welcomes a little child like this in My name
(Jesus in Mt 18:5)
who is least among you all—he is the
greatest. (Jesus in Lk 9:48b)
when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in,
or needing clothes and clothe you?
you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least
of these, you did for Me. (Mt 25:37-38,40)
Simeon, Paul, Seybou, Marie and myself, we stood in a circle in
the living room, surrounded by stacks of clothes - (T-)shirts, pants,
for boys and for girls - and over 60 pairs of shoes we were able
to purchase. The noise of children outside the front gate, waiting
for the doors to open, could be heard as we joined hands to come
before our King. I bent over in awe, humbled by the great privilege
of receiving the King Himself in a few moments, the awesome privilege
of serving a meal to my King, of handing Him a cup of water, of
clothing my Jesus Himself. What a holy moment! Words cannot describe
it. I was filled with awe and joy at this amazing privilege.
Over 100 children, 100 images of HIM, 100 beautiful creations,
came trough the doors onto our property. I wanted to hug each one
of them, share my amazement with them, the revelation of who they
are, and humble myself before them, serving them, serving my King.
The awe was soon replaced with frustration at the inability to
get 100 street kids to listen to me or to do what I was saying.
But when I switched from my natural to my spiritual eyes, my heart
was breaking for these precious ones that have been abandonned by
their parents, beaten, abused, and every other thing you can imagine.
These kids that try to survive on the streets by themselves, having
nowhere to go, noone to trust, nothing they call their own. How
I longed to pour all of the Father's love on them, loving them to
life, loving them so they can trust again, loving them so they have
a home again, loving them so they have food again, loving them so
they can go to school like other kids their age, loving them with
the healing balm of the Lord, loving them to be their friend, their
parent, their protector and their advocat.
I have started with one. Sekouba. My son. He came to the Lord end
of September and has been living with me, in a tent in the garden,
for soon three months. It takes time for the river of love to soften
the ground, to erode the walls, to wash away the barriers, one after
the other. If you read my (nearly) daily blog on my website, you
read about the night (Dec 15 - read it here),
when the Lord touched him deeply as I broke the orphan spirit on
him and prayed for the Father to reveal Himself to him and fill
him with His love.
he is part of the family. As my son, he is included in all activities,
he can come inside the house, I share what I have, and I trust him.
You may think that that is unwise, but he has proven himself trustworthy.
I enjoy having him around, seeing him learn another letter and read
words, playing computer games, and helping out wherever he can without
being asked. For the first time, Sekouba was NOT a part of the crowd
outside the gates, the kids wanting in, but he was already INSIDE.
He now is a part of the team, the one blessed, the one giving out,
and no longer the one in need, desperate, and on the receiving end.
It was a great joy to see him integrated in the team, laboring with
us. And he passed the test with flying colors. While all kids received
clothes, he did not, and didn't even complain once. Our family Christmas
celebration is on Saturday, which is when everyone will receive
their gifts, including Sekouba. He was faithful in little, he will
be receiving much.
was after 4 p.m., and the time had come to open the doors and let
the children in. Every child received a paper with a number and
a mark on the hand, both of which would later qualify them to receive
their gift (thank you, Lord, for the inspiration!). But first it
was time to play a game. We formed two teams, giving them each an
end of a cord, with the goal of tearing the other team across the
path. The winning team was then split until one boy was the winner
and received a football - probably the item most desired by all
the game - having a hundred worked-up kids and many curious passers-by
- we sang two songs with actions, in Bambara. They were all having
fun jumping, clapping, twirling, bowing and so on, while singing
songs praising the Lord and proclaiming His love for them.
Finally - hoping they were tired and ready to sit
quietly - it was time to listen. They all sat down, while we got
the flannel board ready, and I started sharing the Christmas story
with them. I didn't know exactly where to go from there, only that
I would present the full gospel. Like so often, I was TOTALLY amazed
at how the Holy Spirit took over, speaking through me, exactly what
they needed to hear. You could feel the anointing increase, and
hearts being softened and touched by the Father's love.
