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About 2 months ago, I woke up with a Bible reference in my heart. I couldn't remember any of my dream , I just knew that somehow GOD had given me a scripture. Isaiah 55.
Brad and I spent time reading and rereading the passage. It encouraged us, but then we set it aside.
Yesterday morning, I remembered the scripture again. Isaiah 55
Truly, my heart burst as I read the first verse.
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk (ugali and rice)
without money and without cost. (Is 55:1)
We have seen this picture every morning this week at our centre. Literally. The Tazama Nia shop opens at 8am. The poor, the sick, the needy, the widows, the old, the disabled, those that care for orphans… they all come and “buy” food they need - without money.
This definitely got my attention! What is God’s message for us?
I read on. What do we have to offer to our community? Yes, we have food. But we have something even more powerful!
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love. (Is. 55:2-3)
Oh, may we faithfully lead each one of the vulnerable that God has brought to us to the TRUTH of God’s love. For now, we are including a copy of the book of John in each of our bags. One man already came back to Brad that he has read the whole book and would like to sit down and talk about it. Next week, we will start again with our scripture and devotional to include in the bags. “After this pandemic” - (I think we say this phrase a hundred times a day )- we will work to pursue these families as a ministry.
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon. (Is 55:6-7)
The national closing of all bars has had several consequences here in Ngando. Unfortunately, it has not stopped the drinking. It has just brought the alcoholics out into the open. And, the main hangout place is right through where Brad and I walk every day to reach our centre. These verses are for them… verses that bring so much hope! Our God of MERCY.
On Saturday, we will be distributing just one bag of ugali to every person who has ever attended one of our Addiction Assistance meetings in the last year. (There have been over 200 people - we will do our best to find them all.) We can’t give too much food, as sometimes there is a great temptation to sell the food and buy alcohol. But, our desire is to show them the mercy and love that GOD has for them. God is seeking them. GOD wants to lavish his faithful LOVE on them!
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Is. 55:8-9)
God, please continue to give us YOUR thoughts… lead us… guide us… you know your plans for each individual that we connect with today.
You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace; (Is. 55:12)
God has brought so much joy to our team… in the midst of the hard, we feel his peace.
This will be for the Lord’s renown,
for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever. (Is. 55:13)
ALL FOR GOD’S GLORY…