I’m sitting here dripping wet in one of our favorite spots in Goma, after a pretty exciting boda (motorcycle taxi) ride. I could literally tell story after story for hours of the crazy, hilarious, interesting, abnormal occurrences I’ve had on Bodas, but today was a fun adventure. Just about 3 days ago they instituted a law in Goma that you must wear a helmet on the taxi, to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled at the new law, but today I am beyond thankful for it. As we jumped on our boda and began our way to come get internet it began to sprinkle and then pour. We stopped on the side of the road, because here, if it rains, they stop. We get off the bike greeted by many Congolese laughing at us as we stumbled for cover in the rain. About 3 minutes later it stopped raining, everyone jumped back on, and off we went... about 50 ft. Then it rained again. And we stopped, and they laughed, and we laughed, and 2 minutes later it stopped raining and... Repeat a few times and we eventually arrived here laughing hysterically at our soaking wet hair, ridiculous looking helmets, and the joy of getting to live life immersed in other cultures. I really do love my life. Where to start with this update? There is so much to say and so many stories to tell, but I feel so... speechless. These last two weeks have been ones of great challenge and great victory, I’ve seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I’ve seen God move in the most powerful ways, I’ve felt His presence so strong that I’ve melted before Him, and I’ve seen some of the worst atrocity that gripped my heart with mourning. As I sit here today I am beyond grateful for this life God has given me. I can’t think of anything else I would rather do.
“The counsel of the Lord stands forever, THE THOUGHTS OF HIS HEART THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS” (Ps. 33:11)
I get to experience aspects of His heart that I couldn’t understand anywhere else. The Word becomes even more alive here, if that’s possible. Things that used to be head knowledge, are now clung to with desperation as my heart cries out to see Him be faithful to His Word... and He is... He always is.
“His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under His covering of majesty and hide. His faithfulness is a wrap-around shield keeping you from harm.” (Ps. 91:4 TPT)
He’s rescued us when we were in danger, He’s laughed and danced with us as His presence brought refreshing, we’ve wept with Him over tragedy and loss, we’ve rejoiced as many sinners have come home, we’ve praised in awe as He’s done miracles that don’t make sense to the natural mind, and He continues everyday to be good, loving, just, merciful, kind, patient, and faithful. Oh how I love Him.
“You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. (Ps 32:7) “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and each of them He delivers” (Ps. 34:7) “How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of men take refuge and put trust under the shadow of Your wings. They relish and feast on the abundance of Your house; and You cause them to drink of the stream of Your pleasures.” (Ps. 36:7-8)
The Congolese people have taught me so much and I feel so honored to be allowed to be here and learn from them. I’ve looked into eyes that harbor more hatred than my mind could comprehend, eyes that held more hurting and brokeness than I’ve ever experienced, eyes that had the greatest depth and power of forgiveness it almost seems inconceivable, eyes who passionately love God as they watch Him usher in peace, save the lost, heal the sick, and raise the dead. These people know more about tragedy and more about the power of God than I’ve ever gotten to know. I’ve met the most brave and courageous people. I’ve met the most anointed and powerful people. The most loving, surrendered, and laid down lovers of Jesus. All in the same country as some of the most hurting, broken, and lost. It’s an incredible place to be and I love it.
So after two weeks. I am encouraged, I am inspired, I am motivated, I am humbled, at times I am sad and moved with compassion so much that it hurts, but I am learning, living, and loving it all.
The last two days we did an open air evangelism program in an area that was once an IDP (refugee) camp. Over 600 came out and we saw many come to the Lord and many healed. We were so thankful to see God shine His bright light in a very dark area.
This next week we are hoping to go to an island and minister to a remote tribe. When I say remote we mean spears and bows and arrows remote. We have another trip to the village planned in two weeks. Of course many services, outreaches, teaching in the school, and whatever else Holy Spirit brings our way. Then I’ll be wrapping up my time here in Congo and I have such mixed emotions about that, but He is faithful and good.
I’m sorry that today’s blog didn’t hold many witty comments, inspiring stories, but those will eventually come. I find myself still just so grateful and so in awe that I’m pretty speechless.
Love you guys. Thanks for your prayers. Jess