart was at that time, what I was praying about or any specific requests I had. I'm sure, like most well-intending mission trippers, I wanted God to be glorified through our love. I know, based on the circumstances, there was no way I wasn't praying for God's redemptive power in the lives of so many that we met. It's very likely that I was praying for some McDonald's.
I'm not a good prayer, I never have been. I don't have pretty words. I don't know what to say.
The only prayers I specifically remember from our entire trip are the prayers that I began to pray the night after I met Innocent. He did something inside of me. Something deep in my soul that I have yet to put into words and I wonder if I ever will. But I think that's faith.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
And God used that faith to set off a series of events that would not only bring me to Inn, but would bless so many, and leave no doubt that He was running the show.
When I got home, before I knew I was coming back to Rwanda, I prayed about helping women. I wanted to be involved in some way. I thought that maybe I would collect and send magazines to make paper beads. I thought that I could find a group and help them create a market for their goods in the States. It's funny now. I had no idea what I was praying about. He knew.
When it was clear that I would be returning to Noel, I came full of faith. Sanctified naivete, if you will. When I arrived, everything seemed to come to a screeching halt. Life here wasn't like that two-week mission trip. It wasn't like being at home, supported by your church, surrounded by like-minded people ready to change the world with you. But God used that to build my faith. Without what I saw on that trip, and without the support that surrounded me, I would have never taken a step, but I did, and he proved Himself faithful. So I took another. And another.
I don't take a single ounce of credit for the work God has done around here, but I know without a doubt, that extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience. He planted the seeds in my heart, but in the end, He has 'answered' countless prayers I didn't even know to pray. God used me, only because I was willing. Yes, I was obedient, but I was also selfish. I was willing to put my whole life on the line for that boy. Everyday, every step I took, came back to that boy.
And you know what? I think it did for God, too. I think he gives us the experiences He needs us to have in order to shape us for the destiny He has designed for us. He has used every prayer, every sleepless night, every fight, every victory, because He knew, April 15, 2013, He was going to bring this whole story full circle with a student visa.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't freaking out. That I didn't have have doubts. I am freaking out. But when I get quiet, I remember. I look at the wall next to my bed where I collect pieces of scripture, promises, that I'm learning or believing. I read them now and realize they were all preparation for this.
One day, I will tell you the full story, just how far we've come and exactly how faithful God has been. For now, I am asking you to please join us in prayer for Inn's visa interview, Monday morning at 8am (1am central time). I added this scripture to my wall recently.
For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of him. 1 Samuel 1:27
I am claiming it.