Love those in front of you…
I know, I know … we have not posted anything in a while. I have no reason other than life has been busy and hard and the words just wouldn’t quite come together.
This week though, watching God work has caused me to pause and share for no other reason than for you to see how good He really is.
Erik’s last post shared about Rasheed and his family from Ocean View (http://halls4hope.com/its-dangerous-to-leave-your-gate-unlocked-in-south-africa-or-is-it/). We have been praying for Rasheed and his family and have asked many of you to pray for them too.
For months, we have loved Rasheed and his family. We have shared food, clothes, books, medicine, and money with them. We have also shared Jesus. Rasheed and his family are Muslim. I have told Rasheed so many times that I know God is after his heart. I have told him that it isn’t chance that he shows up to our gate week after week and sometimes day after day. A few weeks ago we gave him and his wife a small devotional book. I asked them to read it and come with questions the next time they decided to visit.
Rasheed and his son showed up this week asking for work so that he could earn some money for rent. I paid him but as he was leaving our eyes locked and he lingered at my gate. I prayed and talked to Rasheed about Jesus again. I asked him what he knew about Jesus. I asked him if he was ready to follow and then I waited for his answer. Erik and the kids were at training so I was home alone on this particular night. For the last month I have taken a step back from some responsibilities to pray and listen to the Lord. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have been home, but I was and I realized it was for Rasheed. Rasheed said to me that he couldn’t read but that he did believe that Jesus was God’s son. He said that he wanted to follow Jesus too. He said that our family has treated him differently than other people that have given him money or food. He said that we have encouraged him and talked to him about God. I prayed with Rasheed and with tears in his eyes, he said he felt so much better. I promised Rasheed that God loved him and that life wouldn’t be easy or comfortable, but no matter what happened God would be with him. I encouraged Rasheed to go and help other people make the same decision that he had just made. I told him to talk to his wife.
The next day Rasheed’s wife came to the gate asking for food and R100 (less than $10) because Rasheed was stabbed and robbed on his way home the night before. She held her sleeping baby in her arms and had her other son behind her. She was crying. She said she had prayed to Jesus too.
God loves this family. He loves them enough to go after them. He comes for all of us because He wants a relationship with us and once He has our hearts, he uses us to help others understand His love.
Too often we think the end of the story is our decision to follow Him, BUT it is really only the beginning. There are lost people that God loves at your gate and in your day. Love them; encourage them; pray for them. Our Pastor Jimmy, back in Raleigh, likes to say, “followers help other people follow.” Who are you helping to follow Jesus? God is too good to keep to ourselves.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” – Psalm 34:8
“Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.'” – Luke 15:4-7
From South Africa with love,