Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chin-Zo Worship

Monday morning, the sight of two full roosters in a pot on the stove should have been a clue to me that it would not be a normal day. That afternoon, the house was quickly filled with 26 Chin-Zo people - 15 kids between ages 1 month and 14 years, and 11 adults who spoke no English at all. I was completely overwhelmed, and ran to the safety of my room. After much prayer, I decided to re-enter the frey and see what happened.

Instantly, I met a new friend, Lian (sounds like Leigh Ann!) who is 24 years old held her new baby close. I was invited to dinner, and though I was wary of literal "chicken fingers," I decided it was a risk worth taking. I received a bowl of sticky rice and started adding cooked celery, carrots, and chicken to it. SO GOOD!

Then the group gathered in the living room for what Thang Ngaih explained would be Chin-Zo worship. I asked shyly if I could sit with them, and they welcomed me. The man who opened in prayer began by looking at me and saying, "Sorry, no speak English good..." but I quickly tried to tell him it is ok, he didn't need to try. So the service was prayed, sung, and preached in Zo. And it was beautiful. I even got video of one of the songs they sang, so if you'd like to hear it, here is the link: I asked Thang Ngaih what it means, and she said, "It mean, I am poor, I am not strong, I am not wise... so I come to Jesus to help me."

The pastor spoke for quite a while, and even though I didn't know what he said, I could tell that it was God's Truth. Occasionally, he would smile so big and pause, and then say, "Hallelujah," and the group would respond "Amen." Three times in a row they would have this call and response, and then he would continue with his message. I picked up on the pattern, and joined in the "Amens," because I knew that my heart agreed with his.

I read this book this week called "Castaway Kid," by R.B. Mitchell. It's an excellent book, and I highly recommend it, but one chapter in particular blessed me, maybe because of the circumstances I find myself in. In the chapter, Robert is praying and worshipping God with an African brother from Congo, and this is what he says: "We come from such different tribes... yet the same God understands and loves us."

Amen, brother, I agree with you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

anvils, roosters, and the peace of God

I tried to write a prayer update, and couldn't think of anything to say. Same prayer requests in place: jobs for the Burmese men, settling in for the newcomer families, continued discipleship of new Christians, clear message for seekers... doesn't feel like much has changed or even happened this week. I think it's because I have been very distracted and, dare I say it, self-absorbed. Because you see, my time here in Fort Wayne is running short, and there is now the big Question that feels like it is looming over my head like an anvil: "What next?" I don't want to dig into the details of all the analyzed thoughts and weighed options that have gone through my mind in the past five days, but I do ask that you pray for me to have wisdom and decisiveness soon. Because the Question is clouding my vision and reducing my energies to myself, which is definitely not a good thing in ministry. I may not know much yet, but I do know I am not called to confusion, frustration, worry, or selfishness.

On the lighter side, Thang Ngaih's sister and her family are here visiting, which means we now have twelve people hanging out in our beloved Angaying Inn! It also means there are two whole roosters (and I do mean whole) soaking in the sink today... they scared me to death when I saw them this morning, and I pray that my dear, well-intentioned neighbors don't try to make me eat them tonight. I will refrain from posting pictures, for your sake and for the sake of your dreams tonight, because my fearless little brother even called it "disgusting." I thought about writing a requiem for them but decided that would be much too morbid. Maybe I can try offering the family some of my oatmeal-craisen-dark-chocolate-chip cookies (Bethany's recipe!) as a peace offering.

In the mean time, I'm meditating on the Scripture that Pam and I read together this morning in Colossians 3: " were called to peace..." What a beautiful and simple calling.