The Lord powerfully illustrated through me what it
meant to become a child of God, to receive a perfect heavenly Father,
how that wasn't possible, but how Jesus made it possible. I picked
out a child in the first row, taking the role of Father God and
him a child separated from Him, but in the end, adopted by Him.
Even while doing the illustration, I could feel how that little
boy (about 10 years old) was touched by the love of God, and then
in the end, when I put my arm around him, and then hugged him showing
how much God loves them, I wished I could have held him until he
really got it.
In the end I asked them to stand up and invited them
to pray after me to become a child of God. They all repeated after
my interpreter Paul, some with LOUD voices. Then I asked those who
needed physical healing to come forward. We prayed for about 8 children,
and 6 of them were healed! Praise God! After every healing, I took
the mic and told people, to the glory of God.
Here are a few:
The only visible healing was this young boy who couldn't even
lift his arm into a horizontal position because
of the pain. We prayed for him, and he was able to move his
young man had had an accident three days earlier and his hand
was hurting badly. We prayed, and all the pain had to leave.
one (on the left) had constant pain in his eyes,
for many years. We prayed, and all the pain was gone. (Picture
Another one (to the right) had a headache
that was concentrated at one little area of his forehead. He'd had
it for a long time, even before his parents sent him away. We prayed,
and it fled at the name of Jesus.
We sang another song in Bambara, then had some chaos
again - trying to do review questions giving candy and trying to
play another game - and then it was finally time for the big meal.
We served each kid with joy a plate of rice with sauce and juice.
it was time for what they had probably be waiting for the most -
gifts! One after the other, they went inside the house according
to their number, each one receiving a pair of shoes, as well as
another piece of clothing of their choice. The street kids were
our guests of honor, being the first ones to go in, but when they
had all received their numbers, we did not turn our neighbors away.
There was enough for everyone.
When the last child and adult had left, our garden
looked like a battlefield - decorations ripped off, trash everywhere.
Yet, what a little price to pay for having touched over 100 children
with the love for God. For some, this will have been a day they
will never forget. For some this will be the beginning of their
walk with the Lord. Some of them will become a part of our family,
and some will live with us once we've got our property and home
built. Pray that many will come back next Wednesday for our weekly
CAR/TRUCK - In my last email, I made quite a mistake
when I exchanged the local Malian currency into dollars. The "cheap"
truck available in February is not $3000, but $12000
(I divided by 2 instead of multiplying with 2). However, God might
have been in this mistake, because now there IS
a car available for that price. The seller is an acquaintance of
Emma's who's desperate for money and selling a car under its value.
At first Emma said NOT to buy it, but with the new price we're now
prayerfully considering it. Next week I'll go look at it myself.
Last summer, some kids saw a red truck when praying for this issue,
and this one's red (there are hardly any red trucks in Mali). Thanks
to two donations, we'd be able to purchase this truck, once we know
we have the Lord's go-ahead.
LAND - Because of the holiday season, the pastor
helping me has been too busy for us to take the next step. It will
be either next week or the week after that we are going to look
where the available properties dedicated to churches are, so we
can deposit our request for it.
After our movie tonight, I started the preparations
for our team Christmas celebration tomorrow, rearranging furniture
and gifts, getting decorations done and the last gifts wrapped.
Since I was a child I haven't felt so much excitement about Christmas!
And the reason is that I'm going to be with my Malian family, and
I can't wait to see their faces when they open their gifts! We are
going swimming (hotel) in the afternoon, then home where I will
cook for everyone, before we're gonna sing, pray and open gifts.
We'll be 9 people.
wish you all a very blessed day tomorrow and Sunday. May His abundant
blessings flow down from heaven as you celebrate the birth of our
wonderful Savior, Lord, Bridegroom, and Friend.