The other day I was driving in the car with Ashlyn. As per usual, she was talking away (she never stops!). Suddenly she said, “I don’t want to go to heaven.” We weren’t even having a conversation anything about heaven, so that really came out of the blue.
I naturally asked, “Why not?”
The reply was simple and very 3-year-oldish. “Well, my scared the Lord might make me eat carrots.”
“mmm…” I said, “But last night you said you like carrots now.”
“Oh yea, that’s right,” replies Ashlyn, “But my still scared that the Lord won’t cook nice things.” 3-year-old logic. Don’t you love it? Of course I tried to explain that everything in Heaven will be happy and perfect, but I am not sure what an impression that made. Though at night when we were reading a Bible Story she was happy to go to Heaven again!
It’s been a good week and, as always, an interesting one. On Tuesday there was some drama near the girl’s school. We received a note about it at the end of the day (although the principal had already contacted Andrew during the day as Andrew is the chairman of the School Board). There was a riot right outside the school between two opposing schools (local high-schools, nothing to do with our school). In the process rocks ended up being thrown over the fence of our school, so some students were evacuated to classrooms on the other side of the school. All the students from our school were forced to stay indoors for a while, even after the police arrived, as the police dispersed large quantities of teargas, and fired warning shots into the air to disperse the crowds! The two schools involved were closed and classes are still suspended at the moment, though I think they are due to reopen this week. Anyway, the girls came home full of stories, of course, as they could also see the action a bit from their upstairs classrooms.
This week there was a heartening story from a member of our church, who has not been attending for the last month or a bit more, even though she was faithful before that. She was a member of Tent Siti, the area where we had lots of trouble in last year. As she had not been for a while, we presumed she was falling by the wayside. But, God is amazing! Last Tuesday she turned up at the Bible study, and on Thursday she came to the literacy class (she is very literate but she wants to come and observe and help, with the aim one day to start a course of her own). She arrived here early on Thursday morning and I chatted to her for a while. Anyway, to cut a long story short, she was previously working 2 jobs as a haus meri (house help). With such a full load, she was also often asked to work on Sundays. Anyway, after a lot of prayer and time in the Word, she realized that Satan was using this heavy workload to keep her from gathering with God’s people. So she gave up one of the jobs (which is a big thing to do as haus meris earn a pittance, and people here really struggle to live) and has decided, with God’s help ,to commit herself more to church work (women’s fellowship, literacy and Sunday worship). She has also left the Tent Siti area and is now living in a settlement closer to Kamkumung and Biwat (central to them both) in a small house (settlement house) provided free of rent by an associate of her husband. We hope and pray that this commitment will remain – there are many things which work to pull people away!.
Andrew had a great fellowship in Biwat Settlement on Wednesday night. There was a good turn out and enthusiasm. Some times fellowships just seem to go really well! A blessing and an encouragement.
Then some things disappoint – only a small turn-up for the youth gathering yesterday– 10 people came. First of all this got me down, but as we worked together as a small group, my mood changed, and I decided to be thankful instead for the enthusiastic group I had, rather than lamenting those that did not come. And we had good fellowship, a time of Bible Study, singing and prayer, followed by a good game of Yatzee. Yatzee took a full hour – well have you ever tried playing with 10 people at once????!!!!
And today was another blessed day of worship. Once again, it is hard not to be disappointed at the non-attendance of a few people who should be there, but then once again the Lord filled up the church with a bunch of newcomers. So often we see new faces in church. Sometimes they don’t come again, sometimes they do. We don’t know how the Spirit uses the Word. We are just thankful to know that it is in His hands, and we pray that many more will turn to Him.