Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Little ones, Heidi Baker & Deaf ears

I wish I had a few pictures to share in this blog of the memories and sights of this past weekend. But this weekend I wanted to fully engage in the community life and I just didn't want to risk being separated behind a camera lens. I wanted to enter the village, humbly, not as a tourist snapping photos everywhere I went. After all, how strange would it be if someone showed up in my backyard in Canada and started snapping photos of me. That and the comic fact that my once waterproof camera decided to no longer be waterproof part way through my last swim in the Indian Ocean may also have been a contributing factor. Always an adventure and never a dull moment. So allow me to draw on your senses and imagination to invite you into our world...
We unload our vehicles after we arrive in this little northern village. Seconds later we are surrounded by dozens upon dozens of beautiful little faces approaching us with utter curiousity and inquisitive half-smiles wondering what we are doing here. A few brave little ones step forward and test the waters with these strangers. Soon they are laughing, dancing, singing and playing with us as they crawl all over us in the dirt. As I hold a precious little one in my arms, sweat drips down me in this HOT African country so close to the equator and so full of humidity. Suddenly my waist feels drenched and I fearfully wonder whether the warm liquid above my hips is pee streaming down the little one's leg whom I'm holding. Too poor to afford diapers--this is the risk you take when scooping up a beautiful little one in your arms here in the village. I briefly set her down to check. Phewf! No additional yellow stains on my already filthy shirt. It was just the wetness created by her hot little body pressed against mine. Their clothing is ripped, torn and a mere skeleton of fabric that once made up a pair of pants and shirt. I have never seen such poverty. The broken zipper on the back of her once beautiful little outfit has been stitched together in the centre to hold her dress together. The sequins have fallen off; its covered in stains. Yet despite her ripped and ragged clothing--I am overwhelmed by her beauty. As she stares into my eyes I see her royalty in the Kingdom of Heaven as I pray for her quietly without audible words. She is a princess in disguise, a child of God, the loving most High King.
I walk around with her and explore the village. The smell of smoke fills the air as a small bush is being burned a few hundred meters away. Dirt covers almost everything in sight and sweat from the hot heat fills the air. A true experience for your nose unlike anything I've experienced in North America.
I've only been here a few months and yet in that short time I've managed to scoop up so many lovely children into my arms. Somehow it never gets old...

...This particular bush bush outreach was made especially fun with a surprise guest. Our outreach team was so excited when we found out that Heidi Baker (the director and founder of the missions organisation to which we belong) would be joining us along with some amazing guest speakers from around the world we had heard this week at our missions training school. It was such a pleasant and unexpected surprise. I never dreamed I would get to do an outreach with Heidi Baker during Harvest School. As I write this I realize I may sound as though I am idolizing Heidi Baker and making her out to be some sort of Christian celebrity and that is not at all my intention. She is, however, an incredible role model and inspiration to both Evan and I. Since I first heard of Harvest School in Spring 2011, I've been captivated and amazed by what God has been doing in this ministry. I've read every book by Heidi I could get ahold of, I have dowloaded podcasts by her and watched all her videos. Her life is a living testimony of extravagant love, endless faith, the miraculous, and the power of God. I truly feel so honoured and privileged to be even in the same room as her. She is one of the heroes of the faith in my book.
And so, having our outreach team chosen to go on a bush bush outreach with her was beyond exciting. It was like being a part of one of Heidi's books (Compelled by Love, Always Enough, Birthing the Miraculous--all greats reads) when she describes village outreach. In a quick snapshot:
-We met children from the village
-We showed the Jesus film
-Heidi preached
-We had a prayer tunnel for the many who received salvation and those needing healing
-Evan saw deaf ears opened
-We ate together and slept in tents
-We honoured the village chief and Queen with capulanas (African attire)
-Heidi served Starbucks coffee to our team (much to Evan's delight) just like she describes in her books
-We went door to door praying for the sick and bringing healing and salvation through Jesus
-Then to top it all off, we got to be there to help celebrate the new drilling of a water well in the village. So cool!
It was truly amazing, thrilling and magnificent. And while all of this so clearly ressembled the stories and newsletters that I've read from Iris Global--more than anything it felt like we were getting to live out the gospel. What an incredible privilege. As I walked through the village I couldn't help but take a moment to wonder whether I was merely dreaming as I have for so many years about Africa and being a part of revival.
All in all--not bad for a weekend in the BUSH BUSH---cuddling beautiful little ones, meeting one of our greatest role models and inspirations in ministry and deaf ears opened.

(Picture from an African wedding this was Sunday! I got to do makeup for the bridal party--so fun!)

1 comment:

  1. You guys!!!! Life has been so wild I'm just catching up on your latest entries now! & oooooh myyyy word!!!!!!

    Honestly, you two are amazing. & Natasha, you have such a gifts with words. I love your hearts so much. You are such an inspiration to me. I wish I could be there with you, what a blessing.