The end of September we had the retreat kickoff for our Pastoral School year. The theme was "knowing God and being known by Him to better serve Him." In Jeremiah 1:5-10 we read that the Prophet Jeremiah was known by God when he was in his mother's womb, was called for a tough (seemingly impossible) job, with the promise that God would be with him.
We found that the qualities of Jeremiah were sensitivity to the troubles and feelings of others and timidity because of speech and age--(sound familiar?) But Jeremiah said Yes to the call and once he accepted it, he remained steadfast despite much hardship, attempted corruption and distractions. For over 40 years he served as spokesperson for God to the many nations.
Our village that week had had an outburst of "prayer and prophesy" among a group of young people who have been very serious about Bible Study, prayer and praise. However, their prophesies were charged with accusations against the leaders here and their means--their actions--were destructive of church property. Hence the church leadership came down hard on the law and order issue, temporarily suspending activities of the bible study group (whose leaders were not present at the time of the event in question). Lynn has been attending this Bible study and knows several of the young "rebels".. After several meetings among village leadership, fortunately the decision has been made to make more of an effort to work with the young people, fortifying existing leadership. Unfortunately the messages of the young people, which contained truth about the hypocrisy of our church and village leadership, have not yet been pursued. How can we do so with respectful means? We are praying for increased respect between all persons involved and that all will avoid the sort of "witch-hunt" with black and white judgments. We recall that Jesus turned over a few tables in the Temple in his time. There has been lots of discussion and preaching about how one discerns valid prophecy, and the spirit of God speaking.
Other News: We've recently had our Thanksgiving service here at church. Even with all the turmoil, it was a fairly joyous event. The applications to work in the Library project are flowing in showing the need for productive activity for our young adults who are out of school. The 3000 miniature palm tree seeds arrived on Monday's plane giving the 34 local groups 5 days to plant them.
The air is freshly washed with 1-1/2 inch of rain Sunday am. The mangoes are ripening so our yard is full of "picnic-ers." Although Virgil is battling with an allergic reaction to insect bites just as his leg was healing up, our outlook is positive. We love teaching our classes and getting to know people here, in this chosen land.
God bless you as you labor and love and live in your neighborhood.
Lynn and Virgil Nelson