God is Good!
God is good! God is so good! When I’m up at 2 am unable to sleep, God is good. When I can’t walk without chest pains, God is good. When we’re tired of seeing so many needs we can’t meet, God is good. When over 20% of our workers are suffering from Malaria, God is good. When our base director is in so much pain from ear aches that she needs laser surgery, God is good. When our mission organization has serious financial cutbacks because of recession, God is still good! Praise God we serve the creator of the universe – not a person who can forget, not a company that could collapse, and not an idea or concept that could be completely insubstantial!
Because of the pain, problems, and about a hundred other things that seem to be going wrong now, I spent most of today in prayer. Towards the end of the day, I was overwhelmed with the fact that God is good! No circumstance or situation can ever take that away! While it may seem like we are surrounded by problems with no way out, that is so short-sighted. In reality, we happen to live in the only place in the universe at the only time that will ever be in rebellion against God.
No one has demonstrated this more clearly to us than Pastor Paulo. The people around the base call him Pastor Sheia, which means Full. It’s a great nickname – he is always filled with the joy of the Lord. There are just some people whose eyes you look into and you see Jesus staring back at you – Pastor Paulo is one of those men. His joy is completely separate from the experiences he faces. We had the opportunity to preach at his church last Sunday (the 1st), and it was an amazing experience. The church is little more than a roof on top of wooden posts; the gaps filled in with weaved palm branches. The floor was dirt, and the podium was used the rest of the week as the pastor’s dinner table. After almost 4 hours of church, we visited Pastor Paulo’s home. Knowing he has 7 kids of his own and 6 orphans with him, we were shocked. His family lives in a two room house, and only one of the rooms has a roof. The part of his house with a roof is about the size of a large bathroom. His other room is 9 feet by 12 feet – he said that when it rains, his kids sleep in the church on the dirt. He said that life has been especially hard with the short rainy season, and that his two farms (usually the size of a car to the size of a small house – not the big farms we usually think of) were really suffering. If anyone has a right to lack joy, it’s Pastor Paulo and his family. Yet, looking into their eyes, it wasn’t them I felt pity for. It was the people at home who were putting their faith in money or security rather than trusting fully in Jesus that I felt the most sorry for.
We prayed for the weather and made a house visit to a church member who was seriously sick. God graciously granted our prayers, and it rained every day for the week after that visit. The lady we visited it also doing much better, and the church members are all greatly encouraged. God has been showing us that everything needs to be about the Mozambicans and equipping them for service. It doesn’t matter how many buildings we build, how successful our evangelisms are, or whether or not we have hot water (the thing I’ve been battling the last half week) – what matters is equipping, training, and enabling the Mozambicans to minister in areas and to people we could never reach as missionaries.
Please pray that we would be able to keep our eyes on God and see that He is good, no matter the circumstances!
The jail ministry is going well, and many of the people in jail are having their lives touched by God.
Carla’s doing excellently with her Portuguese, and I have learned a lot as well.
Carla has been in excellent health.
– Jon (and Carla) Reinagel