Unfamiliar Territory

I am sitting on top of a wet cement roof in the middle of the poorest country in the western hemisphere, surrounded by utter destruction and crippling poverty.  The places that my mind and heart have traveled to have been unfamiliar.  I feel like I am in a constant haze and that I am walking out the next scene in a movie.  Is this real?  Is this invisible barrier I feel everywhere a spiritual stronghold or is it just a lie of the enemy?  I had such faith and overflowing hope before coming on this adventure with the Lord.  I truly believed with all my heart that His glory would be released.  The blind would see, both physically and spiritually.  What will it look like in this darkness?  I have yet to see it, but the adventure has just begun.  I will still contend and step out, to pray and witness, but I wanted souls and miracles in the first day!  It may take some more tilling, or will it take a different mindset or stronger faith?

My mind has been playing mental ping-pong the entire time I have been here.  In one thought, “I desire to be a foreign missionary the rest of my life and to feel the burden of the Lord for the poor and broken” and in the next thought, “I don’t ever want to leave America again unless it’s on a big, safe, comfortable ocean cruise ship with a weeks itinerary worth of R&R”.  I wonder which thought will prevail at the end of my 15 days here.

The streets here are not streets.  Well, at least shouldn’t be.  They are pot holes and stones, rarely mixed with a flat, drivable surface.  People roam the streets like ants but without the same sense of purpose and drive.  Their eyes all look into your soul as you gaze out the prison bars in the back of your tap-tap (‘taxi cab’).  You can feel the pain in their hearts without a word being spoken.  But will I ever truly feel it?  I am sure it will discomfort me for a couple of weeks and then I will pack up, wave goodbye, and fly back to a 71 degree house, beautiful wife, and well fed, perfectly groomed house dog who greets me everyday when I come home from work.  Or will this forever grip me until I contend for the Lord to find a permanent resting place here?

I feel perhaps a whisper of a glimpse of what Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane and on His march to His death, when He felt His God leave and forsake Him.  It feels like there is a gigantic gap from God’s touch and presence to my heart and mind right now.  Have I not cultivated my heart enough in my history before Him?  Is it the death grip of darkness that has shrouded this land for 200 years?  Will the prophecies come to pass and breakthrough really happen?  It is yet unknown, and in that place I shall choose to pass out the cold cup of water to the least of these and worship my good Father in heaven.  It is day #2…



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