Friday, November 14, 2008

Next Adventurer

Yesterday Richard began his journey to Semonkong (Lesotho) to join missionaries there and lend a hand with whatever they need him to do. He arrived this afternoon. I cannot say that I was not a bit anxious and 'motherish' as he was getting together the things he needed (like food!) and making his travel plans. But then I got to thinking: he is 23 years old. At that age I emigrated to Southern Rhodesia as the first step in my working my way around the world. My plans didn't get much further as I met Ned there and that was the end of far-away travels - we did spend 5 years in the Transkei though, leaving for Pretoria when Richard was 2 months old!
I wonder where Richard's adventures will lead him? He is planning to be in missions himself in time. The where, when and what are yet to be revealed......

Adventure is part of our ancestry - on both Ned's and my side. "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players..." Blessings on you, my son, as you spread your wings - or direct your wheels!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Dark Side of God?

I was reading the other day from ‘Wrestling with Grace’ (Morris R.C. 2003) about the Adversary not always being Satan, but that God challenges us through trials, tests, adversity, challenges etc. Which led me to reflecting on the past Kairos weekend and how the ladies at our ‘table family’ saw God’s hand in their imprisonment and through the injustices they experienced.
- no. 1 was arrested and imprisoned on a charge of robbery by her boyfriend’s other girlfriend when she went to collect her things from the house that she and her boyfriend had bought together. The boyfriend denied that he knew her (although they had been together for a number of years) and later said he had known her for 6 months. The magistrate said that she could not have bought all those goods in 6 months and because she did not have the evidence/ receipts, she was sentenced. But she says, she came to salvation in prison, and is acutely aware that the Lord has an assignment for her while in prison and that is what she is focusing on. She has become an intercessor.
- no.2 has a 10 month sentence for fraud, and sees her imprisonment as an opportunity from the Lord to break free from an abusive relationship and to start afresh in a renewed relationship with God in the present and to prepare for a new life in the world
- no.3 has a 20year sentence for embezzlement of money half the value of no.2. She recognizes that she needed to be removed from her family because of her dominating and controlling ways and the negative effect that had on her children and husband, and on her self in her obsessive drive for perfection in her world.
They see God as the one who removed them from ‘outside’ and who challenges them in grace to draw closer to God and let go of the darkness within themselves.
I can pray with them for God the Challenger to meet them in their situations of struggle, pain and darkness; and in the quietness of God’s presence to ask if there is anything specific the Lord wants to say to them, and to keep listening until they hear in their hearts.

Kairos #4 Pretoria Ladies

Thursday evening. 42 Residents - anxious, not really knowing what it's about, shame, stories to shock, biscuits and coffee/ tea, talking to 'outsiders'. Will it be just like church - preaching, praying, singing? Not sure that they want to be there - and yet they do. Conflict. Avoidance.
Sunday evening. 42 Residents - knowing God's forgiveness and love, freedom from self-rejection and self-condemnation, freedom from anger and aggression towards others, burdens shared, friends discovered, support welcomed, knowing that 'we are not alone', walking with heads up, renewed, a sense of purpose and call, peace and joy, tears at bidding farewell to the 'outsiders'.
All this in just three days.
God is good!