Gary prayed for divine appointments this morning. One of my favorite prayers…a surprise me God all on it’s own. I shouldn’t have been surprised as the days events unfolded, but I was. Thanks Lord for a day filled with ministry to women.
While praying in the teachers lounge at Bennett we were able to pray for a teacher. He had his first year in Cairo last year, he was actually the third teacher to enter that wild and chaotic 4th grade class. He stuck around, by the grace of God he stuck around. He has such a father’s heart for these kids, it’s incredible to see this male role model loving these kids. He shared a “mini-miracle” that had happened yesterday. One of his rebellious students from last year (who had gotten written up at least 9 times) came to him and apologized for her behavior (no, she was not prompted by a teacher, she went on her own) last year. She has not been written up this year. Praise God!
On the way out we are greeted by a pastor in town as he drops off his grandchildren. He said it has been his morning ritual for the past 5 years. He talks about his desire to spend more time with us, to fellowship. Not just once, but to regularly get together. We talk about the Youth Revival his church is putting on next week – a couple other pastors are actually speaking at this event. Before he leaves we pray for him, hands held through the car window. God has been moving on Gary’s heart for the past 4 + years in unifying the Shepherds of this town. This man is one of those faithful le pieces.
Instead of driving to the Kitchen Table I felt the Lord wanted me to walk. Yes, silly, I know, but the Lord can even direct these “little” steps in our lives. I should be walking anyway, it is less than a mile away and the weather is getting warmer. Everything in Cairo is pretty close. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping. The BIRDS, oh man, if you come to Cairo you will know what I am talking about, those dang birds! It’s like we are in a Hitchcock movie or something. Anyway, back to my divine appointment story. I see two of my friends walking on the other side of the street. I love these women dearly even though I have a hard time understanding their life. Prostitution, drugs, violence, and alcohol are all too common in their world. I don’t have a clue. I just love them. We chatted for a while and then I prayed for them. Usually they break down in tears wondering why their defenses are down when we pray. The Father touches their hearts, He brings hope to their spirit. He lavishes His love on them. They don’t understand and have a hard time receiving, but they are always open. One of the ladies is truly desperate for the Lord, she is desperate for change. She is hungry for more. She recognizes this is not the life the Lord has for her, He has more. She continues to ask me to pick her up for our Friday night worship. I’ve heard this before, but I don’t get offended. I tell her I will pick her up and that I want her to be a part of our family. She is not meant to be alone. Before we depart ways, a man walks by to give one lady a message from her ex-boyfriend. Now, this man has his own story. Without going into details, he has been in and out of drugs for many years. He truly loves the Lord and is experiencing victory over his addiction. Every time I see him he has a song in his heart. As we stand there on Washington street – the main street in Cairo with cars whizzing by, I feel so content. This is how ministry looks in Cairo and I love it. I feel the Lord prompting me to have this man minister to these women. They really don’t know him in his new identity. So, I ask this gentleman if he has a word from the Lord to share with these women. Without hesitation he starts declaring truth from Psalms 1, the importance of remaining in the council of the righteous, and staying away from the council of the wicked. He explains how important this has been to him in his relationship with God. The women look at him, look at me and shake their heads in confusion. “Heather, is he right?” “I believe so, let’s look at what Psalms 1 says.” He reads it to them. They are still shocked that this man knows the Lord and his scripture. When he is done with his mini-sermon, I ask if he would pray for us. We all join hands and he blesses us in prayer. Victory for this man has not come easy, but the Lord has taken him step by step. Pray that this time the enemy will not snatch away the seed. Pray for these women, I believe they too will be mouthpieces of VICTORY in Cairo. That people will look at them baffled by the power of the Holy Spirit in transforming broken lives. Lord, do what you love to do.
Tutoring went amazingly well! I just prayed beforehand, “Lord, breakthrough, allow __________ to understand and give me continued favor. I want to do more than tutor, I want her to know you Lord.” After I picked her up we sat outside and worked on her homework assignment. Well, we talked for about 20 minutes and then started her assignment. It was so good to hear her story, where she came from, hear about her family. It was so funny, as I would give her advice, she would say, “You sound just like my sister.” Ha, talk about favor! We move onto math. She doesn’t really like math and struggles, but she presses on. She really tries to get it. Today there was much progress. Praise you Lord for answering that prayer. It is so hard for me when I have to leave a tutoring session knowing that she hasn’t grasped the concept. Today was different.
B and B is not really happening (Beads and Bible study), but that’s okay. Structured programs rarely work here, so you have to flow with it. It’s good though because it got me out there talking to women again. Tonight we visited with another community friend. It is hard to hear about her struggle, her fight to survive in this town, her bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. The conversation transitions from gossip to prayer. She soaks it in, receiving each word from the Lord. After we finished praying I was surprised to hear the words,
“You know, we have to forgive and love those people who hurt us, or else we are just bound up. We need to let go of it and be freed of it.”
“Yes, yes, yes. You are exactly right, and the Lord will be the one to allow us to do that. – It’s pretty much supernatural to love your enemies.”
Loving the wicked, Jesus did. I can not forget His words,
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
Talk about a day full of surprises!