Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stones that Last.

The first time I came to Zambia in 2008, I never thought that just two years down the road I would be living here. I never thought that God would call me to more than just that week. And as my heart was swept away by my group of Zambian little girls, the last thought in my mind was that I would one day live within walking distance of them. I never knew my investment would be longterm.

Throughout the very few and insignificant years of ministry that I have had, there is one thing that the Lord has told me over and over--"Build in stones that last".

From what I knew of building His kingdom, I did just that. I tried to build what lasts for eternity, not on shifting sand.

It wasn't until He called me to Zambia and I spent time here that I understood what He had been engraving into my life...the stones that last.

I spent the better part of this Saturday with "my girls". I invited them over for a birthday party to celebrate each and every one of their birthdays. It was epic. Beautiful. Magical. A huge and fantastic blessing to me.

I cannot help but sit back and be in awe of the tapestry that God has woven in my life.

In all of the fun and happiness and playing, I just stepped back and watched all of these grown up girls running around my house, here in Zambia.
Then one would call to me, "Auntie Mary" and I returned to the moment.

The stones that last are mentioned in Revelation Chapter 21.

The walls of the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, will be built on 12 foundations made of precious stones, gems, jewels. These stones are of the highest value, the most astounding beauty, the greatest strength, with un-ending durability.

Memory, Grace, Fridah, Yvette, Elina, Yvonne, Mary, Beatrice, Christine, Elizabeth, Veronica, Sarah.
These 12 are the stones that last.
They are the beautiful gems in which I am building the things of eternity.
These girls were the first Zambian children I fell in love with.
These girls were the first call God placed on my life to be here.
These girls were my first taste of the ministry He had in store for me in Zambia.

All the way to Africa for these 12. And it's far more than worth it.

This good day is coming from Jesus. Yes it is.

School bags full of goodies from Lisa.

Here is a personal "THANK YOU!" to Uncle Arthur and Aunt Laurie for donating the money to make the party possible. All of the girls had one of the best days of their lives.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lisa Meets Sophie

Just a quick update--

My mom is here and it's GREAT.

I just had to create a post describing probably one of the top three funniest things that has happened to me while in Zambia and, of course, it involves my mother.

I have written several times about a tiny little chubster named Sophie. She is three years old. She is mostly always naked. And she positively always has a little mischief up her sleeve, her face being the dead give away.

So, on the way to church Sunday morning my mom met Sophie for the first time.

We passed her house and all the children came running, so we stopped for a short visit.

Sophie's mother was sick. As we stood by her, I couldn't help but look back to the dirt road at my mom, who was kneeling down beside little Sophie.

This bundle of a trouble maker was one of the children I was the most excited for my mom to meet and I just stood and watched them interact.

Kneeling in the dirt beside her, my mom let Sophie leaf through the pages of her Bible.

While this seemed like a sweet moment, Sophie was never interested in the Bible at all.

She fanned through all of the pages until they fell open at a certain spot.

Sophie had found what she was looking for--my mom's offering for the basket at church.

As soon as she saw the 10,000 Kwacha note, she snatched it and held it above her head.

Lisa was a tad bit surprised by this three-year old's recognition of the money and the instinct to grab it. She said "Well! You know what that is, don't ya?"

At this point, my attention moved from the humor of this scene to praying over Sophie's mother.

With the conclusion of the prayer I looked back to my mom, now standing alone.

I asked her if she got her money back to which she replied, "I didn't have the heart to take it back from her".

Well, that is not true of me. I know this little rascal and I've seen some of her best tricks.

So I looked for her.

I scanned my eyes just a little further down the road and there she was.

Sophie, the mischief maker of all time, had toddled her way down to the corner snack shack.

And there she stood at about 2 feet tall, with an arm full of Jungle Snax and fist full of change.

Within seconds, she took the money and marched right down to buy barbecue corn curls.

I said "SOPHIE!" and walked right over to her and put my hand out.

With that classic half-smile and twinkle in her eyes, she handed me the change.

Swindled by a cute face and chubby cheeks.

My mom was here for less than 24 hours and was robbed by a 3 year old.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


In my recent study of scripture, I have taken note of five groups of people that arouse the mercy and stir the compassion of God. The first and foremost being the sinner, which includes all of humanity.

The following four hold my focus here in Zambia: the child, the fatherless, the widow, and the alien or foreigner.

Let the little children come to me, do not get in their way.

Be disciples. Give them a refreshing drink in my name. Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. His heart is undeniable.

Matthew 10:42 Psalm 68:5 Deuteronomy 24:17 Matthew 19:14

And all of these ponderings also come to mind when I think about what happened last night.

I struggle so inherently with the idea of being provided for. Instead of trusting, I beat myself up for not having a career with an income.

I worry that the money will run out, that I will be stuck here in Zambia without means to live.

I wonder if one day this world and the people in it, that constantly tell me that I can't survive by doing work for the Lord, will be proved right.

I wonder if our month-to-month living will one day see the last payment of a faithful supporter.

But more than that, I fail to see God as a faithful supporter.
Even in my untrusting, unbelieving, and anxious heart, He blows me away.
Whatever I need, it's there two-fold with a little extra on the side.

Last night when I skyped my family, I was informed of a hefty blessing.

This blessing was not placed in my hands, but in my bank account.
Without naming any names, an angel handed my mother an envelope with $2,000 cash in it. That is a sum of money that fits into the miracle category for me.

What could it be for? I'm sure I will find out.

I always wonder.
I wonder "Why me?".
Why do You speak to me?
Why do You show me your secrets?
Why do You answer every request I lay at your feet?
And why do You do it so promptly?
Why do You protect me from evil?
Why do You even pay attention to the smallest of details and bless me in those as well?
Why does your divine favor absolutely drown me?

It could be just because He's that good.
It could be just because as He gazed upon me, His compassion and mercy were aroused.
Because I'm just a child, His child.
Because He is my Father.
Because I am a foreigner in a strange land.
Because he is that good, not in general but to me, Mary Leslie...

Today, I'm just dancing in His divine favor. Not questioning, just trusting.