The stories, testimonies, struggles, challenges, and lessons that were birthed from this week are a pure testament of how good the Lord is, especially to those who are overlooked. One of the characteristics of God that has been so evident in my life is His ability to shatter my expectations and provide an experience that is so life-giving and transforming. He has a way of taking our deepest fears, doubts, and feelings of inadequacy and turning them into a story that unveils His power to redeem, teach, and display His goodness.
Homes; formed by stories of strength and perseverance, draped and decorated with hope and memories. I’ve never gone into strangers’ houses before; I didn’t really think that people would even let us in. Honestly, fear flooded my head as I thought about doing so. During one of our training days our SMI director, Holly, shared a story from past years about a woman expressing so much shock and joy that a doctor was coming into her home and helping her. She asked, “YOU are coming to ME?” This touched my heart because I was reminded of how even Jesus, who is the greatest and most powerful, made home visits because He valued drawing close to people. We can’t just expect people to come to us, we have to reach out to them and meet them where they are. I’m reminded of all the stories in the Gospels that tell of Jesus sitting with sinners, touching the sick, and going to their houses to share His healing power. I’m also reminded of the story in Mark chapter 2 when the men broke through the roof to drop their paralyzed friend into the house where Jesus was at, with full faith that Jesus is the ultimate healer. This story is one of desperation and anticipation of the power of God. I got a glimpse of this as we went house to house and saw people jump at the chance for prayer and simple screenings. Many of the houses welcomed us in with an eager “Come in! Have a seat,” and offered us food and water before even knowing our name. We were told that people had asked “when are the doctors coming?” People are in need of physical healing, but their soul cries out even louder for spiritual healing. We long to know and be known by The Father.
Divine appointments; rich in hope and abundant in God’s pursuit. I experienced how beautiful it is to let God orchestrate all of our encounters with the people in the neighborhood. We heard multiple confirmations such as, “Something told me to leave work early, I even kept stopping and took a different way back home” and “I was just praying that God would send me medical attention because I don’t have access to healthcare.” It is so amazing to me how much The Father pursues His children and works out all the details to show them how much He cares for them, even if they don’t know Him. We couldn’t have planned any of this. No amount of strategy and logistics could ever conquer the great power of The Lord.
My heart has been wrecked, tears have been shed, and my eyes have been opened as I’ve seen and heard what people face here. In the midst of all the heartbreaking stories of struggles, we have also heard great ones and it’s made me realize how much God is doing outside of our bubbles. We tend to think of God only as good and big as the box that we put Him in. These boxes are framed with the walls that draw a border of only our own experiences and those that arise from the people we know. We tend to forget that God is also performing miracles all over the world, in places we never even heard of, in places full of people who are outcasted, unloved, and overlooked by society. He is a magnificent God doing magnificent things. May we never draw boundaries and lines for God; may we always let Him take us outside of our comfort zones and carry us into the unknown. May we never forget God is present and working with mighty and immense power.
Lastly, I leave you with a thought that hasn’t left my mind during this whole program. Half of our team is spread out among different states and even countries. While reunions are possible, but not incredibly probable, I look forward to the best reunion that is yet to come. Except, the next time we will all be together (unless some miracle happens) will be in heaven. The most beautiful thing is that it will not only be just the 16 of us; we will be among multitudes of other believers AND some of those will be people we screened and invited to church. A place where they will no longer be sick, but their souls will be healed as well. What a sweet, sweet reunion that will be. Until we reunite in heaven, may you run after The Father’s heart with a deep and fervent love and inspire others along the way.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
– Nadeen Kamel