Friday, February 1, 2013

A Sacrifice of Praise

Day 5 of ministry.  We are in a village for the day where we are mobbed.  Our give-aways are snatched.  Shann's soccer ball and football that he uses to  play games with the kids are stolen.  People brawl over the slips being given out to see a doctor.  We are not allowed to do gospel bracelets because we are on the grounds of a Muslim school.  We are leered at and pressed in upon.  For about an hour, I can't even find Shann.  He's left the courtyard, and I try not to panic.  As we pack up at the end of the day, we wonder if we'll be able to walk the 2 blocks to the buses in safety.   Several other girls and I pray over our team before we leave the relative safety of the medical tent. 

We make our way out of the tent with suitcases full of medical supplies, and the men have us walk ahead of them.  Every one wants to touch us, but we get to the bus and breath a sigh of relief.  Shann is behind me by about a block, and had many little hands pinching his back all the way to the  bus.

We arrive at the concert sight to get attacked by mosquitos while peeing in the semi-private bushes and then trying to get down another meal of spicy rice and mystery meat (maybe its goat? Water buffalo?).  I finally give up and decide its better to be hungry.

As the service starts with seemingly endless praise songs in Telegu, we are drained.  I am tired.  I am annoyed that we are expected to perform and pray and delight in worshipping God when all I want is a shower and bed.   I'm discourged and feeling guilty that we have to pray for people afterwards and I'm just truly counting the minutes until we can get on the bus for our bumpy 4 hour bus ride.

Then we take the stage. We are now going to lead these folks into the throne room.  Our first song is "Hallelujah Anyhow"  It talks about how we praise God in spite of circumstances..."I believe I'll testify God's been good to me.  Through every test and trial, I've got the victory. We've come too far to turn around now..." Ok Lord.  The next song repeats over and over,  "Thou O Lord, are a sheild to me, my glory and the lifter of my head".  Right. We continued through "O the Blood, it is my Victory"; "I'm amazed that You love me", and more, declaring to ourselves as much as the listeners, about God's love and protection and unending grace.  My guilt lifted.  I do not need to feel bad that I am still tired.  God will not be disappointed by my weariness or even impressed by how many people I pray with.  God's strength is made perfect in our weakness, right?  There is no condemnation for me.  I am merely spreading a tiny bit of the blessing the Lord has poured out and lavished upon me.  I will praise God for the opportunity to pray with believers in India!  What a blessing. 

God thank you for the opportunity to pour ourselves out SO THAT You can fill us up with your spirit once again.  You are faithful and You are true.


Brownie said...

Wow, Sarah! I never got the details of the village team's day. How terrifying! Praise God for His protection! And what a glimpse of what persecution can be like!
I completely relate and agree with your reflection of the worship service. Total mental exhaustion left only room for God to come in and give strength.

Anonymous said...

Well, you made it, you did it with God's help! Sometimes it is a mental game. You knew it wouldn't be easy. I know God is blessed by your obedience! Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Sarah, you have grabbed my heart with that description of day 5. Even though Mom and I heard a bit of it first hand when you got back, your post put it together in a way that illustrates what it means to pour ourselves out for the Gospel. I'm so proud of you and Shann for doing it, and being willing to go wherever AGAIN!!
Your Dad