Jesus For Street Kids
"2004 will be a
year for you where you'll come out swinging real hard. You'll come out
swinging real hard.
Cause the year after that (that is 2004), it's gonna be
It's gonna be profound.
"... I feel like the Lord says that you're a woman that's gonna carry part of what Heidi Baker has on her. " (Sep 17, 2004 full prophetic word on the ENDORSEMENT page)
CHRISTMAS DAY WITH THE STREET KIDS
Simeon, Sekou, and I were walking from pile to pile, praying over the clothes, the toys, the shoes and some other stuff, that we were going to give away just a little while later. The missionary community of Bamako had been generous; we counted close to 300 T-Shirts, pants, dresses and pairs of shoes, thankfully mostly for kids. The original plan had been to go to a garbage dump and bless the people living there, but charities have been ridding those of inhabitants. So the Lord led us to a group of begging kids (between 7 and 15) sleeping together on the street not to far from us every night. Every night they'd bring "home" a piece of wood to make a big fire, since the nights in December and January can get chilly (though it's not as bad as last year this year). I told you about our visit there Friday night.
Now it was Saturday, and as we finished praying, Simeon and Sekou got ready to go to the kids' place to pick them up and show them the place to CAM (Centre Apostolique Malien the church's name). They left, and I started getting everything set up in the garden. The meal arrived on time (we had ordered it at a little restaurant), and shortly afterwards, there were Simeon and Sekou leading a whole bunch of street kids over 60 to the House. All the neighbors' kids had already been watching at the door, wanting to come in and join us. We told them these street kids were our special guests, but they could come in also.
All the street kids sat down on the benches we had sat up, very disciplined and orderly, waiting for what would happen. They were all easily recognizable by their big, red tomato sauce can they use it to beg, and sometimes people put food in there instead of money. It's an all-purpose can. I went into the house, where we had set up the food rice and sauce with meat for 100 kids. My team (Simeon, Sekou, Benjamin, Seybou, Hassan the latter two not Christians) started dishing out and serving the kids outside. Every plate I handed to a kid was a plate given with love. Eagerly the kids started devouring their meals. Some couldn't eat everything and carefully put the rest into their can to take with them for later. We also had special beverages for them all, which they enjoyed. Some kids told me to eat with them, and I assured them I would after everyone had been served. I did some video-taping (I have a 42min. video for anyone who's interested), enjoying seeing their happy and content faces. Finally everyone had their food (some neighboring kids preferred not to eat), I grabbed my own plate and was looking for a place to sit. Immediately some kids made room and asked me to sit with them. With my little Bambara and their little French we were trying to communicate. One young boy told me he'd give me his parents' address. You have to know that most of these kids have parents somewhere else in the country. Those parents sent them to a Muslim teacher in the capital, where they are mistreated until they often run away and end up on the streets. Many of these kids have the hope of returning to their parents and regaining their previous life. If only it were so simple! If only I could help them all return to their parents!
The meal ended and the kids all wanted pictures with them and me, so we took some. Then it was time to start the program. I got my guitar and showed them the actions to the song we were gonna do CAST YOUR BURDENS UNTO JESUS (we had translated it into Bambara). Oh how the kids enjoyed it! They were all smiling, doing the actions, as I sang and played the guitar. They had so much fun!
They all sat back down, and I started telling them the Christmas story with the felt board. They were all so captivated!!! (by the way, that's another prophecy fulfilled; as is singing to all the boys) In the end I told them the gospel very clearly, talking about the cross and the resurrection, and that Jesus wanted to be their friend today, to be with them at all times. I then asked who wanted to become Jesus' friend and about 10 kids got up. I closed with a prayer, rejoicing at seeing those kids drawn to the Lord.
The hardest part was now ahead of us the distribution of the clothes and toys. Thankfully God had given me wisdom in advance. So we told them to make one line in front of the door into the house, and they would enter individually, one after another, to receive their gift and be prayed for.
It literally took hours a kid would enter, we'd tell him to choose two gifts pants and a T-Shirt, or pants and a toy, or shoes and a toy, etc. It was heart-breaking to see them all go directly to the shoes, since we only had 14 pairs, and many of those for smaller kids. Many of the kids didn't have any shoes, or the ones they had were falling apart.
After choosing the clothes (most wanted long pants), I prayed for each kid, then let them go. Soon, it got louder outside as the line in front of the door dissolved in favor of a crowed pressing against the door. Several times I had to tell them there was enough for everybody, and if they couldn't make a line and be patient, we'd stop the distribution.
The young man with the big wound from Friday night, who I had prayed for then, also came. I was astonished to see how good it looked compared to the night before. I put the kid on a chair, sat down on the floor in front of him, and started taking care of his wound medically.
The kid with bilharzias didn't show up, nor was I able to get medication for him (only upon prescription).
