Flying in economy cabin.
“Oh yeah? You climbed Mt Everest? Well I’ve climbed to more than 40,000 feet! And it only took me 45 min to climb that high! And I stayed up there 16 hours!”
Did I forget to mention I was in a jet plane? Did I forget to mention, I didn’t build the plane or even have anything to do with driving it? Did I forget to mention that I didn’t even earn the money to buy the stinkin’ ticket! It was all a gift!
Paul – “Isn’t everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God?” (1 Co 4:7 Msg) Or again – “It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing!” (Eph 2:7 Msg)
I just happened to be in the economy cabin when God swept thru Singanga Village this past year. As an eye witness may I testify?
- March 2006, huddled with my wife in a beach house prayer retreat, God gave the undeniable, “GO – I will show you a land as your own inheritance.” See Judges 18 – it is as clear as you can get! How many times does God lead you with a scripture that has your own name on it?
- A year and a half ago, the second to last day before we left Zambia from our 2 ½ month outreach, God showed me that very land. “Watch for a man carrying water, follow him to the house he enters, and say to the owner of that house that the master has need of the place.” (Lk 22:7ff) – so I followed a stranger carrying a heavy load to his village, told the headman what we wanted to do and asked if he had a place for us (The Master) to use. He said NO. Well, I guess I had heard wrong! As I got back in the car my passenger said, “Let me take you to my village.” “I thought you had!” “No. This was just the first village!” So we went 3 more villages, talked to the headman and his counselors, and the next day we were stepping off the ground, placing piles of rocks for property corners and signing a hand written property contract in a language I could not read a word of!
- Without any campaigning for money I let the down pmt of $10,000, due in 1 ½ months, be the test of whether this was God’s project or Dan’s. By a week from the due date it looked like it was Dan’s idea – still $6000 short. I spoke at numerous places, but would not tell of our urgent need. That last week money poured in – but the morning of the last day we were still $3000 short. But by the end of the day we had exceeded the pmt by $147!!!
- “He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street.” (Is 42:2) Without guilt bombs, pom poms or Madison Avenue, God has paid off the $40,000 property payment in a little over a year (the last payment in Feb)! In 2007 I left a wonderful secure job to follow a leading from God. No income, no promised support (at that time), no known place or job – just a sense of leading to care for the orphans of Africa. And this past year God has led an army of common hearts to pitch in for the same cause. I have not counted the money that has been given, but I am sure it is more than $100,000USD. But it is a drop in the bucket of what He still wants to do! Just watch what He does next year!
- The day to become pilgrims without keys, address, even a phone – was becoming a reality. We felt the “eagles wings” of grace often surprise us thru this time as we said goodbye to things and responsibilities we had worked so hard for. We were on holy ground – “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man…” It seemed our impressions of “5 family groups” to pioneer with us was vaporizing in the bright light of reality – many dreamed about it, but few are able or willing. Mike Lungu, our Zambian CPX friend was willing. Then in October Nimisha Lala, our South African friend also was willing. So we started out with 3 families. At times through these past months we may have felt “like grasshoppers…” within view of the giants, but somehow we had the grace to fall more upon God “in time of need…” Now in Jan, the first fruits of our long vigil – a wonderful youngwoman (Yeah Sarah) is joining the family; Ezra, a retired construction supervisor is going to set me dancing later in Jan; in Feb some boomer empty-nesters are buying a tent, moving into the village, and learning language! By June Jeremiah and Missy – the ones who first scouted the land with us, will put their few threads in storage and make Zambia home – bringing the orphans into forever homes. Several others will test the waters. And sprinkled like pepperoni in the soup are the many interns who have served with us – more than 30 this year! And can you imagine what it will be next year? Already in Jan we will have 22 people coming – most for a short time!
- “LOVING THE LOST…” is half our battle cry. Our dream is starting a movement of Jesus followers who gather in small discipleship huts, encouraging and teaching one another without the need of well polished leaders or buildings – multiplying by the dynamic of radically changed lives making disciples of others. We have found this harder than we imagined. The Lozi and Toka-Leya people in these areas are some of the more neglected, spiritually dark people of Zambia. There are no churches or even very few believers in our circle of 18 villages which reflect the Life of Jesus. Witchcraft and demonic powers are daily realities here, leaving people terrified and always wary. Moral depravity has left a deep wound in the foundations of family life and physical health – in our short year 9 of our friends have died, leaving more than 10 orphans. Yet God sent us here. This is where He wants to shine his light – in a very dark place. We found it easy to start Bible studies all over the place – but as soon as we are gone, so are they! But now we are finding small clusters of disciples/leaders in each of 3 villages – they are beginning to gather together without us and pray for their village. Some are starting to share the gospel in other villages and care for widows. We are gathering in weekly training meetings and some are hungry and faithful and obedient. We sense we are getting closer to our dream.
- “…AND LOVING THE LEAST.” God led one church to donate the full $25,000 to build the first orphan home and it is so extremely cool. We are within weeks of getting inspection, getting house parents, getting beds and sheets and curtains and crayons and diapers…. But most of all, souls! I have been praying for them almost daily – not knowing their names – but God does. These will be the future leaders of Zambia and Africa – pastors and business men, mothers of greatness, excellent teachers and administrators… We are busy making a plan for an excellent business to sustain the home, weaning them from the breast of the West, and making multiplication a real possibility. We are beginning dialogue about starting a school like these villages have never seen – where Jesus is worshiped, education is artfully woven into lives, as if these were actually The King’s Kids! All of us staff are eager to move out to the village once we get kids in The Home, to work with them to tame the land. We dream of what our homes will look like there on the edge of the Zambezi; we dream of tree chalets and a dam for a fish farm; we dream of an herb garden and another 3 orphan homes and health care and village skills training… We dream with eyes wide open – while we calculate the cost, work hard and pray to make it happen – these are not idle dreams.
- I could not have imagined a year ago how beautiful and powerful our worshiping community would be. It has given me wings. Most interns also get their anatomy altered here.
We are so blessed. To God be all the praise for His unsurpassing Gift.
So again, we invite you to partner with us:
- Join our prayer team – email@example.com
- Come serve with us for 3-6 months, or long term – firstname.lastname@example.org
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Love’s Door c/o Open Door Church
339 NW Sherman St
Sheridan, OR 97378
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