“And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went:” Acts 8:26-27a
One day, after unloading my supplies and getting the children settled at our village church, I stood in front of a big pot as I cooked chicken and rice for everyone. One of the young women, whose name was Darci, came over and stood watching me as I cooked. She was deaf and had been attending my Bible club with the rest of the children from the village. She always had a ready smile for me. I couldn’t tell if she ever understood my “signs” I would make since she only communicated through her own made up signs. But that day as I cooked, I felt pressed to try and tell her about Jesus again.
Darci had bent one leg behind her to prop herself against the wall of our makeshift bedroom/kitchen and stared at the chicken boiling. My rolled up hammock was behind her head and my cooking pot was on the Coleman burner between us. Mark was down the path at a hut talking to the men and I could see my children through the open doorway as they played by the trees with the other kids from the village. I thought about yelling at them to get their sandals on, but everyone was running around barefoot, so I left them alone. It was hot, as usual, but there was a breeze going through the mango tree above the church and I could hear the leaves moving through the large opening between the top of the wooden wall of the church and the tin roof. Nothing was hindering me from talking to Darci about Christ, so I turned toward her and wagged my hand to have her look at me. I pointed towards the sky and said “Deus” (God). She smiled and her eyes got wide. She took her finger and pointed it upward and made a guttural sound as she copied my motions. I pointed my finger at her and tapped her on her heart and said, “Te” (You). Her head bobbed and her mouth opened in expectation of what I was going to do next. I then crossed my arms over my chest and squeezed them to myself and said, “Ama” (Loves). I got out my Salvation posters and went through them like I had in Bible club, showing sin, Christ on the cross and Heaven. I kept repeating my motions and saying, “God loves you”. Then something really beautiful happened. Darci’s eyes widened and she pointed towards Heaven and made a sound, pointed to herself, crossed her arms and smiled. She repeated it over and over and over and I believe she understood as best she knew how that Jesus loved her.
Within a few months I was standing by Darci’s body which was wrapped in old green hospital gowns as the health worker told me not to touch anything. She had died swiftly of meningitis. I wept and wept for my sweet deaf friend. I led her mom to the Lord that day in my bedroom just before going to bury her daughter. We both followed the tractor that carried the wooden box that held Darci’s body and I remember thinking about how my life had brought me to that point.
God had told us to go to Brazil one day while we were living outside of Gary, Indiana. We didn’t question it, we just went. And I believe Darci and her mom, who are both in Heaven today, were the reason God sent us when He did. God was invested in those people out in the middle of the rainforest and needed someone to take the Gospel to them. We didn’t know Darci when we packed our suitcases and got on that plane that took us to Brazil, but God did.
God always had a plan. It wasn’t about us, but about the Message we needed to take.
God still has a plan. And it still isn’t about us, but about the Message we need to take.
In Acts chapter 8, Philip is called to leave where he was familiar and head down south to Gaza. He didn’t know why or what he was going to do, but the Bible says he rose up and went. He ends up meeting the Eunuch from Ethiopia and telling him about Jesus and explaining the Scripture until the man got saved and baptized.
God had a plan for Philip to get the Gospel Message to the Ethiopian Eunuch.
God had a plan for me to get the Gospel Message to Darci and her mother, Teresa.
God still has a plan for us to get the Gospel Message to someone else.
But the question is: Will we rise up and go?
Will we rise up and talk to that person, that family member, that neighbor?
Will we leave that tract, knock on that door, make that phone call?
Will we dwell in God enough that His call for us today is not met with a hard heart but a willing receptive one?
Would to God that we would dwell in Him every second of every day so that we don’t miss His plan for someone else to get to know Him! I believe God still loves this world with the same love He had when He sent Jesus so that WHOSOEVER hears and believes on Him will NOT perish but have EVERlasting life!! (That is me paraphrasing)
Let’s dwell in God today so that we hear His call! And once we hear it, let’s rise up and go tell someone about Christ!
Until Next Time, Lord willing,
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Today’s reading: Exodus 15-16 / II Samuel 9 / Psalm 35 / Acts 10