Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Tonight was such a sweet time. Wednesday is usually the women’s Bible study at my house; tonight was different and yet, I think exactly what the Lord had in mind. Erin has been very sick since Saturday with tonsillitis, and although we had hopes that my chicken soup and a rousing game of Phase10 last night had cured her, unfortunately this was not the case and today brought continuing rounds of Erin vs. Tonsillitis. So, needless to say she was unable to join us for the Women’s Bible Study (which lately has looked more like what we can call “Nelda’s Bible Study” since she is really the only woman in attendance with any regularity). I love Nelda. She is UNcharacteristically African in her punctuality – always on time, and usually early! She has such a sweet spirit and personality, often shy, but one-on-one once you push past that initial shyness wall, she can carry on a great conversation. Such was the case tonight. She arrived as usual a few minutes before 5:00 and joined me in the living room with about 5 neighborhood kids who were enjoying the new toys, games, and puzzles I got from the German container. She shyly said hello and I made coffee and began the process of enticing Nelda into conversation. It continued like that for about 30 minutes, me asking questions with her answering in quiet, short responses, kids playing amongst us, more kids and a dog coming in…pretty much normal Africa visiting. Then I asked her what she has been reading in the Word, and asked if she and Christaan are still reading in Philippians, which is what they had been reading together last week. She totally blessed me when she said, “no, but I’ve been reading on my own in Matthew…Matthew 6:25, that’s what I read last night.” I asked her what it was about and she, with her Bible still closed next to her said, “don’t worry about what you will eat or what you’ll wear” And from then on it was as if the floodgates were open. Back and forth the Lord began a sharing of scripture, encouraging, words of practical application, and a flow and ease of conversation that was based completely on Him. The kids packed everything up and went home, she and I continued to talk and talk and talk – Nelda sharing scripture and quoting verses she had read, tying them into how they are applying to her life now, telling me about how she has even been sharing the scriptures she is reading with neighbors and friends when she sees how what she’s read applies to their situation. I could just see so plainly tonight - Nelda gets it. The Lord has opened her eyes and she is growing right before our eyes! We talked for over 2 and half hours, sharing scripture and talking about life and God. We spend some time in prayer together and around 7:45 she headed home for the night. I closed the door after she left, so very joyful over what God is doing, and thankful that I got to be encouraged by seeing it tonight, through Nelda.