Monday, May 30, 2011

Fourteen Mile Trek Just For a Sewing Lesson

The women of Mbila continue to amaze me. I stayed behind in Kinshasa when we first arrived in Congo this time to wait for a projectors from America to arrive. When I flew into Nkara, at the airport were close to 40 women who had walked 7 miles to be part of the welcoming crew.

A few days later, as I was walking to the Bible institute to teach Malachi, I saw several women in the old Bible school building. They were the same women from Mbila who had welcomed me. Only this time, they had walked all that way for a sewing lesson at the Bible school! The trek from Mbila to Nkara is 14 miles round trip, but oh so happy they were to be lifted above the doldrums of village life into a beautiful world of creativity, by sewing a skirt for themselves or a pair of culottes for their child.

My first day of teaching Malachi to these women was yesterday. The day before, I heard them give a recitation about Philippians that told me that they know that book like the back of their hand. They then went on to give the history, introduction, and main theme of Colossians, while group B was going verse by verse through Galatians.

It blows my mind with exultant praise to God to see how satisfying and completing is the Word of God to these ladies. When I visited group C, I was thrilled to see their progress as well. A few short months ago they didn't know A from Z. Now, some of them zoom through the alphabet, read and write all the vowels, are learning their consonant sounds, and read, write, and speak short sentences.

Many of them are in their thirties and forties and they work very hard and long hours to recognize and speak words. To them, the 14 mile journey from Mbila to Nkara and back each week is the icing on the cake. God bless the women of Mbila.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our Next Women's Literary Center

Yesterday, six women appeared at the gate with gifts of bananas and avocados. Traditionally, people travel long distances just to welcome us to Congo and extend well wishes on us. These came from about five miles away. The sun was baking us, so we made our way to a large shade tree in front of our house. Just then, the professors from the women’s lit. school joined us to meet together and discuss and plan for the rest of the school year at Mbila. Our visitors said that they had been watching what a blessing the school had been to the women of Mbila and asked, with great interest, if we would start one at their village.

I quickly gave them four prerequisites before we could hold classes there:

There must be order. The children had to be confined to another part of the village as we cannot teach with hundreds of kids running around.

There must be a building in which to teach.

It had to be the will of God.

There must be great hunger on the women’s part to learn to read.

We, of course, cannot have two literary centers at once, so we will have to wait until 2013 when we graduate the women of Mbila. Looks like our work is cut out for us for the next five years.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On His Knees

Aaron, a third year Bible institute student, grinned widely as he walked through the door, beaming with joy and enthusiasm. His smiles are never far away. He is a pleasure to be around. Showing his copious notes taken at last year’s Romans seminar, he reviewed the points he learned about the incredible grace of God - how it never runs out, how vital it is to our functioning, how available it is to everyone, even children, and how it calms the soul and works patience in our lives. He correlated the grace of God with 15 Bible verses and shared this information in a three day seminar about 60 miles from here over Christmas vacation.

The results were quite rewarding. Thousands attended and many responded positively for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As he kneeled, he handed me a tithe from the offering taken those three days and asked me to bless it. What a delight it was to consecrate the one dollar and eleven cents in the envelope to be used in the ministry of Laban. He walked sixty miles to hand deliver it. Without a doubt, I received the biggest blessing.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Psalm 20

May the Lord answer you when you are in distress
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.

May He send you help form the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion. . .

May He give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God

May the Lord grant all your requests.

Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed;
He answers him from His holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God,

They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm. . .

O Lord, answer us when we call!