April 28, 2023
Ed challenged us this morning out of Joshua 3 where God instructs Joshua to send the priests, carrying the ark of the covenant, into the flood-swollen Jordan River before they continue on their way to Jericho. He pointed out the great faith these men showed when they obeyed Joshua (and God) because these priests would not have actually witnessed first-hand the many wonders God did while bringing Israel out of Egypt. Those priests would have died before now when they are entering the promised land. But they stepped in! Carrying the nation’s most precious treasure, the ark of the covenant! We don’t see them discussing it, or doubting the unusual command. They just did it. We know what happened—God stopped the raging flood waters of the river and they (the whole nation-maybe a million or so people) crossed on dry land. Just wow! Little did we know that we were about to witness our own miracle today! (more on that later.)
After our prayer time we loaded up and headed out. Back to Ntiya 2 where we attended church Sunday. This is Stanley & Misozi’s village. Ovi told us we were expecting about 300 kids today. Once we got there (and the roads were very rough! The roughest I’ve driven yet.) we got out and got right to it with singing in the church building. The children do love to sing and dance and clap! It was evident pretty early that we were going to have more than 300, but that was ok. We were told they had enough food to stretch to 400 if needed. They split the kids into two groups again. Mark taught one group and Leah and I the other. I completely left out the middle part of the lesson! But Leah did a great job covering for me on the fly. Janine got to sit with some of the women again. She said she had some really good conversations. You’ll need to read her page for details on that. Again, the children sat and paid close attention and even answered many questions afterward. They listened well!
After Bible lessons the children were divided into 3 teams again. As team leaders we were told to count them as they came to us so we could have a good count. I lost count at about 80 (on each team) and we weren’t even half way through the kids! 80×3=240 240×2=480. Yes. We were going to have well over the amount of food we’d planned for. And the children kept coming! The children again were very competitive and had a fun time playing all the games Stanley had for them. Today I was on the Botswana team. I have no idea why the kids picked it, but there ya go. The other two teams were lions and zebras. I have no idea who won but we sure started out strong! The other two leaders of my team, John and Gertrude, were from the church in Ntiya 2 but spoke pretty good English so we communicated pretty well. At one point I had 3 little girls hanging on me ranging from about 5-8 years old. Their names were Stella, Dora and Debora. We had so much fun playing and cheering. There was even a little good-natured (I hope) taunting between teams!
I left the games a little early to help with food. We cut boiled eggs again but there weren’t very many. We found out later that they were brought out extra to try to supplement the growing crowd of hungry children. We set up an assembly line and served out plates. Ran out of eggs and moved to the planned beef. Each child got a very small chunk with rice & cabbage salad as well as some of the soup the beef was cooked in. The ladies had planned to feed at most 400, brought out 60 extra eggs split in half, but still fed well over 600 children! Ovi said it was a miracle that just the rice stretched that far! God is amazing! Isn’t He?
After the lunch everyone began to gather under a tree, thinking they would not all fit into the tiny church building. But they started to wander off, having been fed so Stanley moved everyone into the tiny church building. They crammed in some on top of each other, but they fit! Ed preached salvation and I’m pretty sure every child in there stood to accept Christ! Listening to them pray brought tears. Again, our God is so Good!
A pretty wild ride home where we ladies had to stop a couple of times because of giggling fits was a good way to finish off the camps! Back at the mission house we were met by a couple of artisans trying to sell us some souvenirs. I looked but didn’t buy anything today. Then showers and relaxing to finish the afternoon. We are waiting eagerly for Lita’s yummy dinner (she’s an amazing cook) and Ed is baking a cake for tomorrow. Tomorrow we are giving Lita the day off and we ladies are fixing dinner. (I will probably just take orders. Anyone who knows me knows that the kitchen is not my special room! But I’ll happily pitch in as best I can or stay out of the way…whichever Janine & Leah deem best!) Before that, though, we will be doing several Bible Clubs in a couple different areas. Sounds fun!
This morning I was reading in 1 Corinthians 12 where it talks about spiritual gifts and one body having many members. I have watched this team work so well as one body with each person having different gifts and using them in different ways all to bring glory to God. I hope and pray that as we return home we can fit right back into our larger body and each of you, especially from HPFBC, will use the talents that God has given you to help make this body work smoothly and bring glory to God there!