Tuesday, August 20, 2013

An adventure with Magdalene Hope...and how I got stuck in San Diego

Hello friends!

I'm home after another adventure...last Monday I went with Magdalene Hope (the ministry I belong to that does street outreach to prostitutes) to San Diego, about four hours from where I live.  It has been a goal and a dream for some time that we would have a safe house with a program in place to help them improve their lives.  This has finally happened!  The ministry has purchased a home, and now all we need is to get it up and running.  Our first young lady is currently in a shelter waiting for us to open.

So, we were traveling to San Diego to meet with the director of a house that has been up and running for some time to get ideas about programs to put in place for our house.  We met at the church at 5:45 a.m. to begin the trip and I felt terrific.  I'm so glad to be a part of this ministry.  We did a Bible study on the way and my spirits were high.  I felt fine when we got there, but about halfway through the morning presentation I began to feel extremely cold.  I thought maybe the air conditioning was just high, but by the time we broke for lunch...I had to run to the bathroom and empty my stomach.

Great, just great.  I am very private about my illness in that while I may talk about it, I really don't like anyone to see me that way.  But I couldn't even begin to hide it.  I went to lie down in the back of the church van and my stomach kept emptying....luckily I had a cup from my coffee earlier!  What made it unusual was the amount of pain I was having.  Only a few times have I had pain like that.  I stayed in the van while everyone else went back in for the afternoon session and it got worse from there.  By the time they came back, I was losing my self control and moaning, which was very embarrassing to me.  They rushed me first to an Urgent Care, who said I needed a hospital.  I was very lucky that they got me right in at the hospital, but none of the medications seemed to be working.

I was extremely blessed to have one of my friends in the back with me.  She rubbed my back, prayed for me (as did the rest of the group) and kept me covered in warm blankets as I was still freezing cold.  I needed to be transferred to another hospital that took my insurance, and the group stayed until they were sure that the transfer went through and I'd be admitted.  I can't put into words how grateful I was for their love and support....yes, I can.  The love of Christ is what they showed.  Before they left, they all layed hands on me and prayed for me one by one.  Through the pain, I could feel the Spirit.

To make a long story shorter, I'm back at home now.  My mother, who lives a few hours from San Diego, came to pick me up and I spent a few days recuperating at her house.  While there, I read a book that I must recommend.  It's called Safely Home by Randy Alcorn.  It talks about the persecution of Christians in China, and I must say that after reading it, I felt truly ashamed.  With all my freedom, how much do I really do for the kingdom?  One of the most touching scenes in the book is when one of the main character is jailed for owning a non authorized Bible and attending an unauthorized church.  Many Chinese Christians meet in house churches, because the authorized churches are not allowed to teach certain fundamental beliefs.
Anyway, so now he's in prison, being beaten and tortured.  So what does he do?

He offers the jailer to clean the floors in the cells.  And as he does, he spreads the gospel to the other prisoners.  He tells his friend that he is so grateful that God has provided him a ministry!

And I complain about my stomach and don't get up to write on the computer and spread the message about God's love because of my trifling pain.

No more!  I pray God will give me the courage, the strength of character, and the promptings of the Holy Spirit to share Him with all who need to hear about Him.

I think I've shared this song before, but it's been on my mind all week; I was singing it to myself in the hospital.  It's in Hebrew, but here is the translation:

Those who trust in God are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken, but stands forever.  As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people...Psalm 125 1-2
Another point the book made is that this life down here on earth is not our "real life."  Our real life begins when we leave the shell of a body we currently inhabit.  I believe that with all my heart.
So let us make the most of each day, reaching out in Christ's love, to those who need His forgiveness and His Holy Spirit to live the life that our Father has called us to.

Please pray for the success of Restoration Ranch, the name that has been chosen for Magdalene Hope's house.

Wishing you all blessings in Christ!

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