“Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5
After just having returned from my 10th mission trip to Africa, third to Rwanda and the DR Congo, I’m reminded of my first trip in 2002 when I went in tears and a broken heart from a 41 year marriage that had just abruptly come to an end.
As always I see and hear heartbreaking and troubling things in this part of Africa that has seen its share of turmoil, fighting, even death, and I remember why the Lord sent me in my own tears and heartache, because I know Jesus and so many there do not.
At a women’s conference our last two days in the Congo, after a lesson on how powerful our personal testimony can be regarding the trials we have experienced and how the Lord has walked with us through them, I asked for testimonies from the women of Emmaus Church of Christ, DR Congo. Their testimonies always blow me away. One young lady stated “our men are mean here, plus Huttu men are coming in and raping us.” Then she asked this question “Sister, what can we do about this?” I reminded her this was not God’s original plan when he created man and woman, but very quickly into his creation sin came into His beautiful garden and we live now in such a fallen world where evil is everywhere and I am sorry for what you are going through here. I then asked her if she knew Jesus as her Savior, and she said yes, but not with conviction in her voice.
In the night it became evident to me from this woman’s response that with this group of women I had taught them about my testimony and others had shared theirs, but I failed to address how they too can have this Jesus who saves and rescues, who walks us through our valleys. Graciously the Lord sent me back to this same group of women the next day and I was able to tell them that although you cannot escape where you live, when you have Jesus as your Savior, there is nothing man can do to take salvation from you. If you are here today and you don’t know this Jesus, things will get much worse for you when you die, even worse than they are now where you live. I explained to them when Jesus was here on earth doing His public ministry, many people missed Him then because they wanted somebody to “fix” today, “fix the oppression they had from Rome.” They even shouted “come down off the cross Jesus, save yourself Jesus, then I will believe.”
Today in the world, many still miss Jesus because they are looking for somebody to “fix” today, instead of seeing that He has done something far greater, He has fixed eternity so that we can spend it with Him instead of with Satan, the one who hates us so much and causes the hearts of men to be so mean that they would rape innocent women. I reminded them of the danger of seeing the sins of others who hurt us, but not recognizing that it is our own sin that separates from God and it is from our sins that we must be forgiven if we are to be saved. When I told them what the Bible says about the free gift of salvation that God has given to all of us through His Son Jesus Christ, how we must accept this gift for ourselves before we die, six women responded and received Jesus. Among the six was the young woman who the day before had asked “Sister, what can we do about what is happening to us today?”
During my own tears and heartache the Lord sent me to Africa in 2002 and over time, He has replaced the heartache and tears I had with His joy and a passion for His people in Africa like I could never dream or imagine. I don’t know why the Lord has chosen me to be His witness in His beautiful Africa, but I am certain that He has and He has reminded me of these verses in Psalms 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him”
I sowed His word in my own tears and He has brought a harvest in His time in the places He has led me to go. I praise Him for this Sister who was so lost she could only see her situation as it is today here on earth. Now she has eyes to see that here on this earth what she experiences is all the hell she will ever have, and when the Lord takes her home, she will live without pain, sorrow, heartache, and best of all, in the presence of the One, Jesus Christ, who loved her enough to die for her too. Today I am shouting with joy – Bwana asifiwe – Praise the Lord that He loves us so and will save all from our sins who will believe.