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Monday, February 27, 2012

Praying for One Another

I just love seeing God work! I say this after a difficult week, when many things seemed to go in just the direction I did not want them to. Then, just I am starting to feel this sense of foreboding, God gives me a peak at the pretty side of the tapestry.....you know, the side where His work in our lives is creating a beautiful design. More often than not, we only see the side where the thread is, and perhaps the knots, what appears as random threads with no purpose.....by the way....with God, there is always a purpose, and always a beautiful design. 
I had one of those weeks.  I am a social worker, and always saw myself using that degree with hands and feet on the ground, you know, like what I am involved in with Mercy Uganda.....however, God sometimes takes us on some winding paths to grow us, prepare us, teach us things like patience, trust, spiritual maturity...so I am doing mental health counseling.....never in a million years would I have chosen that, but God opened that door when He closed just about all the others.  It was safe to assume He wanted me there, at least for now.  This past week really made me  struggle with that too!  It was difficult and sad, heart wrenching and agonizing for several days as I saw two families deal with pain.  I told God I felt totally ill-equipped, but was quickly reminded that when He puts His children somewhere, He equips them.  I prayed, asking God to help me understand all of this....then some pretty amazing things began to happen! 
First of all, in our Faith 500 Vision, you know, the prayerful plan to raise money to buy land, and build an orphanage and school in Uganda, was given another $1,000.00.  Okay, so we still have a long way to go to get to our goal....but when unexpected gifts come in from unexpected sources, you know that God is working. THEN....I get a message from my dear friend Veronica, the Director of the Comforter Center in Uganda.  She was telling me that her board prayed for us......not just prayed for us......prayed specifically about our desire to move there, and our Faith 500.  A few years ago the shoe was on the other foot, when Veronica needed alot of money to buy the building they were renting or lose it to an abortion provider.  We did the 152 Campaign and were able to raise the needed money.
Fast forward to now. At her ministry board meeting, one of her board members asked about Sister Laura....how things are going.  They talked about the 152 Campaign, and how God had provided.  THEN, Veronica read them the letter Mark and I had sent out asking for prayer about our desire with the Faith 500.  Veronica and her board prayed right then for us.  Veronica's last words in her message to me were this.... "remember our Biggie GOD is still the same yesterday, today, and forever".
I so needed that reminder......I needed to be  reminded that nothing is impossible for God, and that we are in the palm of His hand.  God reminded me of the importance of prayer, and how He uses the prayers of His children......My week started off rough, with a struggle and uncertainty.....it ended with God giving me a gigantic prayer hug through  friends thousands of miles and an ocean away!  This peak at the tapestry just reminds me that even when I don't see it, God is at work doing some amazing things!! Thank you Lord that my life is in Your hands....thank you for friends who are praying for us.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Friends

I think that the older we get, the more we really understand what it means to have friends, and to be a friend. God gives us friends as a reflection of His love for us in so many ways.  For instance, each of the friends in this picture with me are friends I consider more like sisters. Each one dear to me, and each one reflecting Christ to me. 

These sisters of mine are gifts to me from the Lord.  He has placed them in my life and I honestly do not know what I would do without them.  I want to be that same kind of sister to them.  I want be a reflection of God's love to them.  I want, somehow, to bless them in some way reflective of the way they have blessed me.  My sisters love Christ, and that makes this friendship all the sweeter.  I thank God for the many ways they walk along beside me in the journey of faith.....in this work in Uganda.....in mine and my husbands friendships with them and their husbands. I could list so many ways that they have given so unselfishly, so quietly, but I know they wouldn't want me to do that, so I say a special thank you to my Savior for them.  I thank Him for putting them in my life, in our lives....I thank Him for the wonderful persons they are.....and I ask Him to bless them, protect them, and to help them know how much I appreciate them. 
I have other sisters too....sisters in Uganda. Sisters that God has brought into my life in very special ways and through ways only He could.  These dear sisters are gifts to me as well. On this side of the world my sister-friends are my prayer warriors,
my hand holders, my much needed support system in every circumstance, and love and encourage me in ways that only they can.  My sister-friends in Uganda are equally as precious to me, and our friendship holds deep meaning and joy in my heart in that these friendships take me to levels I would not and could not go had the Lord not brought us together.  My friend Veronica, shown here, is the director of the Comforter Pregnancy Center in Kampala.....our friendship is special and unique....it is a prayerful encouragement friendship.....I love that, and I love Veronica. 
My friend Alice is a beautiful and precious sister-friend to me too.  Though we struggle to verbally communicate, her love for the Lord, and her desire to serve Him in ministry work with us,(and in support of our director Henry, who is her husband) is a silk ribbon that binds our friendship in ways that only God can.  Alice is a humble, kind, generous friend who shows God's love in her acts of mercy and kindness, in her prayers, and in her beautiful humility.  I thank God for Alice.  I so look forward to, and long to be in Uganda in a more full time capacity to be able to build upon those friendships, to encourage as I have been encouraged.  In each of my friendships, each so dear to my heart, I pray that I will be able to bless each one of them in some way as they have so richly blessed me.  My friends have each given me a glimpse of the love of God.  Each one has been the hands, feet, heart, and voice of Christ in my life.  I thank them......and I thank God for them!