Saturday, April 16, 2011
Today I decided to mail two postcards. The nearest post office is in Ranomafana, the next town over. On the way from my room to the car, three people asked me what I was doing and subsequently helped themselves to the postcards in my hand. “Oh, sure, you can look at those…” Actually they probably can’t even read Malagasy, let alone English, but hey – there are pictures! :P By now I am completely fine with the fact that anything done outside my home IS everyone’s business. ;)
About 60 seconds before you get to the post office, there is a police checkpoint. I smile and salute at the three policemen chilling on the side of the road. They smile and salute back, waving me on.
Pulling my silver Corolla up to the post office, there is a group of about fifteen guys outside that I have not seen before. Staring at me, of course (the obvious foreigner). Getting out of my car I sent forth greetings to them all, “Akoriabe!” To this a guy replied, “You have a very nice smell.”
How he knew this from twenty feet away I had no idea. I did shower this morning, but was not wearing any scents or such. I was a bit confused, but, as I rarely get complimented in English down here in the rain forest, said “Thank you” anyway. It was then that the man motioned to my face – “Yes, a very nice smile.” Ohhh…gotcha! lol. Smell, smile, gotta love the accents!
Upon entering the building, my postman friend took the postcards, commented on the photos, flipped them over, and read them (this makes person #4!). Since he’s practicing his English, it’s perfectly natural to read other people’s mail, right?! Then he went to the ominous back room to start the ten minute process of finding out which stamps they had and how he could possibly fulfill my request to send postcards to America. During this back room time, yet another person came up and took my postcards to inspect (this guy was filling out some sort of official-looking paperwork). I chatted with him for a little while and he said my Malagasy was very good for only living here for a year and a half. I told him I studied very hard because I want to share the gospel with the people here and up in the mountains and his face brightened up. He said he also believed in Jesus and lived and went to church in another town, so was very glad to hear that there were people here proclaiming the Good News.
Coming back with three stamps (to total about one US dollar), my post office friend and I licked them together, stuck them on each postcard, and dropped them in the box. The “real” mailman comes twice a week to drop off and pick up mail, so by Tuesday they should be heading out! :-)
Just another average errand run!
Oh, and did I mention my FAMILY is coming to visit me TOMORROW?!?!?!?!?! :D
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Saturday, April 9, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
“I told you not to bring the witch doctor here!”
A woman attending our church (let’s call her Beauty) has a husband who has been sick for five days with a fever. He has gotten so ill that he lapses into times of unconsciousness. Beauty’s friends encourage her to send for the witch doctor. She refuses, claiming they no longer do that since they follow Jesus now. When Beauty leaves the house to go get food, the friends ignore her request and bring the witch doctor to the man’s bedside.
Beauty returns as the witch doctor is putting a poultice on her husband’s bare abdomen. Horrified, she cries out, “I told you not to bring the witch doctor here! You should not have done this!” As the witch doctor spreads the poultice, her husband goes into convulsions. Beauty runs out the door and heads to the house of our pastor and his wife.
- - - We interrupt this story with a quick note: our pastor’s wife has been visiting the town where Beauty and her husband live regularly, sharing the gospel in people’s homes. The townspeople have been nice, but not very receptive. The pastor’s wife is on her knees daily praying for the people of this area. Now back to our story… - - -
Arriving at the pastor’s house, Beauty frantically tells them what is happening. They all stop and pray. They pray for the healing of her husband. They pray that the witch doctor will be gone by the time they get back to the house. Lifting their heads, the three of them then walk back to the woman’s house.
Ducking down to enter the wooden hut, they first notice the absence of the witch doctor. Beauty goes over to her husband and behold, the Great Healer has moved and he is better – no convulsions, no unconsciousness, no fever! Praise the Lord!
Beauty’s friends stand wide-eyed in the corner of the hut. The pastor’s wife looks over at them. “If you want me to, I will come tomorrow and share with you what God’s Word says about witch doctors.”
When the next day arrives, the pastor’s wife heads back to the hut, Bible in hand. Her heart leaps as she sees the place FILLED with people who are eager to listen. She opens the Word and begins to read God’s Truth to them.
“We didn’t know!” the people cry out. “We didn’t know God did not want us to do those things.” Deeply moved, they begin to pray and sing in response to hearing the Word of God. “Please come next week and teach us more about how God wants us to live,” they beg the pastor’s wife. Amazed, the pastor’s wife praises the Lord in her heart. So many hours praying for these people. So many hours visiting with these people, sharing the gospel. And now, God has chosen to demonstrate His power and people are hungry to hear more. Praise His name!
Let me share this with you. I have not been overwhelmed by the spiritual darkness here like so many have. Not because I am impervious to it, or because I am a ‘super Christian’, but by the power and grace of God moving in my life because of your prayers! You have asked for this, and that hearts would be prepared ahead of time to hear God’s Word. That they have! My friends, thank you. God is so good.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7
You can also be praying for me in the next step God would have me to take. I know six months seems like a long time, but it is just flying by. I am content to wait for God to tell me what to do next (Psalm 27:14), but would like to hear His voice clearly and be obedient to follow whatever He asks me to do. :)
I love you all,
Isaiah 40:3-5, 27-31