Friday, January 21, 2011

A Day of Emotion and Listening........

I’m not going to lie to you…today was emotional for me for many reasons.  Susan and I are trying this ‘skype’ thing here at the hotel.  I’ll be honest…It’s impressive and free but doesn’t work good at Playazul.  I could hear enough of my sweet girl Gracie this afternoon saying “hey Mommy,” that it made me a little homesick.  I don’t think she could hear me and I imagined how she must feel to know I was there but she couldn’t get to me...I know, I know…silly.  But it was real to me.  I think it was honestly God’s way of preparing me and showing me that He wanted me to focus on Him and not “worry” about home.  I knew…know she’s in good hands but it was a momma thing…a parent thing. 
I sit here typing this now thinking…how often does God feel the same way…when He’s calling out to us…but we either can’t or don’t answer Him back?  Does He feel as I did when I could hear my child’s voice calling me when we don’t respond to His calling us?
There is relevance to this…I promise.  All this happened after an afternoon of sitting, talking, and catching up with Connie and Olivia.  Connie, as I have mentioned before is a Methodist Missionary and so is Olivia.  They both work for the COPA organization here in the Batey’s of Bombita & LaHoya.  I SO wished I could relay to you the excitement in Connie’s voice as she tells us that the team will be coming to LaHoya for church Sunday morning.  We’ve never been to this church because it’s new…and still in the process of being ‘finished.’  Connie and I stay in communication together throughout the year and she keeps us updated on the happenings and wonderful changes that are being made in the villages.  But to hear her speak of what God is doing in this new church is inspiring…and how she humbly allows God to work through her to do His work…well, it’s selfless.  As you can tell…I love her. 
Every year, I say…”I want to bring Gracie here so bad.”  Every year…it doesn’t happen…but today.  I audibly heard God say…”Do it.” 
Connie began telling us about the youth at the church…how it’s their idea to have a “Mantutina” – early morning service…once a month they come to the church at 5 a.m. and PRAY.  They pray for about a half hour then go home and go back to bed.  Can you imagine?  This wasn’t Connie’s idea…but theirs.  Thursday nights is their Praise & Prayer Night…30 minutes of praise music and then 30 minutes of prayer.  They usually have about 30 youth that come and just last night three 11 year old girls accepted Jesus Christ.  Saturday night is a youth service and then Sunday worship.  It is so evident and real that God is blessing this church and all those that walk through the doors by all that is happening.  She is starting up an Adult Literacy program soon.  This summer they took a group of kids from the Batey up the coast to a week long camp….there’s so much more but I couldn’t make notes fast enough….
I sat there listening and all I could hear was “Do it….”  Gracie is a senior at Wingate University.  She’s a religion major, and is at a point where she’s saying, “ok, what now?”  She admitted a little while back that she’s been praying a lot lately…know others are praying for her, but maybe it’s time for her to listen.  She’s a wise young Christian in her journey…much wiser than I was at almost 22 years of age.  She’s contemplating going into the seminary and is actively pursuing starting this process with visits to some schools soon.  She loves the youth at our church and has actively been a part of our youth group since 5th grade and now actively helps to lead the group.  Going on trips, planning bible studies, lessons, helping with VBS, teaching skits, and even giving them counsel,  guidance, and not being afraid to be ‘real’ with them with hard questions.  She has become a mentor for many of our young youth in our church and I just sit back and am so amazed at her gift.
I feel so led to bring her here to the Dominican to allow her to share in this newness in the lives of these youth.  To allow her to share HER knowledge and leadership with them…while allowing the experience to broaden her thought process of where God is…and to witness and feel His presence through the eyes, motions, language, and expressions of people that don’t look like her, speak like her…yet are children of the same God.  You truly don’t understand it…until you’re exposed to it…in my opinion.  Until you hear a contemporary worship song that you love and sing….being played with the sweetest sounds of Spanish singers…knowing the hand motions…realizing THEIR Dios, is OUR Jesus.
So, filled with this emotion…I attempt the Skype…I can’t reach her but I could hear her voice.  God allowed me to hear her voice, then hear His…”Do it.”
I don’t know when it’ll be…but my plan is maybe by end of summer…to bring her to the DR for a weeks visit.  To allow this time to meet Connie and let her see how God works through simple means…in large ways.  This is my accountability….putting it out there.  I know what you're thinking...what about what Gracie wants...well, she has to follow where God wants her to go as well, but I can't wait to talk to her and share all that is going
I close with today’s devotion out of Joyce Meyer’s New Day, New You.
How to Live a Holy Life

“Holy living begins with getting rid of selfishness in your life.  The paradox of happiness is that it comes when you forget about yourself and live to help somebody else.  I found out that you can’t be happy if you have yourself on your mind all the time…”
I love you Gracie.  God blessed me with you for so many reasons…but in the past 5 years, you’ve helped me to learn so much about myself…by watching you grow up to be a young woman.  I saw you 4 years ago become a high school graduate, moving to college…realizing you had needed me for 18 years and it was only then that I realized how much I needed you.  You inspire me as I watch you follow God’s path in your life…and to realize for yourself, when you’re doing more talking…than listening.  I have always told you that I can’t wait to see what God will do in your life…all the while, standing on the sidelines watching Him do it right now.  – I love you, I love your heart!! Mom