There’s an old saying in scripture that says, faith can move mountains even if that faith is as small as a mustard seed. The Bible tells us of stories of Jesus healing the blind, making the lame man walk, showing love, and giving food to the least of these and everything that is said and done is done for the kingdom and glory of God.
Interesting isn’t it? These stories of old in a simple book of truth filled with authors and peoples testimonies of the goodness of God and all that he has done in and through their lives and the lives of others. Can you picture it? Can you place yourself in their shoes of old and for a moment imagine what it would have been like?
Walking alongside the road, passing a man each and every day holding a sign that says, “Please help, hungry, no money, and Blind.” You’ve gotten so used to seeing him in the same spot everyday, week by week, month by month, and with each passing day this has simply become a landmark blending in with scenery that surrounds him. He’s become invisible. Less of a person and more of a passing moment.
Until one day you pass and you finally notice he’s gone. Your mind now racing, questioning, pondering what could have happened. Did he leave? Is he near by? In a new spot perhaps? Did he die?
All of a sudden you see him passing you by as he continues walking down the side walk and as you look up, you lock eyes. A smile is given and a wave of greeting sent. His eyes a renewed deep blue. A loaf of bread in one hand, a gallon of water in the other. Hungry no more but satisfied. No longer thirsty but filled. No longer blind, but he can see! Is it the same man? Is your mind playing tricks? He’s become so invisible, that you missed the miraculous.
Throughout these last three weeks once we hit the ground we were off. From serving in the DRC program center, helping in their classrooms, playing on the playground, painting the walls outside and inside the facility, and making meals to helping launch the new soup kitchen in the DRC called Feeding Namibia. Serving at Promiseland Daycare, painting the children’s hands on the walls to leave their mark, helping in the classrooms, and the soup kitchen after school was done. We’ve served at The Oasis in Moon Valley helping with the animals there and also cleaning up their playground to help take some of the pressure off of the staff and also come along the staff at a government ran old age home where we helped to repaint homes that were in need, bring a beautiful garden back to life, and simply sit with the residents there. Moreover in our free time we have the opportunity to go into town to continue building on the relationships we’ve started here and just continue pouring into people as much as they have poured into us.
At the market, it’s sitting with my friends that now call me family. It’s sitting with them even after a long day and hearing their stories and sharing my own. It’s seeing them around town and screaming hi from a distance or stopping to chat on the sidewalk. It’s reading the Bible together and asking questions. It’s sharing your heart even when you’re having a bad day because they are having a bad day to so you just choose to pray. It’s helping them pack up after a long day of just sitting waiting for customers to come and hopefully being able to bring some more income home than the day before.
It’s sitting at my favorite coffee shop, Cordes. Talking with the owner, the managers, and the wait staff. . It’s not just having a coffee or sitting and reading and writing but looking up instead of down to the person that is standing before me. It’s more than them remembering my order as we run to make it before closing just to have a chat, give hugs, and check in with them to see how they are doing, how the day went, and have good for the soul laughs and conversation before they close.
It’s leading game time at Teen Cell (youth group), God filling my cup and reminding me of the calling on my life and my heart for youth and kids. It’s sitting in on an adult Home Cell (Community Group) talking about the Lord, listening to testimonies of faith, praying for one another, speaking life into one another, and building up one another.
It’s meeting Tannie at the old age home who only speak Afrikaans and used up every word I know in Afrikaans and more as I tried to follow the conversation. She’s 87 years old and has lived there for 25 years. She would treat us to snacks and coffee to thank us as we painted but my favorite moment that brings me to tears every time is when she said, “Thank you very much, I love you,” in English. In English! It was as if my ears were hearing for the first time or maybe it was as if I could feel the love touch my soul with every word.
It’s meeting people where they are at not simply by the words you say, but also by your actions. To love and be loved. To know and be known.
A moment that goes beyond all the rest…sitting at worship night knowing that my cup was empty. Spiritually exhausted from constantly running, physically tired, and mentally I just wanted a moment for air…but then a divine moment came before me. A girl I had met in the park earlier who was quite drunk came down to the beach and sat right next to me. She had asked where we were from, what we were doing in Namibia, and she could have sat next to anyone, but she could only remember my name. She began asking deeper questions, revealing to me she was an alcoholic, how she hates her life and being bound to this bottle before her, never amounting to much, she’s to young to be saved and wants to live while she’s young and then one day get saved in church.
As we sat there and talked, I simply shared with her my heart. How the Lord not only loves me but all. How He sent His Son. How he’s not a God of punishment, guilt, or shame, but a God of unconditional love and even when we mess up Be is quick to forgive…it’s when we have to forgive ourselves that we usually fall short. Most of all He’s a God of second chances and no matter what you do or how broken or shattered you are, our loving God is the one who shines His light in the broken pieces making them beautiful once again.
She gave her heart to the Lord that night and all of a sudden it made sense. I felt God tell me in my spirit, “She’s mine now.”
““It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.” Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man’s eyes. He told him, “Go wash yourself in the pool of Siloam” (Siloam means “sent”). So the man went and washed and came back seeing! His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said he was, and others said, “No, he just looks like him!” But the beggar kept saying, “Yes, I am the same one!””
A girl that I didn’t really want to talk to. A moment where I just wanted space. A life almost made invisible and a soul almost cast off, because of my own selfishness…but God. Feeling His spirit stir inside and simply allowing His words to take over and not my own. Will I ever see her again in this lifetime? Probably not, but I know one place where I can’t wait to see her again.
The girl who was once invisible now seen. The girl cast aside now hungers no more and thirsts no longer…why? Because of a love unconditional. A love of reckless abandon came flooding in to remove the mud from her eyes and now she can see once again.
We have one more week here in Swakopmund before heading back to South Africa and then back to the states.
I can’t wait to be home…but I can’t wait to see what God does in this last week.
Until the next adventure,