After all the street kids had been served, we allowed the neighbors' kids also to come in and chose one gift. After all, many are very poor as well. The few dolls we had were immediately claimed by the girls. Some Moms also came by, and we let them chose underpants for their babies.
Finally, everyone was gone, and prayed together, thanking the Lord for the way He had allowed us to bless those kids. My heart was very touched, and I knew this was only the beginning of something bigger!
I was so exhausted, I fell into bed. But no day of rest in sight the following day was a Sunday. It was on Monday that I rested all day, totally wiped out and unable to do anything productive.
5TH SUNDAY SERVICE
It's been interesting to watch the character of the church develop. It seems we're called to be a church to children (not exclusively of course), to get them saved, healed, to equip them and send them out. I was not disappointed to see many of the street kids return for the service. We ended up having over 50 kids in the service, and hardly any adults (the fewest adults ever).
Leading worship is pretty frustrating here, as I can't show them how to worship at the same time as playing the guitar and singing and being up front. And my team doesn't know how to worship yet either. So I helplessly stand in the front trying to lead them into God's presence, while the adults stare on the words for the song in their hands, and the kids just stare at me or do whatever. I enjoy watching them use my flags but often they "misuse" them, not knowing any better. Once, I prayed between two songs, lifting one arm, and as I looked over the crowd, all the kids were looking at me and raising that same arm.
As has become the habit, I took a few minutes to tell them of God's faithfulness to provide for us, telling them a personal story, and reading a verse to them. It always touches my heart to see those little kids give sacrificially. Our offering was 29 cents (American), that is 21 cents (Euro) may the Lord bless them abundantly!
Like the day before, I told the Christmas story with the felt board, being more extensive. In the middle of the sermon, one of my students from school showed up with his friend to join us. Again, I clearly presented the gospel and asked who wanted to give their lives to Jesus. A couple of kids got up. I asked them to come forward so I could pray for them.
Five boys came forward. I asked their names, and asked them to repeat after Sekou (my interpreter), which they did. Then I prayed for them, laying my hand on their heads. It was such a precious time! There were Alassane, Sekouba, Yaya, Abdoulaye and Idrissa. I'd sit next to them, just wanted to hug and hold them and love on them. But most kids didn't want to be hugged in front of their friends especially.
The last kid was Idrissa. The same little boy I mentioned to you in my last mail; the one I met Friday night, who has only been on the street for a month. I don't even know if he is 8 years old yet. Even Friday night, God put him on my heart in a special way. Now he was praying to give his life to Jesus. When I finished, I put one hand on his head, the other taking his hand, and started praying for him. On some kids, the presence of Holy Spirit was so obvious, and made Sekou aware of it (who couldn't see it). As I prayed for Idrissa, his head sank down and he seemed to be gone somewhere. I put my arms around his shoulders and held him as best I could. I held him for a very long time, as he was totally caught up in God's presence, it seemed. Many kids had left, though a good number of the street kids were still there. Finally I had an idea. There had been quite some sauce left over the day before, so I asked whether they were hungry, which they were. I left Idrissa with Sekou and went to get the sauce, dishing it out into the kids' cans. I guess I hadn't thought far enough, because I was shocked to see them eat the sauce coming out of the fridge!!! (otherwise I would have warmed it up). I was glad most of the sauce was gone, since I had wondered what to do with it. I sat back down with Idrissa and just held him.
Time passed, and the kids started joking round about staying for the night. Actually, I was ready to have Idrissa stay give him a bath, a meal, and a bed to spend the night. But the other kids didn't want to leave him by himself. Finally Idrissa "came back" and I warmed up some sauce for him. Then the rest of them left. I had told some of the kids they were always welcome (a scary thought do I have the energy for that?).
Again, I was totally wiped out, falling into bed, but also very happy. The Lord has great plans for those kids! They are the army to take this land for the Lord!
Please remember our healing service on Friday in prayer.
MINISTRY TRIP TO AUSTRIA Jan 12-31
On one hand it's hard to leave now, on the other I'm very much in need of a "break". Of course, it's not gonna be a vacation, since Peter Loth is doing meetings nearly every day and I'm his interpreter (ask me for the schedule if you want to come hear him). But I do hope I'll get opportunities to share what the Lord is doing in Mali. And pray with me that the Lord would call people to partner with me in this work; that He would connect me with those people who are looking for a ministry to support. Honestly, if this work is to go on, something has to happen in terms of support.
How ironic then to even
think of summer plans like the following! But just last night I had a dream
where somebody sent a check for those travels/plans:
And yet, God is faithful. I cannot waver regarding the principle I've lived by for three and a half years "When God calls, He provides." This is His work, He has great plans for Mali, there are so many prophecies as yet unfulfilled. So I trust my King to send whatever is necessary.
Serving my precious Jesus,
Talk to me online with msn messenger - I'm
IMPORTANT: Don't write my name on the check, but add
a note that it's for me.