24 April 2011

17 or 18, years old, maybe?

Actually, young enough to be my daughter...


She is

an orphan,

a widow

with a 2 year old son;

no one in her family knows Jesus ~

the only one who can give eternal hope.

Can you imagine?

Anyone else have a hard time wrapping their mind around that one?

I do... I am... I am giving up trying...

because I can't.

And I want to fix it, but I can't.

Someone said something to me the other day about God giving us God-sized tasks so that we commence, continue and complete His works entirely dependent upon Him.

I can't even speak enough of her heart language to share His message of hope with her.

Tim and I went to sit with Issoufou's widow for a bit a few days after he died. It is a cultural thing. Thankfully, you aren't really expected to talk much - what can you say? Except "Fonda tilas..." I also usually ask if I can pray for them. We asked about the baby's age. And then about his health (Issoufou had been to our home less that a week before he died, looking for medications to treat the baby's high fever.) We found out that she had lived all of her life in our neighborhood, but would be moving that night to her big sister's home. And then we just sat together for several silent minutes, smiling and sorrowing, before finally getting up to leave. On our way out, we asked Issoufou's mother if they'd like a copy of this photo one of several we have of Issoufou - to someday show little Ismael who his daddy was. They seemed delighted and genuinely thankful. 

Is the attitude one of gentle acceptance or fatalism? I don't know?

I'm praying a new prayer...

In the past, I've easily resented it when people only show up at our doorstep because they want something... they never stop in just to say hi and ask about the family... there is always motive - usually a need they want us to meet: money... medicines... more... of something. I resent it because I hate feeling used.

But isn't that part of my prayer: "Lord, use me!" My fickleness so blatantly pointed out! So I'm confessing and asking forgiveness. I'm praying for God to fashion kind consistency out of that ficklenss. I'm praying this time that need - and in her position, she has so many needs - pushes her to seek us for help, freely and joyfully given, all the while pointing her towards the One and Only - because it could open the door to continued relationship, and the Lord has placed this young woman, widow, mother, on my heart.

I'm praying that new prayer... several times a day... every time I think of sitting in that hot, dark little hut with her for those 20 or 30 minutes...

Will you pray with me?

Pray that God reveals to her the message of today... that the tomb is empty... that the price has been paid and sins can be forgiven... that Jesus is risen...

He is risen, indeed!


  1. SOOO hard! For her, for you guys...I know first-hand that tug-of-war pull that you feel from crying "Lord use me" to "Lord please I need a break". But beautiful thoughts on Easter...in light of HIS resurrection and gift to us!

  2. What a beautiful reminder of truly embracing a petition to God. "Lord use me"...how many times I have prayed that same prayer without even thinking deeply about what the consequences of Him granting my may be. May God continue to use you and me too, all for His glory! May He also bless you and your family as you continue to do His work in the mission field!! :)

    Thank you for commenting on my blog, I appreciate your insight and inspiration.

    In His Love and Grace, Emily


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