I could've never anticipated all that happened today. It was a wonderful Sunday. Started out really early (5:30) with a phone call from someone who accidentally called my number. I was wide awake, thinking I should just get up and go spend time with God, but alas, I decided I'll have plenty of time still, so I ignored God's invitation to an early-morning commune. When I did get up 2 hours later, the power was out. I had a great time studying/worshiping nevertheless. Then went into my greenhouse, and while I was listening to a great sermon on my iPod, I got my hands dirty planting some new seeds. Cleaned up for church and was blessed by worship without the keyboard that is like nails on a blackboard to my ears most Sundays. (Yeah, I know. God's still working on me...)
The sermon was on dreams and visions, and the speaker basically just said that God can speak to us through dreams and visions, and not to be afraid of the night and of nightmares, to pray when you have bad dreams in order to cancel them.
The sermon concluded and then Pastor Philip got up, saying he knows there are some people who are taunted by bad dreams. Before he could even invite anyone up for prayer, one of our staff was up there! (She told me later that her dead mother talks to her in her sleep, telling her current things about their family.) Others followed. We prayed for them to be delivered from the constant nightmares. As we sang during the offering, we noticed one of our 8-year-olds crying really hard. He told Philip that "I see really bad things..." so we went and prayed for him. After praying for the boy, I shared briefly from Ephesians 4, encouraging the church not only to put off the former things (or cut off dreams), but to clothe ourselves with Christ, to invite God to take control. I also encouraged others who might still want prayer to come and talk with Philip, myself, or any of the staff.
After church, Nicole (intern) and I went to the room of the boy who had been crying. We found him still crying hard, this time perhaps out of embarrassment for having cried in front of everyone. He told me that he has bad dreams every single night. I was able to pray with him some more and encouraged him. And simply offered him a shoulder to cry on. He's a really great kid, and I believe God will use him to help others find freedom, too!
As we headed out, a group of kids came to talk with us. One of the older girls shared about visions that she sees during the day, of the skeleton of her dead mother coming at her... As I prayed for her, she broke down and drenched my other shoulder in tears. Again, I left amazed at what God is doing in the midst of these children.
I had some time out in the afternoon (went to town to get some ice cream, yummy!) and when I came back, I had a visitor. Joyce came to visit, just because. She told me all about school and enquired about the kids she had taken care of before. Little Kipkurui showed up, too, and while Joyce and I visited, I gave the 5-year-old a much needed manicure and some TLC.
Next, two of the young guys from church showed up, saying, "You had said we could come for prayer... We have very bad dreams every night..." I called Pastor Philip to come and assist, and another amazing time of ministry followed! Yeah GOD!
Before Joyce left, I was able to pray with her, and what blessed me even more is that she had the courage to say, "Wait, I'd also like to pray for you..." She's usually very quiet, so I especially appreciated her boldness!
Then, the power came back (it was off from 8 am till 7 pm) and I was able to get onto my computer for a bit.
What could've been a challenging Sunday (no power, challenging time at church) ended up as a day where I saw God bring healing and courage! I smiled when I remembered how God woke me up earlier, probably to prepare my heart for what was lying ahead. And though I am not trying to justify my disobedience in getting up right away, I love that we serve a God who is not limited by us. He ministered to people's hearts despite me, not because of me.
As the kids are in bed now and falling asleep for the night, please join me in praying that God will continue to fill their dreams, that he would transform them through the renewing of their minds (Rom 12:1-2) and bring deep, deep healing in each and every life so they in turn, can be used by God to bring healing in others' lives. Please pray, too, for those in the community who received prayer today, that God will continue to protect and fill them.
What an amazing God we serve.
What amazing grace he bestows on us.