As Billye wrote earlier, our day began with much blessing with the AWT Staff. After lunch together and more intense, eye-opening discussion with different members of the team (we can’t wait to get home and share with you our new-found understanding of these precious people) we set out to the East side of the city. This part of the city houses the less-privileged, with houses literally built into the hills side by side with no space in between. The children play in dirt or dusty roads, the traffic is crazy (lots of cars in very small streets with everyone honking at once), and the streets are lined with small markets & shops.
We set out to teach at a church that ministers to Iraqi refugees, Egyptian refugees, women that have fled from Syria…both Muslims & Christians alike. When we arrived, we help set the church up for both the service and the craft that we had planned for the women after the teaching. We had an opportunity to pray over the room before the women arrived which truly set the tone for each of us. It was so great to get to welcome these women…each so very different from us & each other, but yet each so incredibly special to God!!! We saw burden in each of their eyes...we think we live stress filled lives….we have no IDEA!!! A lady named Rayna led worship (she is a precious young woman that leads this church that has such a passion to lead these women to a life-giving relationship with Christ.) Well, needless to say….CHARLOTTE ROCKED!!! God spoke very clearly through Charlotte tonight as she used the story of Esther to show them how entirely possible it was for them to enter into the presence of the Almighty King of Kings & Lord of Lords. I got chills as I sat and listened to Charlotte pour her God-heart into these womens’ hungry hearts! Charlotte gave our translator quite the ride tonight as she was all over the place with her awesome visual style!!! It was so great!
Sharon then got up and presented the gospel as she explained to these women how to make the beaded heart craft. The heart was centered around a clear bead at the top representing God. All of the other beads were placed on the same wire that held the center piece…in other words all beads connected through the center stone…God. Then each bead had a completely different look to it representing all of our differences as the body of Christ, but yet they were all connected together through that center stone. The women loved it. They worked long and hard and were each so proud to show us their finished product! We told them over and over how beautiful their hearts were and they would just light up! We couldn’t help but wonder if anyone was ever kind to them and said how beautiful something that they had made was. The most amazing thing about these hearts was the diversity…it was such a cool picture of how the body of Christ looks centered on God’s love. How boring it would be if all those beads were identical…but instead it was a masterpiece of diversity!!!!
At the end of the evening several of these women asked us to pray for them. Their prayer requests were heart wrenching…things that we could never imagine…what a privilege to be able to ask God for a miracle!!!
Okay, so I know you guys are tired of reading such long posts, but we say TOO BAD SO SAD!!!! (J) We are writing to preserve these precious, life-changing moments that God has been so faithful to give us and to allow us to be a part of, so thanks for bearing with us!!!
We miss you & love you all so much!!!!
PS…all of our cell phones are turned off because we are getting messages from our phone companies that they are charging us roaming even when we are not using them!
Sherri J Special hugs & kisses to my family tonight!!!