“I have hope” is an often used phrase in this place. We’re still learning, but it seems to be used to express a desire that something will work out, take place, or improve. When it’s used, there seems to be a bit of a lilt at the end–almost a question. Or sometimes, a weariness that hope has often not been enough. After the events of the past week and a half, we are praying that more questions will be stirred up in people’s hearts, and that the real Hope will be known. He has a plan for this people–thank you for praying with us!
Praising God for the opportunity we had yesterday to serve some of the people left homeless by the recent flooding. Our language helpers (below) were a huge help as we sat and talked with those who came. We provided a meal for 15 people, but the best part was laughing together and hearing their hearts. They expressed varying ranges of hope and hurt. One woman mentioned that journalists are constantly coming to their hotel asking questions about their future. She said, “We don’t know.” As they search for answers, we pray that their hearts will be turned to the one who knows the number of hairs on their heads. Thank you for praying!
A lot has happened since Sunday–here is a quick update. Nineteen people died in the flooding that occurred on the thirteenth of June, and six people are still missing. There was an additional death due to a tiger attack on Wednesday. An undetermined number of zoo animals are still on the loose. Many families lost their homes, and local hotels have been housing them. One hotel is right next to our Center, so tomorrow we are hosting a meal. We have started preparing the tables–please join us in praying that people will come and find encouragement and hope because of the One we serve.
In the days following the flood, we have been encouraged to see the outpouring of help for the victims of this tragedy and their families. Young people have turned out in mass–to the point the government is saying they have enough volunteers for now. Donations of food, clothing, and blankets have poured into neighborhood governmental offices (see picture below), and local hotels are housing those left homeless. There is a local phrase that means “strength in unity,” and we are witnessing it–what a privilege. Please continue to pray for those who are missing, for those who have lost loved ones and homes, for the remaining animals to be captured, for safety for those working to clean-up, and for the water supply to be deemed safe once again (we are currently under a boil order). Most of all, we ask that you pray for lives changed–not only by flood waters–but by the Living Water.
We went to sleep to the sound of very heavy rain, and woke to reports of loss of life, terrible damage, and the sounds of helicopters overhead. Several people were killed, a major highway destroyed, and many zoo animals escaped. As day has dawned, the government is asking people to stay home as they assess the damage and track down lions, tigers, bears, wolves, etc. that are still on the loose. One of our team members captured some of the damage on video. As you watch, please pray for His Name to be made known in this place, for comfort for families who lost loved ones, for families who lost homes, and for wisdom for the leaders as they make decisions. Lord, give us the words to say to give comfort and to point to the Hope we have in you!
The wheels on the mini-bus, and well–the mini buses–go ’round and ’round…
Last weekend we explored a part of the country that was new to us. This region has stood still in time in many ways. We were blessed by a visit with other believers who shared the cost of proclaiming Jesus in this place. One had been kicked out as a teen. Now an adult, she has been threatened by physical violence if she continues to share the Hope that she has. That has not detoured this family–please join us in praying for them as they continue to reach out to those in their community.