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Monday, December 27, 2010

New Well....New Hope


I know that most of you have never been to Karamoja.  It's not a place I ever expected to go either.  I have to admit I was a little afraid when the idea was presented back this time last year.  God wanted me to go though.  He kept opening all the doors, and presenting the opportunities so that I could do no less than obey.  When I went, it was all I had expected.....barren wasteland, hot, poor.  But it was also much more.  It was a place where God had placed some of His children.  A place where hope was needed.  A place where they were all but forgotten by most, except God.  They had been in a several year drought and little was able to grow there.  Skinny cows, skinny people, no baths.....you could smell it.......but no available water makes for those things.  I was convicted by God for the needs of these people.  But what could I do?  The needs were so great, and all of them were things that only God can provide.  I am not a rich person....I'm barely middle class here in the U.S. I don't have alot of influential friends, and am not connected to those with great financial means.  If you really think about it, I'm not even on the rich side of faith either.  I remember feeling totally overwhelmed by the needs, trying to figure out just what to do....how to help.  I remember words coming out of my mouth...."We'll pray for rain for Karamoja".  I don't know where that came from, but it had been said.  My faith wasn't strong enough to believe that God would hear my prayer for rain for Karamoja, especially after about 5 years of drought.  But, He did.  Within 3 months of that visit, they got rain.....not because of my weak faithed prayer, but because God is faithful...because He knew their need.  He just allowed me to witness it, to experience it, to see Him answer prayer.....He knew my weak faith.....but I think He also knew my desire to obey Him.....so He let me in on His grace and mercy to Karamoja.  After that glorious rain, the once barren wasteland was beautiful and green.  Cows got fat, and food began to grow.  We were able to return in September and do a medical clinic with dear friends in the medical field.  They, like me, were very reluctant to go initially.  But when they made that decision, God also worked in their lives......they have now committed to a long term relationship with the people of Karamoja.  We were able to drill a well in one of the villages recently.  It was just completed last week.  This too, was a miracle!  The company that drilled the well, had been doing so in several other locations in Karamoja, only to come up dry.  This well.....it was a gift from God, through the hands of His children....this well, it not only hit water, but such an abundance of it that it will provide clean drinking water, hygiene, irrigation, and cattle watering......God's water.  When God sends people somewhere, it is never a wasted visit.  When my friends were introduced to Karamoja, God touched their hearts......they responded with love and generosity.  One thing I know......God does not half do anything, and He never wastes opportunities.  Everything that God does brings honor and glory to Him, and it always blesses those affected by it.  It all sums up in Isaiah 41: 17-20  "The poor and needy seek water, but there is none.  Their tongues fail for thirst.  I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.  I will open rivers in desolate heights.  And fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.  I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree and the pine and the box tree together, that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the holy One of Israel has created it."

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