Floyd has been tired, sleeping a lot - but seemingly content and at peace. It's been a long journey. I understand his tiredness and we pray for continued grace and courage for him.
My strength is gradually, but progressively increasing. I'm still needing to pace myself - usually only one "event" per day before my energy is gone. But my energy levels are improving. I’m grateful for that.
Many people have asked about our water situation. We still need rain! People are conserving water in admirable ways. We are on very strict water rationing. "Day Zero" when the taps run dry has been moved back. There is even hope that we can escape it for this year. But if our winter rains (May - Sept.) don't come, we'll be in even worse shape. The dams where we get our water are almost completely dry.
The "good" side of all this is that many, many prayers are being lifted up! There are regular prayer meetings - both large and small. That is wonderful.
Last year Angus Buchan (of "Faith like Potatoes" book and movie) brought together a prayer gathering called "It's Time." It was held in the central area of South Africa. Over a million people attended. Now he has called one to be held in Cape Town on Sat., March 24. "It's Time Cape Town" will be held in a field in the Mitchell's Plain area of the city. Prayers will be lifted up for rain to come for our water crisis, and also for spiritual "rain" for our land.
There is a prophetic word that has been spoken over Cape Town for over 100 years......that God will bring a move of His Spirit starting in Cape Town and spread over the whole continent of Africa. "From Cape Town to Cairo." This word has been prayed into for over a century. We are asking God to bring it about.
People will be coming from all over South Africa for this gathering - not just from Cape Town. We are trusting that many from around the world will join us on Saturday with their prayers. We're asking God to "open the floodgates of heaven" and let it rain on our land and in our hearts.
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6
I've heard that verse all my life, and have certainly believed the truth of it. We often thought of that verse as we raised our 2 children. But lately I've been reflecting on how much it means for.....ME!
There are so many truths, so many principles that I live by that I learned from early childhood. The things instilled in me as a child have been part of my whole life!
Someone left a comment on the FaceBook prayer page that the updates I write aren't just from lessons learned on this unexpected journey, but they're also from things God has been teaching me all my life. That's certainly true! There are lessons, "ways of God," that I have learned over many years that are being put into deep practice in these difficult days.
The things we learned as children, the things we teach our children, are so very important. The things I learned as a child - every principle, every concept - are the foundation stones for the lessons I'm learning now on our unexpected journey. The "roots" of each lesson go back to the early days of my life. I'm so grateful for the things that were imparted to me in my early years.
My mother, my Aunt Lillian, and several other Godly ladies in my home church taught me so much by their lives and example as I was growing up. Pastor Sam O'Toole encouraged me to step out into missions as a young 16 year old into Youth With A Mission.
Floyd's mom mentored me in being a "preacher's wife." I must have asked her a million questions which she patiently answered, and she continually encouraged me.
Darlene Cunningham in YWAM taught me about being a wife in missions - about trusting God for finances, being flexible, hearing His voice, hospitality. I still have a letter she wrote me shortly before Floyd and I were married where she gave me practical, helpful advice on the life we were embarking on.
I read everything I could get my hands on from Ruth Bell Graham about being married to a man who traveled a lot. Billy Graham was gone from home more than Floyd, but Ruth learned and shared so many lessons from her life that I found helpful in my life. I've often said that she "mentored" me from afar by her life.
Edith Schaeffer taught me so much about reflecting God in our home in simple beauty and creativity - and about welcoming everyone into our lives and community. We only spent a short time at L'Abri in Switzerland, but I learned lessons that impacted my whole life during that time.
Each lesson God brings into our life - the things He teaches us in every season - they all have lasting, eternal impact. Some of the simplest lessons from my young, early years have laid foundations for the big things I'm walking through now. I've said that God doesn't waste any of our sorrows.......I'd like to add that He doesn't waste any lesson He brings to us either! They're all part of who He's forming us to be.
And He's always faithful to teach us and prepare us for what's ahead. He doesn't take us through any season that He hasn't faithfully prepared us for in a previous season. I can look back over my years and see how He graciously prepared me for this unexpected journey - starting from when I was a young child of 4 years old when He would speak things into my heart in the middle of the night. I loved laying in bed and talking with Him.
I'm so grateful for His "training" me in the way I should go.
"Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord." Psalm 34:11
"My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart." Proverbs 3:1
"These words that I am commanding you today....repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up." Deuteronomy 6:6,7
There have been some things weighing heavily on my heart recently. The weight of them seems to have grown increasingly heavy. A few days ago when yet another thing came up that weighed on my heart - I realized that the load was just too heavy. I did what I should have done much sooner.
I spent time with the Lord, and actively, one-by-one, gave each of the weights to the Lord. I "cast" my burdens onto His strong shoulders. I explained my concerns, my heartache, and I gave it all to the Lord. It was a very special and precious time of prayer. I could actually feel the heaviness lifting from my spirit.
I've continued to give these burdens daily to the Lord. The result has been some wonderful "quiet times" with Him. I'm so grateful that He is my burden bearer. He is fully able to lift the weights from my heart and carry them for me.
I saw a quote recently - "God is everything or He is nothing." I'm so grateful that He is everything!! He can meet our every need. He can carry the heaviest burden. He can minister to the deepest longings of our hearts. He can speak words of wisdom and counsel into our minds. He can carry us through the hardest day. He meets us with grace and strength when we're weak. He surrounds us with comfort when we're hurting. He breaks through with joy on the gloomiest of days. How wonderful and faithful He is!
"Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22
"Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles." Psalm 34:17
I’m so grateful for the prayers of dear ones all over the world that are helping to bear our burdens in the place of prayer. What a wonderful gift and support to me and our family.