I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Things are going good in Yanamayo, the thing is, sometimes they don’t go the way I want them to. But, God is showing me His faithfulness. He is working in me, He is filling me up, He is pouring me out, He is touching hearts, He is changing lives. I can’t believe how blessed I am to be able to watch Him work, right before my eyes.
The past few weeks I’ve been thinking about this rollercoaster I’m on. Especially on Tuesday nights. On Tuesday’s at 6pm we have a prayer service in Yanamayo. Four weeks ago I was stunned, I was amazed at God’s blessing. We had in attendance 4 adults, 1 teenager, 2 kids, plus Franci and myself. Its not about the numbers. But what it is about…….We gathered in a circle and got on our knees. I’m not talking about getting down on carpet, or catholic kneeling benches, or even a mat. I’m saying, we got down, on our knees, on the cold, hard concrete, all of us, kids and adults, young and old. Kneeling, bringing ourselves, heart and body to the feet of Christ, we held hands and prayed to our common God. It was powerful. The most powerful part, can you believe we stepped foot in Yanamayo for the first time in January? Can you believe we didn’t know anyone? And now, look at God’s blessings, look at His work! Ten months later, we have a small group of people gathering together, kneeling on the cold, hard concrete in prayer to our God! Wow! What a ride!
After that amazing Tuesday night, I naturally, humanly, had expectations for the next Tuesday night. I wanted it to be awesome in the same way, I wanted it to look the same. But God, He works in His ways, not mine. Why is it that I forget that so often? Every time I forget, He reminds me. He reminded me in a special way that night, He reminded me as Franci and I started our prayer service with just us, nobody was there. My high from the week before and my expectations were let down. But God reminded my I let myself down by putting Him in a box, He reminded me that He always has a plan, He always has a purpose. About 30 minutes later, Carmen walked in the door. I felt human relief, that someone actually showed up. But God showed me so much more. Carmen, Franci and I prayed, we sat on the wooden benches in a little circle, holding hands. We prayed for Yanamayo and Carmen’s health. We thanked our Lord and praised Him. It was a beautiful time of prayer, three women, coming together, spending time in conversation with the Father. And, it was exactly what Carmen needed that night. I know it, I saw the change in her face when we were done. It wasn’t a big group, we didn’t get down on the floor, it was different, but that doesn’t mean God wasn’t there with us, that doesn’t mean it was in vain, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t as good as last time. It just means God used that Tuesday differently. Not better, not worse, different.
And then there was last week. Tuesday was an interesting day as everyone was celebrating ‘Dia de Los Muertos’, ‘Day of the Dead’. People were busy, nobody wanted to come to church, and nobody did, except little 3 year old Davis and 6 year old Ingrid. We sang with the kids, Franci read a story in the Bible and explained to Ingrid how she could later share that story with her mom. Then, we prayed. I held Davis in my lap and Ingrid was at my side, leaning her head on my arm. Franci prayed in Spanish and I prayed simultaneously in English. With that little boy in my lap, his tiny hand in mine, I prayed for his life, for his future, and the same with Ingrid, her head touching my arm, I reached out and hugged her, prayed for her future, her soul, her life. What an amazing opportunity, to pray for those little lives. I prayed for all the little kids we play with, all the little kids that come running up to us, give us big hugs and call us ‘professora’. I love the kids, I know Jesus loves the kids. God used Tuesday night again. Not in the way I expected, but in His way.
And this week, Garren and Geremias went up to Yanamayo with me in the afternoon since Franci went home for two weeks to take care of her sick father. The three of us walked around Yanamayo, we visited a few contacts and reminded them of the church service later on in the evening. I probably reminded 6 families as we walked the streets and chatted. The hour came, 6:00pm, and nobody had showed up as seems to be normal. But we got started, we sang, the three of us, we read the Bible, the three of us. Then finally Petronila and her friend Felipe came. They sat down and I talked about Psalm 4, I tried to teach these new babies in Him what our responsibility is in prayer, and what God does on His end when we pray. Then we sat down, Garren, Geremias, Petronila, Felipe and myself, we prayed together in a circle. God is teaching these new followers how to pray, He is using these Tuesday nights to show them the importance of prayer.
Really, I’m on this rollercoaster of emotions because I put my own human expectations on God. I get let down because I’m putting God in a box. And every time, God blows my expectations out of the water. He shows me how little my perspective is. He shows me He’s got this, and I’m along for the ride.
God has put Isaiah 55:8-9 on my heart in these past few weeks. God doesn’t think the way I do, He doesn’t act the way I do, but His ways, and His thoughts are better. When I think He should act like I do, think like I do, I put Him in a box. Because the difference between His ways and thoughts and mine, is as big as the distance from here to heaven. The thing is, He’s teaching me His ways, He’s teaching me His thoughts, He’s closing that gap. Not that I or anyone else will ever be on His level, but, I’m learning to keep an open mind, I’m learning to trust His way, I’m learning to put my expectations aside.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are my ways your ways,”
declares the Lord
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”