July 23, 2010

Africa, Day 5

7-13-10

Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)
"There is more to come.  We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.  In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged.  Quite the contrary- we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit."

As I read this I am reminded of the time a month ago when I read it and the words jumped off the page at me.  "We know how troubles develop passionate patience... keeping us alert for what God will do next...".  I was in school.  I was not content.  I was frustrated.  Ready to be done.  These words helped me get through and I kept praising him through the situation.  Trying to be alert for Him and what He would do next.
Now, here in Ghana, I can see the rest of the verse unfolding before my eyes.  I am overflowing with what God has poured into me.  Just the other night while we were all sitting around and praying for the Holy Spirit to fill us up I had a vision from God - of a water pitcher being poured into us, each individually, and in turn we started overflowing, leaking, onto all the kids and people around us.  I got the word from God that we have to be filled up before we can pour out His love onto others.  How awesome to see an entire passage play out in my life in the span of just a few weeks.  I love this revelation.  I love the feeling of knowing I made it through.  I'm on the other side of it now. 
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We went to Akasi (uh-katch-ee) to go to the market today.  The market in Akasi is about an hour away, but is much, much larger than the one across the street from us.  On the way we stopped at the salt-leeching factory.  It's the rainy season, so they aren't operating right now, but it was neat to walk around and see how they do things through Matt & Jeremiah explaining it.  Okay, I say factory, but it's really a little cement building, maybe 900 sq. feet -maybe - surrounded outside by shallow 'pools' of cement that they fill up with the sea water, let it evaporate and then collect the sea salt.  The ground all around the factory looked like a barren desert, but it was actually incredibly soft.  It almost felt like you were walking on carpet.

I also snapped a quick shot of Jeremiah - always in the driver's seat, happy to tote us along everywhere!

The road to Akasi is bumpy, dirty, bumpy and long, but there is some beautiful scenery to take in along the way.
People travel from all over to go to the Akasi market because it's got pretty much everything you could need...

... including LOADS of atoto!  I think we bought about 5 of them!
After our morning in Akasi we were all pretty tired, so we rested at home for a little while.  I spent some good time in prayer and worship in my bedroom.  I love soaking in the presence of the Holy Spirit.  After the happenings in Akasi today, I feel such a new level of compassion for Jeremiah.  He is only 20 years old, yet he is a 'father' to so many of the children at The Father's House.  He's a brother.  He's a friend.  He's a mentor.  He's a teacher to ALL ages and walks of life.  I cannot begin to tell you all of the things he has been through in the past year alone, let alone the rest of his life.  He's such an amazing man and I love the way he chases after God's heart.  I spent a lot of time weeping and praying for him this afternoon, I wept so long and hard I ended up falling asleep with my mp3 player still going and my journal open next to me.  I woke up feeling cleansed and refreshed by God, it was such a wonderful feeling.
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After things were, ahem, taken care of for dinner that night... we headed out to Father's House again.  We had some great time in prayer and worship and just enjoyed the company of the children and each other.  David got some coconuts down from the tree for us so we enjoyed a refreshing snack before heading out to the boat to do some worship.
Today was a good day.  It was a day of enlightenment, renewed and increased compassion, love and admiration.  It was a day of drawing nearer to God, a day of laughter and of tears.
Man, I love these guys!