Recently the Lord has been showing me more and more that it is HIS power that works in me. And when it is HIS power, and not mine, HE does far more than I could begin to imagine. See Ephesians 3: 20 & 21- "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." Just a quick story to give one example of this process in my life. Yesterday, as usual on Sunday, I woke up early to review my Sunday school lesson for the day. We were starting the life of Abraham, who is one of my favorite people in the Old Testament. He is such an example of a life lived with true faith, which acts on that faith and doesn't just sit around talking about it. The story for yesterday was his call from God; God asked him to leave his country, family, and friends to go to a country he didn't know anything about. The promises for obedience would be phenomenal; children and grandchildren who would be as numerous as the stars, a name that would be famous forever, and that he would bless all the nations of the world in the future. While these promises are great, I'm sure Abraham had to think a little before he decided to leave everything familiar and natural, to go to a place unfamiliar and unnatural. I can relate to this process, having recently been going through it. Yet, he was obedient, and went because of his faith and trust in his God. Hebrews 11: 8 says: "By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going." As I was reviewing his story to tell the kids, the Lord impressed on me, that I might be giving this message to the whole church. I was a little confused, because the pastor had not called me to tell me he wouldn't be there. I thought I was imagining things. But the feeling kept coming, so I adapted the story to a more adult theme, and a challenge for adults. When I went to pick up the pastor and his wife, they were not at the usual meeting place. My helper, Grace, went to knock on their door, and low and behold, they were sick, and had forgotten to call me. If the Lord hadn't impressed on my heart that this would happen, I probably would have just gone home and not driven out to Moukoundo. But since He had already told me this would happen, I was ready. This would be the first time I would share a message from the Bible with adults. I had lots of doubts if I could pull this off in French. So Grace and I prayed as I drove out to the village. Thankfully, the Lord had sent her to help me, because I couldn't have done it without her. I told the Lord that my "tongue" was not adequate to do this. He told me- My grace was sufficient for you. I told him I was scared. He said -Do not fear, I am with you.
So the end of the story is that I got through it, the people actually understood me. Grace helped with any words I wasn't sure of, and she also interpreted in Yinzebi (their native tongue). As I was telling the story of what Abraham had to give up to go, I mentioned the things that God had promised him for obedience. He hadn't seen them yet, but he believed that God would come through on his promises. I decided to share a little of my story. I remember having "discussions" with God before coming because of "giving up" certain things, most importantly family and friends, but also comfort, familiarity, easy communication, just to mention a few. He reassured me that if I was obedient He would supply those needs for me. I can happily say that I see Him supplying them above and beyond what I thought or asked for. I wouldn't have imagined after just 6 months that I could get up in front of a church full of people and share a message in French. I couldn't have imagined all the "children" He would give me to love and help (my 30 Sunday school kids). I couldn't have imagined feeling comfortable in a very different culture, but that is beginning, and growing every day. My heart is full as I see HIS power working in me to serve Him here in Gabon. What a privilege to be part of His story here at Bongolo. To Him be all the glory! Until next time, Sandie