Treasures of Darkness
"I will go before you and make the rough patches smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth in secret places, so that you will know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name." Isaiah 45:2
This was a promise given to me by Papa God the week before I came to Moz in September. He promised me that He would go before me and lay out the path during Harvest School, then He will give me the treasures of the darkness in Tete. Our Shekinah boys are my treasures of darkness.
We don't have the boys home built yet because of finances, but it's going to be built soon in the Name of Jesus! Nick, Marlene, and I are living in a small house that we are renting until we get the home built on our ministries land. We can't legally allow the boys to live here with us because of social services and we don't have all of their documents and things yet. So until we get the home built for them, they are continuing to live on the streets in the city.
The place where the boys are living right now is the lowest and darkest place I've ever been to. While the Harvest School team was here for two weeks, we had the honor of staying one night with the boys in the dump where they live in the city. They had spent the night with us at our house one night when it was raining, so we wanted to spend the night with them to see what their conditions are really like all the time. We wanted to see the reality of it. My reason in going was that I needed to see how their lives are really like so that I know how to pray for and love them even more as their sister. I needed to see the reality of it so I could know the urgency of getting their home built.
Nick and Marlene did not stay with us because they wanted to see how the boys would take care of us and treat us when they weren't around. They wanted to see the fruit of all they have been pouring into these boys. We thought it was going to be difficult without nick and mar there because they both speak Portuguese and none of us do. The boys don't speak any English at all so we were worried about the language barrier. Some of the people on the team were worried about sleeping in a dump in the middle of the city while there are parties and drinking and fights breaking out just across the street.
I went into this with no fear at all. I was completely trusting that my Papa was going to take care of me. If he takes care of my brothers in the street and if they can survive sleeping there, then I can too. As soon as we pulled up, we just saw this huge dump with piles and piles of rubble and trash and rocks. The boys all came running up to us, they were so excited and blown away that we would actually want to come spend the night with them. They all laughed at first cause they didn't think we would actually stay the whole night. We said "well we are all family! You spent the night with us the other night, so we want to spend the night with you now!" Nick and Mar told them to take care of us and protect us cause we are their family. They said ok we will!!!
I can't begin to describe to you the smell that was everywhere and the millions of flies all over everything. It definitely was not the most comfortable place to sleep, but I wasn't complaining. ;) When we got there, the boys immediately started making beds for all of us out of rocks and rubble, they were moving huge pieces of cement and arranging them all for us to sleep in the same area and be comfortable. Then Michael, who is one of the oldest ones (17) and kind of the leader of the rest, went and grabbed all of the old sheets and mats that they had and he gave them all to us to sleep with because it was cold that night. He was making sure that everyone was as comfortable as they could be.
After making the beds, they began to cook some fish that nick and mar bought them for dinner. The way they cook is by putting the food in a really old and nasty cooking pot on top of a little fire that they feed with plastic and anything else they can find laying around. We already ate before we came so we told them not to cook any for us. After it was all cooked up, they washed all of our hands and began serving us first. We were like no we already ate! You guys eat it all! They said no and insisted that we eat first. They wouldn't even touch their food until we all had a little bit. This is a huge transformation that's taken place in them. When Nick and Mar first started ministering to them and feeding them, they would all fight over the food and attack it like vultures to make sure they got the most. Now they are serving us first and not eating until we get some?! That's only by Jesus! :)
Since we didn't have a translator, I was trying to remember all the portuguese that I know from being here two times and trying to learn it in Pemba during HS. I seriously only know very few words and sentences, but somehow Jesus opened my tongue to speak a little but more Portuguese and I became the translator that night. So crazy!
When it was time for bed, there were 5 of us girls all squished together on one of the pieces of cement. I was curled up in a ball on the top corner trying to stay warm because I was the only one who didn't get a blanket. It had rained earlier that day so the temperatures cooled down a lot, plus we were on top of a big hill with the wind. Michael and a few other boys were sleeping on the bed next to us and Michael kept asking me if I was cold. I told him I was a little cold but I'll be fine! After the third time he asked me, he stood up and took the little sheet that he had, off of himself and laid it on me. I almost started crying right there. The fact that he even thought about me being too cold, then him actually taking his little old dirty sheet off of himself to give to me, was so overwhelming to me. It was such a demonstration of what love looks like.
I didn't sleep much because it was cold and tons of people were in the street right next to us drinking and partying the entire night. But we all felt so safe and could literally feel Gods presence and the Holy Spirit with us the entire night. The boys were so cute, they took turns staying awake and watching us to protect us.
I was expecting to be able to love on the boys even more and bless them and be a part of their life for one night, but coming out of it, I think I received more love and blessings from them. It's so amazing to see the fruit of what Nick and Mar have planted in them. Yes, the enemy still tempts them to go back to their old ways of stealing, drinking, and smoking, and yes the still give in to the temptations sometimes. But the transformation that's happening in their hearts is incredible. They are so much more happy and full of life than when I was here in June. I can't wait for the day when they completely fall in love with Jesus and Papa God captures them in His arms. That will be the day when they are totally set free.
It's been hard trying to minister to them the past few days because of stupid choices they are making and going back to their old ways and acting like they aren't getting it, but Papa gave me such a clear word when we were in the car the other day. He said "how bad do you want them, how bad do you want them, how bad do you want them? You are called to love them no matter what, love them through it all no matter what stupid choices they make. I am so jealous for their souls just like I'm jealous for yours. Will you love them with my unconditional love no matter how hard it gets?" YES JESUS they are my treasures in the darkness!!!!