Discipleship Dames Last Class
Today was our last official meeting with our Discipleship Dames class. As usual I had a lesson all wrote out, but somewhere along the line my script changed as I was prompted to remind them how much Jesus loved them and how beautiful He tells them they are. No matter what they have done or what they are doing…He loves them and wants a relationship with them.
Kenson and I shared with them Psalm 63:1-8 as it resonated in my heart all day today. It says.” You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you: I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and behold your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. On my bed I remember you: I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you, your right hand upholds me. ” Reminding them how He longs for them seek Him, to hunger and thirst for Him and to spend time with Him.
We reviewed last weeks lesson a bit as I had shared with them the ABC’s of Salvation. A=Admit; admitting we are a sinner. Romans 3:10 and 3:23 B=Believe; believing Jesus Christ is God’s son and placing our trust in Him alone. receiving forgiveness of our sins; even though we do not deserve this gift He freely gives. John 3:16C=Confess; confessing with our lips that we have placed our faith in Christ alone and following Christ example being baptized as an expression of our faith. Romans 10:9-10 Luke 9:23 Now we did not review every scripture, but I wanted you, the reader, to know what we spoke of last week:)
I asked the ladies if they knew the song “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. I began singing and a beautiful chorus rang out as they joined with me…at this point I held back the tears…you know me:) I shared with them that deciding is just the beginning. I told them that many times as I walk through the community I will run into people who I haven’t seen in worship for a while. People that I’ve watched go forward and then be baptized. I will ask them why they aren’t coming to worship and the common reply will be, “I’ve been baptized or I’m converted” which my reply to them is from Hebrews 10:25 where we are told to not stop meeting together, but to continue having fellowship.”
Confessing and baptism is only the beginning,” I told the ladies. I shared with them that the beginning is like a babe that only drinks milk, but if you don’t continue seeking Him, practicing the spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship, Bible reading or listening, fellowship with one another and serving you will continue to be that babe only drinking milk. We want to crave and mature into eating real food and the only way to do this is to keep meeting together and spending time in His Word and in prayer.
I followed up with this simple ABCD…yes, into the alphabet this week:) A=Ask; ask Jesus into your heart…Romans 10:13 B=Baptism; follow Jesus example.Romans 6:4, 11 C=Church; seek a Bible believing/teaching church, where God’s Word is the Authority being preached. Heb. 10:25 and D= Do what the Bible says. James 1:22.
I gave the rest of the service to Pastor Agenor as he brought the Word to them and used Isaiah 1:18-20, where it says,”Come now, let us settle the matter, says the Lord. Thought your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
No he did not preach a fire and brimstone message, but I know it cut to the heart. He spoke in his gentle and compassionate way and gave the invitation for those to come forward to accept Jesus. One of the ladies didn’t hesitate, she jumped up and went forward. My heart so wanted to see many of the ladies come forward, but today was not that day. I could tell that there were many who were holding back, but I know God’s timetable is not mine. I can’t change their hearts, but I know the One who can.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was a bit disappointed, but then I recalled a story I read this past week about 2 missionary ladies that served in a predominantly Muslim country. They were asked what was the hardest part of starting out in a Muslim country as 2 single women. Their reply was that they did not have one single person who gave their heart to Jesus for 10 years, but knew that this was where they were suppose to be and now they are seeing people come to Jesus. This was a good reminder for me today and know it wasn’t by coincidence or accident that I read this story!! I love how God prepares my heart and gave me an even deeper love for these ladies. He is not finished with these ladies…so we will continue to pray for changed hearts. I pray for the one that accepted that she will be a bright shining light in this dark community…believe me…it is very hard community…that she will grow in her faith and be the example God has given her the opportunity to be.
This past Wednesday our Dames walked from our campus to Karenage with donkeys to give to the Discipleship Dames. I thought I was going to have to pull one of the donkeys as all of our ladies weren’t there yet. I took one and thought, “Oh can I do this, can I handle this animal.” Well obviously God thought NO, because by the time I reached the bridge, one of the ladies was there to take it off my hands:) Now the last time we did this our ladies walked with donkeys for 5 hours in the heat of the day down a narrow path down hill. For this time we had a different kind of challenge. As you know Wed. was New Years Day and it is also Haiti’s Independence Day so it is a big deal. In fact they celebrate this day more than they do Christmas. Well…as you can imagine a group of women, walking through town with a bunch of donkeys raises some eyebrows. Our first challenge was the wind…it was gusting pretty strong and we were walking into the wind as well as into the sand that it blew up. These are the days I need a set of goggles:) lol
Our second challenge was the many cat calls we were getting from the men on the streets. It’s funny, but I mainly noticed men out and about this day. I am assuming the women were in making the pumpkin soup (the traditional meal they eat on this day). The greatest challenge was a young man who had been drinking quite a bit, jumped onto one of the donkeys and began riding it. Tizzie, our Orphan Manager, stood there and just stared at him…didn’t say a word, didn’t raise a fist, she stood there. I was about ready to pummel the guy…ok probably not a good thing to do, but it still crossed my mind.
One of the other ladies gently told him to get off and he did. The next thing I know he is jumping on another donkey. I thought it wise to stand back and let them handle it:) They did with much grace. He finally gave up and staggered down the street. At that moment I was so proud of our ladies. They showed such grace and restraint…it blew me away. Now you many think what is the big deal…well here in Haiti women and men are known to throw rocks at one another, hit, slap and even bite one another so to see these ladies showing restraint and not following the norm…Jesus is working in them!!!
We arrived in Karenage with the donkeys and it was like Christmas…praising God for the wonderful blessing He had given to each of the ladies. Seeing the village come out to see as well and to see what God had provided for these ladies. It was beautiful to stand back and watch. Momma Gigi and Madame NeNe passed out the paper work needed for each person, we took pictures, I played with the kids (no surprise there!) and Momma Gigi prayed for these ladies and the village and then we headed back home. What an incredible way to start the New Year!!
Please continue praying for these ladies, their children and the village. We do have groups coming in the days ahead that will be ministering to these very ladies. I know God’s Word doesn’t return void so I am believing these ladies will make a decision…God’s timing is perfect!!