RAIN!

Today the rains are falling!
If you have followed the last letter we have been praying for rain for over a week now – trusting God to bring what the spirits of the dead would not do. We felt led to invite a spiritual contest – trusting that God would bring rain by last Wednesday.
Inexplicably, no rains came.
We have been tempted to be discouraged and ask, “Doesn’t God hear? Isn’t He able? Didn’t He put it in our hearts? Are we inadequate?….”
But in the storm Jesus has whispered courage to our souls – shown us Elisha crouching on the mount, not raising his head as his servant returned 6 times with the report – “no rain”. And finally on the 7th time, it came. We planted a garden in faith last week for a widow in the village. Some were saying it would not rain till Jan – we continued to trust God’s faithfulness. We have seen how Jacob wrestled with God and was renamed and realigned forever. We have seen how Abraham  was promised  land and for his whole life wandered in  tents with no place to call his own – how he continued to hope against hope as his body wrinkled and withered – and only then was virility granted; and we have seen how every hero of faith has endured severe tests – at times with failure and silence and unknowns that cannot be explained – fires to temper the blade! How the apostles were buffeted in every imaginable way.
We aspire to be men and women of faith like these. You should hear our prayer times – pouring out our hearts in honest questions to God, but as He comes and breathes His confidence into us, we rise again with a deeper rest in His commitment to us – He hears; He knows what is best – and if it is to withhold for a moment we can only thank Him! And so when the answer does come – like the beautiful pouring out of the heavens today – we exult in the confirmations of His covenant love towards us.
Every time we hear of another donation in our account we rejoice together at God’s Hand in it. It is such a boost in faith to take all our needs to God alone, and then as the deadlines get closer and the pantry is bare our faith and trust in God is extended. And when He comes through it is always a time of laughter and praise! We are learning the secret of the Kingdom – content whether we abound (and we have!) or scrimp.
We planted the garden for Lilian – a widow in Singanga with 6 children and no income. We planted it “God’s Way” – instead of plowing with oxen, we hoe each hole according to a measure, put a cup of manure in, then dirt, then 3 seeds and cover with soil. Finally we put on “God’s Blanket” – a thick mulch of leaves and corn stalks. This will help with moisture retention in a land of potential drought; it will lessen the erosion in a land where the greatest export is it’s top-soil; it will nurture the aerobic bacteria population of the soil, so in a few years the soil will gain a tilth and fertility that is so vacant from African land.

LILLIANS FIELD - GOD'S WAY

We also train the family in doing things excellently rather than haphazard as is the norm. We train them in Timeliness and prayer over the crops. And we offer a seed bank – so at the harvest we will collect 25% of the crop, to keep until time to sow next year.

We planted nearly a lemma of land is 50m x 50m – about 1/2 acre. Ideally this should raise about 20 bags of maize (w the cob). A family of seven  needs 27 bags per year. Most farms here raise about 3 bags per lemma and run out of maize in a few months. Pray with us that Lillian is able to harvest 20 bags from this field! We gave her enough seed to plant another lemma the conventional way, to be able to compare.
Updates:
  • We laid off all our workers and are now doing the work ourselves. We did it because of financial restraints, but now see the gracious Hand of God in it. As we work on the projects ourselves it seems God is knitting our team and we find many helping hands from the village as well. No longer as boss, but as friend. And those kids can work too! It’s been fun.
  • I am going to start handing out applications for house parents for our Children’s Home – then soon after that we will begin selecting the children! Pray that we will have the Mind of Christ in choosing as He would want.
  • Thank God for Luke and Jon – our two wonderful interns. They are such a blessing! I want to build a dam. Some would get scarce when I mention it. But these guys get excited – ready to start – let’s decide how to do it – start getting rocks together – where’s the cement?  After that it will be a hanging bridge to the island and perhaps a tree house on the 2nd island. We are closing in on a design for a crocodile fence – mentioned many times before.
  • And we started a leadership meeting of all the main people we have been discipling for months now. We gather weekly, training them to start their own D-groups (Discipleship) to reach their neighbors. Pray for Grace like Rain!
  • There are calls for more Bible Courses like I taught before – storying thru the Bible. We want to train two Zambian Bible teachers in God’s Story method of teaching and multiply our sowing. One location is the family with 14 orphans – they want a regular Sunday School with their Bible Course! Lord, send the workers into the Harvest!
  • January is going to be a tornado! We are gearing up for a team of 12 from the States (Mandate Discipleship School in Oregon), and a team from Into Africa from our All Nations family in South Africa. We will also welcome two more interns from Oregon (Open Door Church!) – one artist who loves Jesus and kids – that’s it!, and one a farmer! Thankfully Sarah Bultman is coming (Crossroads Church – yeah!), and will strengthen our long term team immensely. Weekends we will have 21 staying at our Livingstone house! Check it out on Google Earth – you will see a hot spot on the satellite picture!
    ALL NIGHT PRAYER – @ CHILDREN’S HOME
  • HEY! IS THERE AN ADMINISTRATOR OUT THERE THAT IS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING MORE IN LIFE? SOMEONE GOOD WITH QUICKBOOKS? SOMEONE WHO LOVES OFFICE WORK? SOMEONE WHO LOVES JESUS AND BORED WITH THE 9 TO 5 GRIND? SOMEONE WHO NEEDS PURPOSE? APPLY HERE! lovesdoor@gmail.com

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!


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