Jehovah was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: Jehovah was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake, a fire: Jehovah was not in the fire. And after the fire, a soft gentle voice. (1Kings 19:11-12)

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Monday, May 12, 2014

You Are In the Right Place {Meditation of My Heart Mondays}



It's the morning after Mother's Day and you know what's on my heart?

I want to pack up and fly to Africa.

It's not because I want to escape from the mundaness of Mondays, especially after a day that can leave a women feeling like a failure.

Sometimes, I think it might be Africa that will help heal my heart. Break it and make it contrite and compassionate.

I know.  I know. It's crazy.

Heading to Africa is a crazy idea for someone who is not fond of hot and humid temperatures. And fond really may not be the right word for someone who lives with 30% lung capacity and has a hard time breathing in such conditions.

But, it's not a new idea. It's been in my heart for thirty years. Ever since my grade 3 teacher, Mrs Graves, shared her stories and treasure from Africa with her students way up here in Canada. I remember the snake skin she brought in and how brave ones ran fingers along the scales. There is no way I can go to a country with snakes like that. She is the teacher who taught me the old song: "Oh, we're from Nairobi; And we're on the best team; We do the Watusi; We're seven feet tall . . . "

She is also the one who reasoned from God's Word and explained the Gospel and persuaded me to believe the Good News of Jesus Christ.

A piece of my heart has been in Africa since I was eight year old, but it would seem a thirty-seven year old heart that has severe aortic stenosis has no place in Africa.

I've grown up hearing missionary stories, I've worked for an agency that forwards funds to and supports missionaries all over the world. I've wanted to go into all the world. I read many stories to my children of people who have gone. But, here I am. Here in Canada with a piece of my heart in Africa.

Still, it wants to pack up and fly to Africa on this morning after Mother's Day.

I know I'm not brave enough to face the big snakes and horrid rodents, I know I'm not sure of how my health would handle the heat, I know I'm not a risk taker to pack up and head halfway across the world.

I know that there is a huge ache in my heart for women who are oppressed and these women being rescued from the slums of Nairobi and all over the world who need to come back to the Father.

I know there are women who need to have the hope of the Gospel explained to them and given ways to release them from bondage.

I told my family that I don't want anything for Mother's Day this year, but to help women around the world who are oppressed. Young women who are mothers before they were ready. Young mothers who are left to fend for themselves and bear children that may end up just like their mothers if no one steps in to intervene and reach out with hands of compassion and love and share the hope of the Good News.


On Mother's Day, Ishmael, the director of the Shelter of Hope in Kenya, is in Canada. It's the hottest day of the year here so far and he says it's cool compared to where he lives. He stands in front of our Canadian congregation, our local body of believers meeting together to sing praise to God and receive teaching from God's Word, and he tells us he will try to keep it short since this is America.

He begins with thanksgiving for his life, his salvation, his wife, his family, the work he has to do for the Lord. He shares the work that began in 2007 and that is growing today. They have a vision to see the work of the Lord increase. People from Hope Bible Chapel in Kenya, who have very little, rejoice when they receive all that they have been given as from the Lord and give what they have that they might persuade others to believe. They know God will provide. They know God is faithful.

Ishmael waves his arms with the Bible in hands, exhorting us to look up. He challenges us, "Have you forgotten where you've come from?" If you have been raised up . . . then seek the things that are above. Look up for that is where our hope is. "There is no time to be wasted!"

He has his Bible open in Colossians 3 and reads the first seventeen verses and when he finishes the reading, he appeals to us, "If the Church can discover the power of love; we can do great things. We must open up so that the Holy Spirit can teach us to love one another."

It's a powerful message. This man who know what poverty looks like, he knows how to feed souls starving for more of God.

I wonder, does he looks around at all we have and see the poverty of souls here in America.

When he looks out to us I lean in so as not to miss the words he punctuates with strong feeling and he interjects, "You are in the right place. Because people are here. The Gospel is meant for people!" I scrawl these words down on paper and my heart is pricked.

The Gospel is meant for people. 

You are in the right place.

Because people are here.

The Good News is to be explained and shared and the love of Christ binds the broken and heals the sick. We must put on love and share the love of Christ that some would be persuaded to believe.





Later, when we are together for a bar-b-que, Ishmael shares quietly in a kitchen in Canada how they need a teacher to come to Kenya. Immediately I long to go. I know. I think it's crazy for an unqualified teacher, with a broken heart to even entertain this idea.

But, I don't deny that I want to pack up and fly to Kenya. I want to be with these women who use their time and hands now to make paper beads and string them into necklaces. I want to share the love of God with them and the orphans. And all I can do it buy a few of their beads.



I wake up in Canada on the morning after Mother's Day and there are people here.

My heart is torn.

The harvest is plentiful. Souls are starving and Christ came to set us free from bondage; to bring us back to the Father.

I look up. As one chosen by God, set apart and beloved, I am to put on a compassionate heart, kindness, humility, meekness, patience and above all these, love.

I give thanks to God through Jesus Christ, for the work He has called me to do.

Whether here or in Africa, all I can say is, "Here I am Lord, send me."


A Soft Gentle Voice


photo credit: {children in Africa} Chris Atkinson


6 comments:

  1. I love your heart here. May the Lord continue to lead and guide you, and cause you to bloom wherever you are planted.

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  2. Hey, if we can swing it, I'll come with you! ;)
    I wish I could have heard that message. He sounds like a tender, wise, passionate man of God!
    And he is right, we have people right here, but I understand your heart to go and love those woman who need so desperately to hear the good news.
    Nothing is impossible with God!
    A servant with 30% lung capacity.... but who has a fire burning strong within them... is better off than a rich ruler with 100% lung capacity.... and a flicker of fire that just went out!

    Keep burning

    Rachel H

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  3. I knew you would understand. We've talked of this before. Thanks for your encouragement and pressing on together. So much love!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Meditation is an absolutely wonderful practice, but can be very difficult in the beginning...!!



    Meditation San Francisco

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  5. Lovely post, Rebekah, and I hear the cry of your heart. And love that you have ended with acquiescing to wherever God would send you. If he opens doors to Africa, fine. If he points out people in Canada for you to minister, so be it. Wherever you are, he has work for you to do! Thanks for sharing with us at Testimony Tuesday!

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  6. Hi Rebekah! I can very much relate to your heart's cry. I know the feeling to wake up to a house full of children and feel a stir and a call to pack everything up and head to Africa. Thank you for sharing so sweetly the dissonance in your heart. And thank you for pointing us back to a heart willing to be fully wherever God has you today. This was lovely. I am so glad you linked up with us on Inspire Me Monday! xo

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