I am sitting here Saturday morning at 10:36am trying to find the strength to press on. For the last two weeks or so I have been getting migraines. Today as I type it feels as if someone is stabbing a knife into my eyes and another through the base of my skull. It is a pain that I would not wish on anyone. In the past two weeks I have been bedridden three days because of the pain. Rest assured that on Monday I am going to go to the doctor.
I share about my headaches not to get sympathy but to let you know that He is always working. On the days I was stuck at home in bed I had a couple of my brothers in Christ come by and pray over me and encourage me. It is quite humbling to have these men come and pray for me. These are men we have been pouring into and to see them step up moved me so much that I cried after they left. I can only imagine what our heavenly Father felt seeing His children being His hands and feet.
He is my strength and He alone has given me strength when I do not feel like doing anything. Last Thursday I was asked to share with a group of young men about what salvation is and what baptism is. These are young men that have been identified by a sister organization here to be future leaders in their community. My head was pounding and I did not want to go but I had already missed one appointment to talk to these young men, and I was not going to cancel again. I prayed for His strength because I did not have it in me to speak.
We drove to the meeting place which was about 20 minutes from our house. When I got there I saw that we where meeting in the dried up riverbed. There was no covering and no chairs so we all sat on the ground. When we arrived it was sprinkling and only four of the ten young men had shown up. I prayed silently for His strength as I sat there on the riverbed with these young men and asked one of the boys to pray for our time together.
As I began sharing with these kids I felt and knew that God was with us and that He had caused the pain in my head to subside. I sent up a silent praise at His mercy. I presented what salvation was and how they could know when it was real in their lives. I then shared on what baptism is and the significance it plays in our walk with Christ. Then I answered questions for over an hour. I have to say that our young people are hungry for answers and they want us, their elders, to take the time to listen and answer their questions.
Some of the questions were tough and again I had to ask for His help and His strength. How do you answer a question that challenges their heritage and their culture? The questions they asked we have heard consistently since we have been here. Will I go to hell if I commit a sin and die before I get a chance to ask for forgiveness? Will I go to heaven if I have never been baptized? Do I have to be confirmed to be a Christian? Do I have to be confirmed to get married? What if my pastor does not live as he teaches us to live? How do I pray for someone I hate? On and on the questions came and the whole time I felt God speaking through me.
When we finished there were ten young men in the group. It sprinkled on and off the whole time but we stayed and talked and shared. It was an amazing time and I am glad I went. Being with these future leaders was encouraging to me and I had no idea that I had been an encouragement to them.
Their leader, one of the men I am mentoring, came to me later and said that the young men were surprised to see me come in the rain and then to sit on the ground with them. I did not think anything of it at the time. I just did what Jesus would do. I got down on their level so that I could be with them.
When I got home it was after 7:00pm and my head was killing me. God had sustained me through the whole time I was talking. Praise the Lord for allowing me to be the one He used to share with these young men.
I am learning and coming to realize that our walk with Christ is not just 9 to 5, it is 24/7. He wants us to be ready at all times to be His hands and feet. I continue to pray that He will shape me to be more like Him. Even though I am in pain I know that He is at work in me and through me.
Thank you for your prayers. I can honestly say that I have felt them and cherish them.