Besay (thank you)! I appreciate your prayers and support for my recent trip to Sierra Leone!
The entire eMi team of 8 returned to the U.S. early last week and most of us are back into our daily routines. Praise God for safe return travel and for His grace through our integration back into this culture!
As I have had time to reflect on this trip, the picture that comes to mind is the reflection of the moon in the Atlantic Ocean as we took an evening stroll along the beach near Freetown. God has continued to reveal a truth that He made clearer to me through this trip: Just as water and the moon reflect light from a source we cannot look directly at, so a holy God faithfully reflects the glory of His Son-shine through human lives. I praise the Lord for using me as an instrument throughout the trip, with what seemed like so little of my effort! My life has been blessed, and, more than ever, I cannot wait to get back and serve on a long-term basis in West Africa.
I departed the U.S. wondering whether my technical skills would be adequate to address engineering needs, and I return knowing God used my technical skills and worked through my weakness. Moreover, He used my surrendered life to share compassion with people in desperate need of encouragement and hope that only comes through Christ. I wish I had more time to spend with the people God placed in my path as I worked around the hospital site because I saw in them a hunger to learn, both about engineering and about living for Christ. There is significant Islamic tradition and practice within the villages surrounding the hospital, but I believe God will use the Mokanji hospital to reveal His greatness and draw more people to Himself. We heard encouraging testimony that one of the chiefs had turned to Christ after the hospital was entrusted to Global Outreach Mission! Please pray that this is only the beginning of a people-movement to Christ.
Praise God that He is “a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” He does not forsake, even when His people are disobedient and stubborn! (Nehemiah 9:17)
In closing this message, I decided to include a prayer excerpt from my journal entry last Saturday, March 7 while we were resting in Freetown. I spent most of yesterday going through journal entries and pictures from the trip, and I have attached another picture to share with you of the madame chief leading singing after our preliminary design presentation to the community. Watch for details on where to look for more trip pictures later this week.
“About all that’s left to say is, ‘Wow’, God! I try to give, but I feel like I end up being more blessed through giving. How can I not give my entire life to You? How can I not say ‘Yes’ to Your call? How can I not serve You? Please don’t let me get caught up in life back home in the U.S. and forget about these people, God! … Please have Your way, Lord Jesus, and do a mighty work in the Mokanji area through the guys that I had the privilege of talking with and giving to while I was there. I trust You, both with that and my future involvement here–I really do not want to leave–I’m so torn right now, and West Africa, specifically this country, is heavy on my heart. Please provide direction and guidance! Thank you for being ‘God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries’ (Daniel 2:47)! Thank You for bringing me here and touching my heart!”
Reflecting God’s glory,