Yesterday, we had the pastors of the OPCU churches and all of their wives over for lunch and a time of singing and prayer. Fellowship with this group is so rich and such a blessing. We enjoy these times so much. Sadly, I wasn't feeling well yesterday, so while I managed to make it through the dinner, I didn't take out my camera. But there were so many little blessings of yesterday I wanted to record, despite the lack of photographic evidence.
During devotions following dinner, Eric's phone began to ring and ring. He kept silencing it in his pocket. Finally, someone walked in the door to tell him that our team mate, Mark, had been in a car accident. Thankfully, it wasn't horrible and everyone was okay. However, sometimes the crowds can get kinda rowdy around the scene of an accident, so Eric decided to drive out and check on things. Immediately, the pastors stood up and one of them said, "He's our missionary, we need to go too." It was so amazing to see how much love and concern they had and how much they wanted to show support and make sure everyone was okay. As soon as they left, the women also, said, "We need to stop and pray for Deacon Mark and Mama Christine." So we did.
As soon as our guests left in the late afternoon, my stomach broke loose. (Thank you, Lord for holding it off just long enough!) The kids came home from the Weber's house where they had stayed for the afternoon and it turned out that while they were there, two of them had become sick also...and well...you probably know where it goes from there in a house of 11 people...by evening there were numerous loads of laundry and buckets everywhere.
But as I was in the depths last night, my sweet daughter, Rebecca, came in and laid her hand on my shoulder and said, "Mama, can I pray for you before I go to bed?" And she prayed the sweetest prayer, full of love and tenderness. Children truly are a blessing.
And then again this morning, as this part of the body of Christ gathered on our compound and we tried to hide in our house, our neighbor and pastor, Charles, came into our living room and said, "Ah...it looks like a hospital in here...I need to pray for you" haha! So he prayed over us and left to begin worship and we listened from our living room (an amusing advantage to having the church meet just outside your house...) After worship, I was blessed once more as the ladies of the church came to our door, dressed in all their bright colors, called to me and then began to speak in voices that understand suffering way more than me and which also contained a serious knowledge of village life where even simple 24 hour bugs can turn serious and life-threatening. "Mama Dianna...we are praying for you...that God will grant you much strength during this time of illness and a quick recovery. May God make you to be strong to tend to all these small ones."
I'm so thankful for our community here...this part of Christ's body. They show such love and concern for us. They continue to show us grace upon grace...all undeserved, all so beautiful. While so much of our time here is spent pouring ourselves out for them, it is by no means a one-way street. We receive as much as we give and I'm so blessed to be one church...one body...in unity and fellowship with my brothers and sisters here.