I know many of you have been asking for some sort of update! Thank you for the loving and encouraging emails, every single one is appreciated. It has been a great time thus far in Congo and the last 24 hours especially have been CRAZY! I'll tell you about that and then get into a little more about life here.
Last night about 1:15 AM I woke up to pop pop pop pop. At first I thought I was dreaming and then after the screams realized this was no dream. It was gun shots and they were close. As I lay in bed praying my roommate sits up and says, "what's that noise?" I'll admit I chuckled a little and responded, "GUN FIRE". All three of us just began to pray for peace and for Jesus' sweet protection. By about 2:30 all shooting was done and after a little discussion we decided to go back to sleep. That's our Jesus constantly bringing peace even in war zones. His peace and rest always surpass circumstances.
This morning we called the pastor to make sure all was safe to go into the city and with his go, we went to the hospital, Heal Africa. They have regular services there in a church on the property. I was asked to preach and of course just had a blast loving on hundreds of Africans and talking about is serving Jesus faithfully together! So. Much. Fun. We also had the opportunity to pray and minister to women who are there because they have been violently raped. I won't share their personal stories, but their strength amazes me. God healed several of various pain and injuries. PRAISE JESUS!
After Heal Africa we went to our school which is in an area that was formerly an IDP refugee camp. Picture 180 beautiful African children full blast running at you as you come in the gate. I imagine heaven is somewhat like that :) It was a joy to just spend time playing with the children and even getting to hug and kiss some street kids. While we were there the school children began to intercede on the orphans in the village. Jesus is doing mighty things in the children and the global church, more on that later.
Now we are home for a little rest and I'm taking time to update you guys. Life in Congo is basic, no electricity, consistent water source (NO HOT SHOWERS LOL), lots of amazing fresh fruit, hugs from village and street kids, then of course the blissful presence of Jesus.
Sunday morning in church, as these Congolese danced and worshipped God for hours, the presence of God so filled the room that in my dancing I just began to have tears stream down my face. Here in the midst of unimaginable tragedy the Congolese bride of Christ is rejoicing at how wonderful Jesus is.
The stories are piling up, some of the amazing awesomeness and miracles of Jesus, some of the tragedy of a war torn country, and in it all these pastors and these people are just madly in love with Him. Wow. I am humbled to learn from them.
Everyday will look different as we will be constantly doing ministry. Some in the city, some in the village or bush, some in churches, schools, and hospitals, and possibly even to a tribe on a remote island. Please continue to pray for our continual protection and peace in Congo.
We are consistently hearing stories of what God is doing here and across the globe. Mighty miracles of healing and supernatural protection. Holy Spirit pouring out on the bride across the denominations. Young people in their 20's offering their lives for the underground church and war zones. Even here in Congo today I met a couple in their 60's who are giving their lives to serve in a war zone. The woman said, "I'm a grandma and God wants me to love the grandparents here". These grandparents see their children and grandchildren abducted, abused, and murdered, so she's giving her life for them. People, God is moving across the globe and we WANT to be apart of His glory covering the earth as the waters cover the sea!!!
Kim one of the permanent missionaries here told us a story this morning. After one of her visits to heal Africa a man asked her, "Why do you need Jesus?, we need Him everyday to survive, why do you need Him?". Think about this today. In the midst of our great blessing, peace, and freedom, do you realize how much you still need Jesus? Are you desperate for Him? Has He captured your heart? Are you in love with the One who gave His life for you?
Be blessed, J. Tate