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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Day 2 was the Hardest I Have Ever Faced

"Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not blow snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice on earth. In his law the islands will put their hope." Isaiah 42:1-4

I have started a Bible study called "Everyday Servant" that my good friend, Jackie Hooks wrote and it is good! I have been thinking about how I serve and how I don't serve that well. LOL! But through my travels I have learned by example of what a true servants heart looks like. I have seen wives putting there husbands before themselves and loving them in the way a husband feels respected and loved, I have seen young women serving her mother-in-law, father-in-law, husband, children, and guests in a way of graciousness and humbleness, and I have seen such obedience through faithfulness in Jesus Christ that it pours out of the person as they serve like Christ. This is who I want to be more and more like... To lower myself in such a way to put others above me. To make every person I come in contact with to feel important and that I see them as the life they were created to be.

Our first home we visited to day was amazing! This older man, who had this amazing surrounding nature of peace greeted us outside and led us to his house. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and daughter. Back in Iraq he had a plumbing business that his 2 boys worked a long side of him, he had 2 homes (one he lived in and the other he rented out for extra income), and he had land that he grew crops on. All of this ripped away from him! But this man has Jesus. He has Jesus in such a way that we as Americans can't even comprehend. He fled for his life and saved his family before the torment of ISIS came upon them. I can't get over this peace him and his family had... It was so beautiful. 

The second family we visited were a Muslim family, who just lost their 5 year old daughter. The daughter died from brain cancer. The mom was sitting on a mat on the floor, in full burka, wrapped in a blank, and as sad as could be... I could feel her sadness and mourning as soon as we waked into the room. She sobbed and says she asks God to remove the thoughts of her daughter from her memory. I cried with her, because I can't even imagine the anguish her heart is going through. I told her that I know I cannot even know the pain she is feeling, but I do know how much she is loved and how precious her life is... I told her not to give up, because she has so much more life left. The ladies in our group all laid hands on this sweet lady and just prayed over her.

The third family we visited with the husband just had kidney laser surgery yesterday. They shared the struggle of finances and the struggle of the life here. Our translator shared with us that the mom/grandmother was angry with God. She is angry that He has let all these horrible things happen to them... People who trust and faith in the Lord God almighty. I shared my story on how the Lord provided and transformed me when I was diagnosed with Skin Cancer and Omar shared a story about a lady who hid Jews back in WWII. I hope it brought them some comfort. So after some talking they showed us this thing the grandmother made out of a rice bag... She made a back washing loofah thingy. They were actually snazzy, so we all bought one and paid her... She did not want the money, because I think she was giving it to us as a gift... But if you work and do something shouldn't you get paid for it?

This was a hard morning/afternoon... We came back to base and ate lunch. This is the time we all try to comprehend what happened and how do we even wrap our minds around what we just heard and learned.

After a little break it was time to go back out and visit precious people. We were on our way to the next family when we went around a round-a-bout our driver waved at a man driving a delivery truck to follow him. I didn't realize what was going on and Rami, our driver kept saying this is special family and I can't even tell you about them... You will have to see for yourself. We get out of the car and the delivery truck was behind us... Rami was having a refrigerator delivered. We walked in the house and an old woman greets us... Then we walked into a room and a woman is sitting on the bed, whose name is Janana. She was blind with brain damage and couldn't walk... She sits all day in one spot bored out of her mind. Her mother is the older lady, who is 70+ years old and cares for her daughter. Just the other day she lifted her daughter up to take her to the shower to bath her and the mom slipped and broke her foot. (Side note- mom and daughter are both heavy) They both cried and cried and cried about the grief and pain they have gone through. Janana would just start crying out of no where thinking of the pain and turmoil she has gone through all through her disability. My heart is extremely hurt by their pain. I cry for them, but I know He sees and hears every single tear and prayer. Brande (one of my team members) and I prayed over this mom and daughter while everyone else worked on getting the fridge set up. It was an amazing Holy Spirit moment... As we were all sobbing I felt His warmth and presence. I can still think of Janana and start crying... My heart will forever be connected to them.

One more thing before I sign off... Iraqi people are very kissy! Everytime you walk into the house and leave the house you will shake the woman's hand and kiss 4 times on the cheeks (2 times on both cheeks). So my favorite kissing was with Janana! We were saying goodbye and I leaned down to hug and kiss... Janana grabbed me hugged me and kissed the heck out of one of my cheeks and I was smiling and laughing which made her smile and laugh... So we left each other laughing. Priceless end to a hard day!

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20

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