(The following is a journal entry from our trip to South Asia over the last two weeks. This is post one of a few blogs that will hopefully serve to somewhat recap our trip.)
S L U M B E R P A R T Y
Following day one of the two-day women’s conference, some of the girls/women stayed at the guest house and a couple of us stayed downstairs with them.
It was my favorite part of the trip so far. There was so much sharing and sweet heart-to-hearts. I could communicate with almost all of them (what! praise.) and we laughed and laughed. They are the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Seriously. They are so encouraging and kind and thoughtful and open.
They have experienced more pain and trauma than most people will see in their lifetime but the joy of the Lord radiates from them. They told stories of how they came to Christ, how fascinated they are by my white skin and how “it glows when [I] talk.” They shared their battles with depression and fears and stories of heartaches and burdens. They spoke of how they were discipling others and praying their families and friends see the glory of the Gospel. They spoke of the conference and how it strengthened and encouraged them.
One, a 19 year old, shared how, with two small girls (also present with us) her husband beat her then abandoned her before marrying someone else while still married to her. All because she became a Christian.
Oh the weight of these stories.
Stories of pain and sorrow, of longing for Christ, of hoping for His intervention and praising Him even when that intervention doesn’t come the way they anticipated or would have liked.
What do you say when someone entrusts you with their story? What do you say when you’ve been given the greatest thing—besides the Gospel—one can give (their heart)?
I don’t know.
I wanted to celebrate them and offer these marvelous and well-articulated words of comfort and hope and encouragement. I wanted to wrap them in a flannel bubble (it’s cold here) of protection and whisper words that would sooth and sustain.
But all I could do was cry.
The tears came and I just sat beside these women and rubbed their arms and backs and let the tears flow.
Praise for the Holy Spirit who can speak more comfort than this weak tongue ever could.
Jesus, may Your grace be on these women and may they always find their refuge in You. Keep helping them pour out their lives for the sake of Your name and the joy of their friends and families in this country. Thank You for them. They inspire me with their commitment to You and their faces radiate Your joy. I want to be like them.
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