asurprisecalling

Following our calling to the Dominican Republic

A joyful noise

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“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”  Psalm 98:4

IMG_7775

My neighbor and best friend here, Alexandria, asked me to go to a women’s event at the school with her.  This event would consist of women of the church sleeping at the school and praying all night.  When she told me what it was, I said that I might or might not go…

Because:

a) women’s events scare the begeebies out of me

b) women’s events in another language send me into a panic attack

c) I didn’t think that I could pray all night long (think ADD)

d) they were sleeping on the floor…which is concrete!

I had made up MY mind that I would not be going.  All week long, though, I kept feeling a pull at my heart to go.  Then I would give all of my reasons why I would not be going.  However, the pull just kept pulling.  GOD didn’t care that I had made up MY mind…He wanted me there!

I went back to Alexandria and said “Can I bring a mattress?”  She said that would be no problem that other women may bring one as well.

Without even telling Mo, I agreed to join.

I am really glad that I did because…

The women weren’t scary at all…IMG_7776

Many of them were my neighbors…IMG_7778

They were funny and kind and welcoming…

IMG_7777Some of them even brought their babies…

IMG_7781Some of them snored…IMG_7779

All of them had smiles on their faces…IMG_7780

All but about 3 of us were sleeping on a concrete floor with nothing more than a blanket and a pillow.  (I shared my twin mattress with Alexandria.)  I never heard anyone complain about it.  They were all so glad to be together to thank God for all that He has done for us.

As they started praying, I did also.  I prayed that God would fill that room, bridge the language gap, fill our hearts, hear our words, and help me to stay focused.  Yes, I really did pray the last part of the prayer…over and over…each time that my mind start drifting.

I wanted needed so badly to stay in that moment.  I wanted needed to feel God’s presence.

As the night wore on, the praying got louder and more intense.  They continued, also, to beckon God into our little room.  As some women were praying, others began singing…no one singing the same song.  As the intensity of the prayers grew, so did the volume level.  It felt as if everyone were in their own little world with God, yet we were all joined together as well.  They prayed for each one of us, for our families, for our health, for our church, for the school, and for our community.  They thanked God for His love and faithfulness.  They truly love one another and their community, but, most importantly, they truly love God!

I was able to stay engaged and presence.  God was in that room that night.  There was a warmth, security, and safety that was undeniable.  My friends were teaching me yet ANOTHER lesson.  Although there were many words that I could not understand, I completely understood the language of their hearts…

Remain faithful in prayer and do not forget to make a joyful noise!

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