Note: In this journal entry, Mom tells the story about an illustration that Dad gave in church and how it worked in the hearts of the Owena people. It worked in mine as well. All we have belongs to God, even our time. How I use my time shows what I think of Christ.
January 1, 2014. A new day, a new month, and a new year. Praise God for all His blessings over the past year! People did not do any of the usual hollering and banging on things during the night to welcome in the new year, but quietly went around to all the houses and locked everyone in their houses. They did do the usual mud-rubbing throughout the morning, but also stole things out of people’s gardens in the name of fun and destroyed a lot of things. We are thankful that our church folks were not involved in any of that stuff.
The Lord gave us a beautiful sunshiny day today. It did get very warm this afternoon, a bit too warm to feel comfortable. It is finally cooling off this evening, and there are lots of stars out.
Made sure I was up by 6:00 this morning as the school students said something about coming around 7:30 to practice songs they wanted to sing today. But they didn’t come.
Warmed up my last two pancakes for breakfast; and while I was eating, water was on heating for dishes. Today’s meeting was scheduled to start at 8:00 which is the time the girls usually come to do dishes so I figured they wouldn’t have time to work today. Also had time for quiet time while the water was heating, except that I finished up praying while I was doing dishes.
While I was waiting for people to come to lotu, I cleaned off the top of the old school cupboard and washed it. Then I washed the chalkboard.
Well, 8:00 came and went, but people did not come for lotu. Some of the youth came after a bit so I spent some time practicing songs with them. 8:30 also came and went, and 9:00. It was going on 9:30 before any of the men showed up to take charge of lotu.
Lotu went from 9:30 to 12:30. We sang songs of praise; the youth group sang a couple specials, and the school choir sang one; Amos preached on Acts 3:17-20; and Daddy finished his series on the life of Christ as an example for us to follow, going through the book of Mark. Daddy was the last speaker of the morning; and at the end of his message, he gave an illustration that the Lord had laid on his heart yesterday. We had no idea that it would have the effect that it had and what it revealed of their hearts. He said, Suppose Jesus came to Owena today and invited you all to meet with Him and enjoy the feast that He had prepared for you. You were to come at 12:00 to be fed spiritually and physically. However, 12:00 came and went and nobody showed up. 12:30 also came and went. 1:00 came, and a few people had arrived. What would Jesus think of these people?
Two answers: 1) He wouldn’t be angry. 2) He would be happy that they came.
Nobody could think of any other answer.
Daddy reminded them that Jesus has come to Owena, even though we cannot see Him. He has invited them to come meet with Him and fellowship with Him and feast with Him. He questioned them further about who Jesus is. They said God and other things, but nobody thought of Lord until Daddy gave them a clue. Then he asked them what Lord meant. Nobody knew. Daddy began to show them how coming late was disrespectful and disobedient to their Lord. It showed that they felt their own time frame was more important than God’s and the things they wanted to do had priority. As things became clear to them and the story began to hit home, they began to be very sober. Daddy challenged them to think carefully about what they think of Christ. After he prayed, Matthew got up and with broken speech acknowledged that the words he had heard were for him.
During the meeting today, Matthew talked about Sonam too. Sonam is quite sick with something, but is still planning to be baptized with Philemon during the special meetings. Praise the Lord that his family (Nueri’s family) is encouraging him in his decision. [Others (from his village) are] against him becoming part of this church. [Yet] here is a young man that was living a life of sin and God has saved him and changed his life. Sonam stood up strong against [those who opposed him] and said, “I’m saved, and I’m going to be baptized.” Even new believers are getting opposition.
It was going on 1:00 before we had our lunch and going on 2:00 before we lay down for nap. This afternoon, Daddy put the overcoat of paint on the bottom of the other window frame, and I put overcoat on the extra shelf I had added to the new bookcase. Then I painted my little tabletop blue and yellow - the school colors.
I didn’t realize how much time had passed, and noticed it was already 5:00 by the time I finished painting. Still had to make biscuits for my supper and make granola so I got right to work doing that. It was going on 6:00 before we finally had supper.
At 7:00, the school kids came to practice music. We finished a little after 8:00, and then talked about when to practice the drama. After the school kids left, I put away my biscuits and the granola. Then I got a snack. And now it is going on 9:30.
“12Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.” Colossians 3:12-14