Friday, October 29, 2010
“The vaza are here!” I hear the cry with my ears and then it hits my heart. The foreigners! Could this be about last week? I had to find out. My fields are far from the village, so I was up in my little house in the mountains for planting season. When I heard that cry, I left my fields and started running…but I was too late.
Huffing and puffing, I walked into the school room as their lesson ended. One of the vaza asked me if I wanted some Tylenol. “No. I mean, yes,” I said, dazed. I have nothing to give my children when the fever hits them, so Tylenol is a welcome gift, but that’s not all I want. I came because I know the vaza have something more precious than medicine.
“Last week I was sick and felt God tell me that I need to know Him, but I don’t know how,” I explain. “I have questions about becoming a believer.” The face of the vaza and her Malagasy friend, Mirana, light up. Mirana takes me aside and explains what it means to be a follower of God. What she is saying sounds nice, but I don’t know. I’m messed up. I don’t do those things she says a follower of God should do. And I am depressed – again. This happens each time after I have a baby. The others think I’ve gone crazy, but the sadness in my heart just makes me want to go away. I need to deal with all this before I can be worthy to be a follower of God.
“No,” Mirana says. “You don’t have to get your life all sorted out before you follow Him. You need to believe in God first. After you believe in Him then you start to see your circumstances in a different light.” Come to Him as I am? I doubt God would want that. There are too many things to think about. I cannot become a follower tonight.
The next morning I make the trek again down to the village. I have been thinking all night long. I ask again if it is true that I don’t have to get rid of all the problems in my life before I can follow God. I am once again led through what it is all about. This time I understand. This time I decide to accept the forgiveness and freedom that is offered. This time, just as I am, I become a follower of my Lord!
This is the story of Lolo, a woman of the village of Ankazotsara where we visited this week. My dear prayer partners, THANK YOU for praying that God would raise up Malagasy leaders. A young man in our church named Mik went out hiking with us last time. This time he came again and taught a lesson! For me you can pray that I stay close to God and be readily obedient to WHATEVER He wants me to do. I am amazed at what He is doing here, and have no earthly way to keep up with it all. And so I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the goodness and grace of our heavenly Father. Praise be to His name!
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?...Likewise I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:4, 10