We’ve learned a lot in the first four full days. We have three full days left. Yesterday was very encouraging. (When I say yesterday, I’m writing this at 10:15 am on our Saturday, and it is very late on your Friday). I think the biggest thing we have learned about trying to engage people is that walking around constantly wasn’t particularly working. So we shifted gears and went to places we could stop. Larry headed off to the mall while Charity, Jake and I prayer walked a poorer neighborhood for our friends’ future efforts there. A couple of songs came to my mind yesterday as we walked. I had such joy singing them to myself through the streets; very likely the first time such words of worship had been uttered there. One song was “Sing Along” from Passion’s White Flag album, and the other was “You Said”. I want to share a few words from the former, if you don’t know them.
From babies hidden in the shadows,
To the cities shining bright,
There are captives weeping far from sight.
For every doorway there’s a story,
And some are holding back the cries,
But there is One who hears at the night.
From the farthest corners of the earth,
Still His mercy reaches,
Even to the pain we cannot see.
And even through the darkness,
There’s a promise that will keep us,
There is One who came to set us free.
Great God, wrap Your arms around this world tonight,
Around the world tonight.
And when You hear our cries,
Sing through the night.
So we can join in Your song
And sing along.
Hear the powerful prayer for the city we are in, in these words. The darkness and real hopelessness is all-pervasive. It is heart-breaking. With a Dad’s houses nearly on every corner in our country, we really don’t have the proper perspective of the darkness in the world.
After the walk, Jake and I went back to a small dirt field where we had seen some boys playing cricket the day before. This time we got in on the action, and before long, we had nearly 20 young men and boys talking to us. For the most part they were interested in American pop culture and when we asked if they wanted to hear a story from our favorite book, they weren’t interested. But we are going back Monday morning with an (American) football to play with them again.
That afternoon, we searched out a city park and found ourselves at the university. There were some young men playing basketball, but Jake wasn’t allowed to join them because he didn’t have on “the proper costume” (meaning athletic shorts and tennis shoes). However, one guy was sitting on the bench. Jake was able to share the entire gospel message with him and he seemed fairly receptive. As I prayed as Jake talked with him, I felt that this university could be a powerful force of influence in this city. The younger generation seems much more receptive to us, definitely. These guys said they play every day at 5 pm so we definitely plan to go back there.
Unfortunately, Larry got quite ill yesterday. I myself had a pretty unsettled stomach but nothing that incapacitated me. Just uncomfortable. But Larry had diarrhea and vomiting and had to go to the hospital this morning. They gave him IV fluids and he was just back to our hotel before I began writing. Please lift him up for healing and strength. Not sure what the rest of us will do today, but I’m praying for the Lord to send us where He needs us. I also specifically prayed–and you can join me–in that I get to share my faith with someone in the same way Jake has. Charity is also still praying for the same for a woman. She’s met a couple but when we’ve gone back, they weren’t there anymore. Lastly, our friends just got a baby pug named Kuri. He’s a lot younger than they anticipated and she is really worried about him, as he seems a little sickly, having received his vaccines too early (we think). As a fellow pet owner, I get it, and ask you to lift up her concern and worries about their new little family member.