Friday, June 08, 2007

Burundi Stories Part 1 - Always Be Prepared

Sharing Devotion at Turame HQ

I'll start with the one that had the biggest impact on me personally.
On the first Tuesday morning (May 15) we all head over to Turame (WR's microfinance division in Burundi) for the Turame/World Relief staff weekly devotion. There were about 40-50 people there including us. As we were quickly learning, every where we went included introductions. We were prepared to say a few words of greetings and thanks, sing a couple of songs, and then sit for the devotion.

Then Christof (Turame branch manager) looks at us saying and now someone from the missions team will bring the message. Instant fear! We had not anticipated doing that. Lori (my co-leader) and I looked at each other with surprise.

I learned a big lesson in faith and trust and the need to always be prepared. The night before I was preparing for a message for the following Sunday. However, all I had was the outline done so far. Figuring that was better than nothing I stood up, turned to the team asking for prayer, and said a quick prayer as I walked to the front.

God totally delivered! I spoke out of Phil 2:1-4 that believers should be united in spirit, purpose and love. I was taking Cyprian's (Rwanda WR staffer we met in USA before leaving) guidance to talk about love and it was definitely God's work through me that delivered the message.

Then after the session was over, one of the local guys came up to me and said, "I have something to tell you that you won't like." My first thought was that I messed up something theologically in the message, or I misquoted something. However, he went on to say, "While you were speaking, God spoke to me saying that you will be an evangelist to Africa and many Africans will come to Christ through your preaching. Sorry to tell you that!"

Obviously I was blown away by that as it was another confirmation that I will be full time in Africa one day. I asked him why he was sorry to tell me that and he said it meant I would be coming back to Africa. I told him if I had a problem with coming to Africa, I wouldn't be there now and that I had absolutely no problem coming back in God's timing. He smiled big and said he looked forward to seeing me next time.


Emily said...

That's awesome, Shane! Good job! :)

Jean Ohlerking said...

Ah, dear, dear, Tiger-Shane...Swaziland NEEDS you. Pray about that... and one of these days this summer we (Dave & I) will be in your area to help the Holy Spirit speak to your heart about southern Africa.

Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Wow!! Pretty cool Shane :-)!!!!!

dan ohlerking said...

'twas cool to see you yesterday - way cool surprise to get to meet mimi and to talk with y'all.

this post is something you need to keep going back to. years from now when you've been serving in africa for years and you're having a hard day, look back at this one.


Anonymous said...

Wow Shane, God was good to you. Don't you just love when your heart starts pounding and your cheeks turn rosy?

I'm glad that the Lord impressed upon you to write that outline. Congrats on your sermon/talk.


FeatherIron said...

Very cool stuff!
Great seeing you last weekend!

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Good for you for making a difference in the lives of people!