Friday, August 22, 2014

Holy Anguish: Praying for those who hurt

Our last post shared about the flood crisis Jimmy flew into during his current trip to Africa. Much of that post came from Chica, the wife of the couple with whom he worked while in that particular village. The following is another section of the email I received from her regarding their current situation. 

Before the floods even hit, a flu-like sickness hit many of the people. As Jimmy said in a text message at one point, "People are dying all over the swamp." (The swamp is their nickname for the area.)

With that explanation, here is Chica's update...

Last week the local religious leaders said the amount of sickness in our town is due to people not following Mohammad's way correctly. The leaders announced that everyone was supposed to wash with hot water mixed with salt and neem leaves at 11:11. Then God would hear them, and he would heal them. Well, a lot of people did it. Neighbors checked on each other to see if they did. Then they decided they should have a sacrifice, too. Just maybe, God would be pleased and take away the rampant sickness. So, lots of sacrifices and blood was split.

Then this week it flooded.

I asked my neighbor, Ash, and she told me that the washing was silliness. That it is not commanded, but praying is commanded. So, everyone should just pray. I shared with her about why I don't spill blood. I shared that I agree we should only look at God’s Word and see what it says; follow that, and not listen to what others say.

She said, “Who would ever think that God needed salt?”

Today, it was just Ash and me on the mat. It was a sweet time for me with her. Please pray for her – and for my boldness. Pray for her as this is abnormal for her to go against what everyone is doing and say these things. Pray for me that God would increase my love for Him with all of my heart, soul, and mind so my words flow from my heart and not rehearsed. Pray that I have the courage to continue to be bold with her.

Also, please pray for me to have a holy anguish for all of the peoples here.

I realized I was in anguish – just nauseated – thinking of the villages cut off by the flood during this season. Malaria is coming; it always does. The way to the hospital – the way to the saving medicine – will either be very difficult or impossible. Many will die. It makes me so upset inside… then angry… and then really sad. I wish they just had the opportunity to get the medicine, if they chose to come in. Dumb flood!

And at the end of today, I realized I’m more upset about this crisis and thinking how can we fix this than I am about the same people cut off by the flood of sin. Sin is reality; it always is. The way to the ultimate saving grace – the way to healing that will save their lives and give glory to the Healer – will be very difficult. Many will die. And that should also make me so upset inside… then angry… and then really sad. I want them to have the opportunity to get to salvation by grace, if they choose to come to Him. Dumb, deceitful father of lies!

So I am praying that our Father will give me that holy anguish for them.

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