Monday, June 30, 2008

He will carry His lambs in His arms . . .

We had a phenomenal prayer and worship time on Sunday (yesterday). Before we even officially started, a few of us were listening to worship music from Greg's iPOD and while we read the word. I was hanging out in Isaiah and was moved to pray many verses over the village of N.

"He will gather His lambs in His arms and carry them in His bosom and gently lead those with young." Isaiah 40:11

I tried to write this verse in my journal, but was overcome mid-sentence by the presence of God. I felt His heart for these precious people, His longing to gather up His hurting ones and heal them. My tears flowed and my heart broke as I briefly felt the weight of the villager's pain and depair as if it were my own. I continued to weep and pray and worship until comfort came.
And with that came the assurance that the Father has good plans for this beautiful people and He would bring them to pass.

The other verse He impressed on me was: "You will arise and have mercy on Zion for the time to favor her, yet the set time has come." Ps. 102:13

And finally, "For the Lord shall build up Zion. He shall apear in His glory. He shall regard the prayer of the destitute and shall not despise their prayer." Ps. 102:17

Still wiping occasional tears from my face, I gathered the team together and we shared what the Lord has been speaking to us since we arrived in N. Many read verses, shared their own stories of God's redeeming love, shared their hopes and fears for the village. We ended the "service" with worship and prayer, asking the Lord to come and do what only He can: bring deliverance and salvation!

It was a most interesting day! Spent most of the afternoon hiking around the village with my old Yupik friend, Nadine. She'd cut her hair and quit drinking and seemed in a much better place with God this year. She held her 11 year-old son's hand as we trekked around the village and introduced us as "the Christians" to anyone we met.

"So what do the village people call us white folks?" I asked Nadine out of curiosity. I had a friend who'd worked in Bethel AK for years and the Native folks would only address him as: damn white man. The really crazy thing is that they called his black co-worker the same name!

"You are the Christians" Nadine answered, a bit surprised that I needed to ask.

"Well, is that a good thing or a bad thing," I pressed. I knew that Brother Bob, the lay Franciscan priest had not always viewed the Christian groups that passed through as good. He saw them more as wolves coming to ravage his Catholic flock.

"No, it's good," she said. "You are, um, what is 'dat word--consistent. You come back and so the same things and dis is good. Consistency is a good thing."

Good to know, I thought to myself as we hitched a ride back to the rec center we now call home.


Gary said...

Great blog, Shawn. I'm apppreciating reading your reflections.

By the way, I preached yesterday at my church and used a picture that might bless some of your friends. I couldn't paste it in here so I will email it.

Debby said...

I heard once it said, 90% of ministry is showing up.
I think this is true.
Thank you for going.
Thank you for showing God cares for the least of these, in a small village in Alaska.
Thank you for showing up! Both you are Greg are a picture of Jesus to these people.
It is a good thing!

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