Ok, so today has ended up being a MUCH better day! When I finally realized I needed a major attitude change, the Lord turned the day into such a blessed, productive day. I am just beside myself!
So this morning, I read the daily "My Utmost for His Highest" devotional, and it really challenged me to seek to be more encouraging and to stop sulking and sympathizing in my current situation. I updated my blog this morning, and before posting it I shared the devotional and what I had written with Stacey. She also thought the devotional was incredible and also felt very convicted by it. We were both challenged to change our attitudes. And my oh my, what a difference today has been!
Stacey and I decided to take action rather than wait for someone to tell us what to do. We have become completely disenchanted with sitting at the guesthouse, sulking in our lack-of-things-to-do. So, we did something that neither of us have ever done before. We went prayer walking!!! And wow! One of the greatest things I've ever done! I honestly though it would be awkward - walking down streets and praying out loud. And since neither of us had ever done it before, we had no idea how exactly it was to be done. But... We just went for it.
We just started walking, picked a street that we had never been down, and we started praying. We prayed silently at first, but that didn't last long - maybe 2 minutes. My thoughts get distracted to easily. So then we began praying out loud. It was so neat! I've never prayed this way before. It was like carrying on a conversation, and it just came so naturally. We prayed as we walked past houses, and we prayed for the people who passed us on their bikes and motorcycles. I kept getting the chills and could sense the Holy Spirit's presence as we walked those streets. It was incredible!
As we were walking and as I was praying aloud at the moment, we began walking toward a group of children playing with a ball. I simply asked that the Lord would give us favor with these kids and that we could simply play with them and love on them. So we walked up to them, greeted these beautiful children with what little Zarma we actually know, and we just started playing with them!
I noticed one little boy was laying down on the ground a few yards away, so I walked over to him and asked him his name. A few other kids came to where we were, and they told me, "A sinda baani," - which means he wasn't feeling well. So I asked them where he was feeling sick, and they pointed to his head. I told them, "Iri go ga aduwa," - "We are going to pray." I touched his head, and Stacey and I began to pray for him (in English - we don't know THAT much Zarma!) And then we all went back and played - even the little boy who wasn't feeling well! It was the most fun I've had since being here. We simply threw and kicked the ball around. The kids were laughing and having so much fun!! I felt like I was on top of the world! THIS is why I'm here. These children are beautiful, and even though I can't speak their language, I CAN play with them. I CAN give them attention. And I CAN show them the love of Christ.
We didn't get to stay long because we had plans at 4:00, but we told the children we would be back tomorrow. Pretty sure we told them tomorrow at six - or at least that's what we tried to tell them in their language. On our way back to the guest house Stacey and I continued to pray. And as we were walking, a lady was passing on the other side of the road. We began to greet her in Zarma, but to our surprise, she spoke English!! So we stopped and talked with her for a couple minutes, and in those few minutes we found out she is from Gana and in Niger until August 27th. We exchanged phone numbers and plan to get dinner in the next couple of days. If that wasn't a divine encounter, I don't know what is. As we walked away, I immediately told Stacey, "We're going to share the gospel with her!" And as we continued to walk, we lifted her up in our prayers. I ask that you would also begin to pray for this woman and pray that the Lord would begin to open her heart to the gospel and that we will have favor to share with her.
Ah, today was a good day! Thank you for your prayers, and thank you for your encouragement! God is good!