I have been doing a lot of reading lately. Two books in particular have struck me as life-changing. The first is called "Children and the Supernatural" by Jennifer Toledo. It is the story of how children all over the world are being filled with the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to work. What makes this book so close to my heart is that her story begins in Kenya. Here is a link to an interview of Jennifer about her experience in Kenya by Sid Roth.
The other book is "Revolution in World Missions" by K.P. Yohannan. It is a common book in Christian circles, probably because copies are routinely given away free. I had had a copy for a few years, but had never read it. In preparation of our trip to Africa, God told me that I needed to read this book. It is the story of the founder of Gospel for Asia. As a native from India, he does a wonderful job of pointing out how comfortable we are in North America. We just do not realize that outside of our affluence, 2/3 of the world live in such poverty. Here is a quote from page 42-43:
"Often when I spoke at a church, the people would appear moved as I told of suffering and needs of the native evangelists. They usually took an offering and presented me with a check for what seemed like a great amount of money. Then with their usual hospitality, they invited me to eat with the leaders following the meeting. To my horror, the food and "fellowship" frequently cost more than the money they had just given to missions. And I was amazed to find that American families routinely eat enough meat at one meal to feed an Asian family for a week. No one ever seemed to notice this but me, and slowly I realized they just had not heard the meaning of my message. They were simply incapable of understanding the enormous needs overseas."
What I take away from this is: How many times have I been presented with how great the need is, and I am uncaring, or at the very least completely unable to imagine the suffering and the hunger because I have never suffered or hungered like the 1 billion hungry people in 2/3 of the world. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to go and see how great the need is. I do not doubt that God will break my heart when I see the destitute first hand. It is my responsibility, however, to prepare my heart to perform God's work for me, whether it be in Africa, or here at home.
In a fun "Pray by Numbers Game"*, it was prophesied that God has given me a work to do and that I am to do it. I know He has called me to both Streets Alive and Africa and I thank everyone for their support - in prayers, monetarily, emotional and even physical support (Thanks to my hubby and mom for looking after my kids!)
*The Pray by Numbers Game is a simple exercise. Count the number of people in your group (X), and place papers labelled 1 through X in a hat. Everyone grabs a number, but does not look at it. Then the group prays for the person representing each number. God may give a word, phrase, vision, or a myriad of other things. One person records what is said, and each person gets to see at the end what was prayed over them. It is not uncommon to find that God has given you something about yourself!