Thursday, August 18, 2005

Prayer in the sanctuary

August 18, 2005

The air is oppressively hot, no breeze filtering through the windows flung wide open, no relief from the humid closed air. Beads of sweat gather on our foreheads and upper lips as we gather in a circle to pray for the coming service. “Lord we leave all our worries behind us as we enter into your presence”. “May the songs we sing minister to those who come today, let them be blessed and refreshed”. “What a privilege it is to worship You”! As the prayers lift to the rafters in this ancient Lutheran church, I think of the generations who came before us. Did they pray for safety for their loved ones from the oppressive Communist regime? Did they ask for food to feed their starving children as the Nazi Blitzkrieg encircled their city cutting off all supply routs? Were the whispered prayers lifted quietly in secret, lest someone hear them and report? Suddenly the magnitude of the history, the tears and prayers that have been uttered in this place seem thick as the humid air around us. “Lord, I have no understanding of what the saints before us have suffered”, I pray quietly to myself “But may our praise and worship rise from hearts that long to do your will no matter the consequences.” Do I really understand what this means? I don’t know. In my life, I have never had the choice between clinging to my faith or clinging to my life. In truth, the latter means nothing without the former.

I gaze at her in wonder as she makes her slow way down the aisle. This was the girl who was never supposed to walk again?! Who lay in a coma for months, the doctors giving dire predictions of no recovery? I remember hearing about the horrible accident her taxi got in as she made her way home after her birthday party. She normally took the metro but wanted a quicker rout home to celebrate with her family. Natasha is a medical doctor who attends our church. In her late twenties, she is also a gifted musician who played with the worship team. When we heard of her accident, we immediately begin to pray as did hundreds and possibly thousands around the world. Emails were sent out, phone calls made and word passed on, a call for prayer. I rejoice in the miracle I saw today as Natasha came to church, her very presence a shout of joy for the wonders our God has performed!

We chat late into the night, sharing our life stories, catching up as only two sisters can. It has been such a blessing to have my sister Rachel here with me for the last few weeks. Sometimes I don’t realize how lonely it gets until I have someone here with me during the day, sharing my tasks, listening to me and sharing her thoughts and prayers with me. Timothy has loved the extra attention he gets as well as the outside play times he has with his aunt. My sister encourages me to reach out to other single missionaries, using my home as a place of ministry. There are several single missionaries I know who could use a dinner with a family in a home where love and the Holy Spirit dwell. “Lord, let me be an instrument of blessing to many weary workers in this field.” I look at my home in a different light now, as a place where healing and encouragement can touch the lives of others. Thank you Rachel for your words of wisdom! I have been struggling with the change in my life as I go from full time minister to full time mom. But God continues to work in my heart in showing me my home as being a place of ministry.

We continue to establish relationships with many wonderful missionary families around the city. One long - time relationship is with a couple and their three lovely daughters, Perry and Lynda Friesen and Sarah, Katelyn, and Rayanne. We have been so blessed by their relationship and hope to bless them as well. Please pray for their ministry as they church plant in an area with very few bodies of believers (if any) in the northern region of the city.

Our prayers and love go out to you all!!!

Aaron, Ramona, Timothy, and Abigail