It's Sunday night here and the rain is pouring on the tin roof of the house behind us. It is late in the year for the rains to still be coming like this, but I'm thankful for them. Dry season is on it's way and with it, the heat. The thermometer has been inching higher every week, and I'm quite sure the rains will stop any day now. This morning in church was uncomfortably warm, which is not too surprising in a building that is fashioned much like our outdoor bread ovens here - metal roof, block walls, and very little ventilation!
As I took a few minutes to check messages and emails just now, a picture from a college friend caught my eye. It was her and an older Indian lady standing in front of a building I recognized immediately......it was the church building at Dohnavur Fellowship, Amy Carmichael's home in India! How many times have I dreamed of visiting there? How many books by her or about her have I read? We even named our second daughter Isobella Carmichael after her. Why? Because she gave her all to Jesus. She loved Him and served Him and sought to honor and glorify God with her life. And she inspired us to do the same.
This week has been a full one. Busy with the best things ~ schooling my children, discipling believers, reading to my girls, preaching the gospel to unbelievers, and seeking to daily live out the two greatest commandments. These full weeks can be hard too, because they are full of the mundane things ~ washing laundry, cooking food, mopping floors, doing our monthly grocery shopping, weeding the compound, picking up government paperwork in the capital, and again seeking to daily live out the two greatest commandments.
And when I wake up tired and discouraged on Sunday morning? That is extra hard. Why do I feel this way? This certainly does feel like what I thought being a missionary would feel like. I try to put my finger on it, but can't quite manage it. I ask God for strength to do what I should do in spite of how I feel.
We get to church. A young lady I've been witnessing to for a while now is there. I invite her to another room during the Sunday school hour and continue to share the gospel with her. She listens. One of our few married couples comes to church today with their 40-day old daughter. It is time to welcome her to the world and give her her name. As I sit and listen to her father share their testimony of turning from dead idols unto the living God, and how they want to name their precious girl after a servant of the Lord so she will worship Him always, the tears slip down my cheeks.
Tonight, one of our men is doing the teaching for the evening service. He begins to share his testimony of coming to Christ. It began with a tract some nine years ago, and now that same young man has been called of God and is being trained.
All these things come to mind when I spot that picture from India. In the comments is a note ~ the Indian woman my friend is standing with in the picture was one of Amy's children. Amy's words that I copied down just this afternoon come flooding into my heart and mind:
Whatsoever Thou sayest unto me, by Thy grace I will do it.
Thy love, O Christ, my Lord.
Thou art able to keep that which I have committed unto Thee.
To do Thy will, O God.
That which I would not choose, but which Thy love appoints.
Love to live, live to love.
The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance.