Wednesday, November 14, 2012

“I Knew God Had a Plan” : Part 2

“I Knew God Had a Plan” 
(Part 2: continued from yesterday’s post)

Later that day... 
That part of my day was pretty awesome, but the best part of the day was spent with my new best friend Oliver.  He is 12 and has no siblings and has been at the orphanage his whole life.  We immediately connected the first day I came to Noel, and by the end of the day he was calling me mom .....which crushed me. 
I was given a Bible in their language (kinyarwanda) by my team leader and was told to be in prayer as to who God wanted us to leave this Bible with.  I knew immediately that God was prompting me to give Oliver mine, but I didn't want to just hand it to him--that being the end of that awesome opportunity to share God’s word with Him.  So I told him I had a Bible for Him and we would read it together when I came back Sunday (today).  He was so excited that when we pulled up, he was standing outside the bus waiting for me to get off!  When there was a moment we could actually sneak away from everyone, I grabbed the Bible I brought him and my Bible in English.  We went off to a corner and opened them up and began reading Hebrews 13:5-6 "I will never leave you or forsake you.  Therefore, we may boldly say 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?” 
As we were reading this and I was explaining it to him, another boy named Oliver who was 16 came over, along with 5 or 6 other kids, and noticed we were reading the Bible.  I explained that God was their Father.  That sometimes they may feel alone, even though they have tons of friends there, but that they were never alone because God was their heavenly Father and would NEVER leave them.  This gave them comfort.  They wanted to hear more.  

These kids go to Mass every Sunday and they know who God and Jesus are and that there is something called heaven ........but that seemed to be about it.  I talked to them about having a relationship with Christ and how it is more than just believing in Him. 
They asked me, “How do we get to heaven?”  
… So we turned to Romans 10:9 “if you confess with your mouth that 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved........Everyone that calls on the name of The Lord will be saved.”  I explained to them that they not only had to believe in Jesus with all of their heart but they had to proclaim His name, to tell others about Jesus.  I explained that their life had to reflect that and that we should always ask ourself "What Would Jesus Do?” 
They asked what happens if they were bad ........If it was an "accident." I told them about grace, and repentance.  That when you have a relationship with Christ, He forgives us of our sins.  That we will always be sinful people but we have choices everyday to either obey God or turn the other way.  

I asked if they prayed.  They said "yes, at church.”  I then asked again, "do YOU pray?”   
They they said they didn't know they were suppose to. 
I told them that when they have a relationship with Jesus, that he is their Father, their best friend they should pray continuously to Him, the good and the bad.  I explained that throughout my day I ask Him to guide my steps, and I come to Him with my sadness and my hurt, and my happiness and praise as well.  I told them that as I am walk, I will say to God, “Thank you for this sunset, it is so beautiful." "God, thank you for this food because I was so hungry." I explained that when missionaries come and we bring them food and toys, that it is because of God that we come and are able to bless them.  So when they receive those things they should not only thank the person handing it to them, but thank God, their Father, for providing it.  They said, “Oh, I did not know I could talk to him like that.  I like prayer.  I tell him everything.”   
I told them that we should always pray for the lost, the ones that do not know Him.  They asked, “What happens to them?  They don't go to heaven?”  And I explained to them about hell and Satan and that is why they needed to proclaim the name of Jesus to everyone so that no one would spend eternity in hell.  They were really soaking up every word and had no idea that everyone wouldn't go to heaven. 

The bus was about to leave, so I told them we would study one more verse, and I would take the Bible with me and bring it back tomorrow so we could read and study some more.  We read Colossians 1:16 "All things were created BY HIM and FOR HIM.”  I explained how God created everything and they asked, “The good and the bad?”  I responded, “Yes, everything!”  … and they responded with "did God make Satan?".......... 
I just love how they are connecting everything we are talking about.  But the bus was about to pull out and I had to go and since there wasn't a short answer to that I told them we would talk about that tomorrow and we would study some more.  They were so happy.  

all photos courtesy of Billy Pope Photography

I am so blessed to have been part of that moment!  That was one of those moments where I said “So that's why you brought me here, God.”  :) 

I plan on writing more when I get back from Rwanda.  I just didn't want to be spending a lot of time on the Internet.  I just wanted to share some moments of why God brought me to Rwanda and encourage everyone to go on a short-term or even long-term international mission trip.  It really will change your life.  You can read about it on blogs, read every book ever written about missions, watch movies or documentaries about them...… but you will never fully grasp it until you GO yourself. 

I know you may be thinking, “It's so expensive for us to go.  We could give so much more to the kids if we weren't spending money on flights and hotels etc.”  But the truth is, moments like I just told you about are priceless and it is more than just bringing them food and supplies and filling that physical need.  They need people to love on them and show them compassion and tell them that they are beautiful and they are not alone.  They need the Gospel. 

So I ask you, how much is a soul worth?  We should be willing to empty our bank accounts if that is what it took for one person to know Jesus.  I challenge you to go on an international mission trip in 2013.  You will not only change lives but you will be forever changed!

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